Saturday, September 22, 2012

Don't hate me if we don't agree, Boo. :)

I have been interested in politics since my sophomore year in high school when I attended a Missouri Congressional session, and by interested, I mean I wanted to jump in head first and learn all I could about how to make this country great. Everything that went on that day fascinated me. I argued with my first lobbyist, and won my argument I might add. I got to watch voting take place, and even get introduced to the floor. Then to finish off the day I got to climb into the capitol dome and look out at the river from the highest point in the building. It was almost magical. It was all so new and different than what we’re taught in school.

That being said, since this is a year that is divisible by four, it’s election year. It’s also the first year I’ve been old enough to vote, thus making it the first year I’ve actually put some thought and research into the actual presidential candidates. I’m about 76% sure most people aren’t happy with President Obama, but the thought of Paul Ryan as a Vice President terrifies me. That being said, I know that’s not popular opinion, but it’s mine, and to me, my opinion is pretty important. I was always told to write about things that are important to me, and what’s more important to me than my important opinions, so here this is. Sorry if you’re offended, that was honestly, 100% not my intention in writing this.
The first thing that bothers me about Paul Ryan, is the fact that he blatantly lies on his website in his biography section. In the very first paragraph on his biography page it says “Currently serving his 7th term as a Member of Congress, Paul works to address the many important issues affecting Wisconsin residents and serve as an effective advocate for the 1st Congressional District” He is claiming to “serve as an effective advocate” for his district, but if you go to the home page of his website (—which is where I’ve gotten this information) it shows a chart of the things that have come up for vote concerning his state, and how he has voted on each. Of the three votes that are actually listed, he has declared that he is NOT even going to vote. How can you claim to be effectively advocating the people that voted for you and put their political faith in you, if you aren’t even voting? No matter the circumstances, as an elected official, it is your job to vote for the people. You get paid to do so. By accepting a paycheck, you are declaring that you are providing a service. What service are you providing if you aren’t even voting for your district?
In an article by the Atlas society titled Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand’s Ideas: In the Hot Seat Again, Ryan is quoted saying “But the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.” Ryan is also quoted saying some of Ayn Rand’s works are “required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff.”
In case you don’t know, Ayn Rand was a Russian-born writer that published many works, such as “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged.” Ayn Rand was openly opposed to both Mysticism and Collectivism in writing, and therefore considered herself more of a European Writer. On the Website (exact link, there is a direct quote from Ayn’s book “The Virtue of Selfishness” in which she states:
 “The proper method of judging when or whether one should help another person is by reference to one’s own rational self-interest and one’s own hierarchy of values: the time, money or effort one gives or the risk one takes should be proportionate to the value of the person in relation to one’s own happiness.
To illustrate this on the altruists’ favorite example: the issue of saving a drowning person. If the person to be saved is a stranger, it is morally proper to save him only when the danger to one’s own life is minimal; when the danger is great, it would be immoral to attempt it: only a lack of self-esteem could permit one to value one’s life no higher than that of any random stranger. (And, conversely, if one is drowning, one cannot expect a stranger to risk his life for one’s sake, remembering that one’s life cannot be as valuable to him as his own.)
If the person to be saved is not a stranger, then the risk one should be willing to take is greater in proportion to the greatness of that person’s value to oneself. If it is the man or woman one loves, then one can be willing to give one’s own life to save him or her—for the selfish reason that life without the loved person could be unbearable.”
According to that quote, moral obligation is only necessary when extended to those you love, or when your risk is minor. If this thought process is then extended to the United States government, who is to say what is or is not a “substantial risk”? Will this thought process then be extended to the national budget? If so, that will most definitely affect most, if not all, social programs in the United States. That terrifies me.

 I’m not ashamed to admit I am a scholarship student in college. I do not have in the upwards of $20,000 a year to spend on everything from books to housing to food. I don’t make that in a year, let alone have it to throw around. I knew from the moment I stepped into Willard High school for the first time on that sweltering August day in 2007, that if I wanted to go to college I was going to have to apply for scholarships and federal grants. Federal grants and federal scholarships are a form of social program. If those get cut because they are “too great a risk” on the financial situation of the country, I lose my ability to go to school and am in quite the financial pickle.  
            According to a U.S. News article entitled Paul Ryan is far From an Ayn Rand Prodigy by Lauren Fox, Fox quotes an interview for the National Review in which Ryan says “It's an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview," Paul said. "If somebody is going to try to paste a person's view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas, Don't give me Ayn Rand.” Ryan speaks of Ayn Rand on two different occasions and gives two very different answers about how she ha changed his views on politics and public service. In the latter part of the quote he said he would rather be compared to Thomas Aquinas, who, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy was a thirteenth century theologian that distinguished the difference between theology and philosophy. Aquinas is often cited by philosophers for this reason. The Stanford Encyclopedia Quotes him saying “… the believer and the philosopher consider creatures differently. The philosopher considers what belongs to their proper natures, while the believer considers only what is true of creatures insofar as they are related to God, for example, that they are created by God and are subject to him, and the like.” (Summa contra gentiles, bk II, chap. 4) The views of Ayn Rand, however, greatly differ, so which Paul Ryan quote do we believe to be his moral compass? How do we know where he stands?
I know this all sounds like I’m picking on the Republican Party, and I promise I’m not. Believe me; I have my issues with Democrats as well. I don’t like how large companies are running this country and the unconstitutional ideas that presents. I feel like the government has created a monster they no longer know how to tame. That being said, I still place the blame on the government. I don’t feel like it’s the job of the people to be sacrificed for the appeasement of this beast created by government and big business. I don’t like how The Checks and Balances system was put into place to keep one branch of government from becoming too powerful, and instead of adhering to that constitutional principle, the branches are going around each other and finding loopholes to the policy. I hate that I feel like I’m voting in vain. I’m disgusted that the corruption this government has achieved has only been attained through standing on the faces of anyone who gets in your way. That’s not my mentality. I loathe the feeling that I get when I use someone to gain a higher position in life. How can something that started off with such good intentions turn into such a disgustingly powerful entity that is has essentially been ruined?
I don't know who I'm going to vote for yet, and honestly it isn't anyone's business but my own, but I know I'm going to have a hard time either way. Right now I don't feel comfortable with either party.
Sorry this is so heavy and controversial, and kudos if you read all the way to the end! 
Love Love Love <3


  1. Kudos to you, Constant Reader. (If anyone reads the comments to your blogs and doesn't know who Constant Reader refers to, they probably DIDN'T read this post all the way to the end because they don't read much at all...)

    It pleases me to no end that the very first time you can cast a vote for President, you have taken the time to do your own fact checking. By this you can infer I have little to no respect for anyone who votes based on political affiliations, bias, bigotry, propaganda, a candidate's hair cut, or how many spin doctors they can afford to buy.

    I remember clearly your visit to Jeff City, and the energy you invested (somewhat recently) in a local politician's bid for office. Yours will be the generation who is best informed, and as far as I have seen on local campuses, the most active in global events since the 60's.

    If everyone your age takes as much interest as you have, the USA you grow up in may actually provide a better life for your children than the one you are living in now.

    1. I feel like my generation is tired. We are just sick of being told what we can and cannot do. That's the reason older generations see so much defiance in our actions. We are doing things the way we want to, because that's our right. We're young and stupid, and frankly we don't care if we're stupid. We just don't want to be told what to do. That being said, I feel it to be my civic duty to inform myself. I don't care what the media says, because it's wrong. It spins things to make it more palatable and news worthy. I don't really like either party, because I don't like liars, and that seems to be a common thread this year.