Nick's Journal
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2006-10-26 16:36:05 (UTC)

So what's YOUR political affiliation?

the great thing about going back to college is that you get
a second chance to do all those things that you wished you'd
done the first time around. for me this involves well,
"getting involved". i have joined two clubs here
(federalist society and business law society) and have
attended numerous events. just this past week i've attended
an event on affirmative action, eminent domain, and how to
not fuck up as a lawyer (more appropriately entitle,
'professional responsibility').
well during these showcases i have the privilege (and
sometimes the aggravation) of speaking to people of varying
political affiliations. i've spoken to young republicans,
young democrates, gay people who apparently are always quite
proud that they are gay, and of course my own federalist
now the federalist society is SUPPOSED to be a
quasi-liberterian party, but lately it seems to have been
hi-jacked by the christian right. damn. anyway, the best
debate was about eminent domain and i started to think about
what my absolutes are when it comes to moral/political
argumentation and i found that i have a serious problem
seeing things black or white.
this is quite frustrating to someone who say, heads the
young republicans or young democrats. i was speaking to one
of each and inevitably within the first five minutes they
try to get out of you whether or not you are "with or
against them", not only is it annoying that you can't just
have a normal conversation, but it is equally annoying when
you are someone like me who can't seem to nail down an
unequivocal and "homogenous" mind set.
some may refer to me as someone who rides the fence and just
hops down on which ever garden seems greener at the time and
others may just go straight out and say that i don't really
have a policy at all.
most of the time i've been accused of just arguing for the
sake of arguing which i don't see as necessarily bad. the
problem that i have with "having a definitive mind-set"
(i.e. republican/libertarian/ that a mind-set?) is
that it leads to dogmatic thinking.
for example, juliann and i discussed science v. religion
last weekend and she told me that she absolutely believes in
the scientific method which is fair enough and it seems kind
of weird to NOT believe in the scientific method, but then i
took it further and said that you can't just USE science as
your foundation for belief as it can lead to ambiguous moral
decisions (i.e. nuclear bomb).
short and dry of it, i believe that you can't look at the
world through a form of ideology, be it technocratic,
theistic or something stupid like an individualized dogma
such as, say... "black (or white) power"
the purpose of your views is that it determines your
affiliation and not vice versa.
for example, i am a moral absolutist. i just straight up
believe that there is an axiomatic and logical way of
deducing what the absolute morals of an individual should
be. i base it largely on a lesser axiom that "every human
being has a right to not be killed" and i am a strong
proponent of kant's categorical imperatives (even though
they can be taken far enough to be made to look stupid).
this may fly in the face of what i was saying earlier on how
i can't seem to nail down any set mind-set, but i now turn
this issue to abortion. if i were to adopt this moral
absolutism and my creed towards abortion you could now say
that i would be anti-abortion, which is wrong.
i am pro-abortion and i think that it is one of the hardest
dichotomies (in my mind) because it pits me between the
right of every human being to not be killed and the
individual right. at first glance the "right not to be
killed" is an individual right, but this is in direct
juxtaposition with the right of the fetus vs. the mother's
right to do what she wants with her body.
at this point i turn to my gray area and start to reason as
to when a fetus becomes a human being. i am against partial
birth abortions mainly because i believe taht if you have to
"give birth" to a child then you are essentially creating a
human being so as to terminate it. but on the other hand,
if you have an abortion say at the first trimester, well i
don't believe that there is a human being per se.
all in all it' s a fine line of factual evidence which
allows me to wind around something which on its face should
be quite absolute in governing my decision making. but that
is my whole point about political affiliation. it is
completely myopic in how you make decisions on a factual
basis because you are supporting your own cause in the long run.
for example: say you are anti-tax and someone comes up to
you and says, "here sign this petition we will create an
initiative which will abolish your car tax." well hotdog,
you now abolish the car tax, and don't even think down the
line that possibly that tax could be generating money to
help puppies learn how to read braille for blind people
without hands (what DO they do anyhow if they don't have
fingers?). your myopic vision was clouded by your dogmatic
stance which you wished to preserve.
that's a long-winded way of me saying, "i think i'm
libertarian, but i find them immensely annoying and their
arguments faulty at least 50% of the time." it's less than
a majority and i therefore like their political view the best.