Picking up where I left off at part 1, a long time ago, I learned a valuable moral lesson. People who have the most “skin in the game” should have the strongest say in policy matters. When the Roman Empire was building bridges, the government had a policy of making the engineers sleep for three days under the bridge to make sure the engineers did a good job, if not, the bridge would collapse on their heads.
So with that moral principle of “skin in the game,” let me give you a few examples of when we might put it into practice: when bankers come up with new financial models to increase their profits, they should test them with their own money before using “bank funds”, which in truth are the depositors money. When mathematicians and statisticians come up with new algorithms for filtering job applicants or doling out social or medical benefits, they should test them on their family members. When the elite politicians write government policies regarding immigration or abortion, their families should go through the process to feel the direct impact of their policies.
I often find myself at a crossroads between Republicans and Democrats. A Democrat tells me, if it weren’t for us, you would’ve never been able to come to America. A Republican tells me, if it weren’t for them, I would never have gotten a job. A Democrat tells me, if it weren’t for us, you would never have social benefits. A Republican tells me, if it weren’t for us, you wouldn’t be able to open a business, and on and on it goes.
The list of political views below, incomplete of course, shows my preferences and stands on these issues.
1) On abortion, I’ll refer to my moral principle of “skin in the game.” Women should have the strongest say on this issue.
2) On gun rights, seriously, where do you draw a line on this? There must be some limits.
3) On US taxes, It is too complicated it for me to understand it. And frankly speaking, it has become so big that no one can understand it.
4) On social benefits, people cannot pivot at a late age in their lives. The government should do more on that. Before migrating to America, what I expected to find in America, I found in Dubai. Study Dubai’s government and how it takes care of its citizens (small population is not an excuse). As a side note, here is my travel blog about Dubai on that.
5) On LGBT community. I came from the Middle East society that marginalizes minorities in general, let alone LGBT community. The Assyrian communities in countries like America, Canada, and Australia came a long way. Many LGBT members have become more open and accepted within our closed society. LGBT members are “out” and attending Assyrian community parties.
6) On immigration, I’m pro-immigration. I’m an immigrant and witnessed firsthand how difficult is to come to America. Almost all my extended family suffered leaving Iraq. My extended family cohesion is destroyed. I have relatives living in more than six countries around the world. My first cousin spent four years in Syria, and three years in Turkey before arriving in Canada at the age of 40. How can he live and support building a family at this late age without knowing English? I advised him not to come to America.
7) On equality, we don’t have equality and equal opportunities. The government should do more on that. “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” I heard this saying in Arabic thirty years ago in Iraq. The rich acerbically use this proverb against the weak and the jobless, but did they ever think they might need some fishing rods to start with? Did you think I would’ve made it in America without our extended family support?
8) On war, I’m against any war with an exception, I’m for clearing our planet of dictators. I lived under a dictator, and I know what that means. Yes, I have family members who died in vain in worthless wars such as the eight-year war between Iraq and Iran, and the second Iraq war when Iraq invaded Kuwait. But, I’m for removing dictators like Saddam and “little rocket man”.
9) On government, I’m for regulations. America is full of Charlatans. From Bernie Madoff to Lance Armstrong, from Enron to WorldCom, the list is only growing. As for the environment, we need to protect our planet. I came from a third world country where the environment is not a priority. I witnessed the destruction of landscapes, rivers etc.
10) On science/religion, science trumps faith. I am a Darwin evolutionist. I was a creationist. But over time, after extensive reading, and keeping an open mind, I’ve come a long way. And my hope is in science. I cannot wait for gene-editing technology to solve many of our remaining medical diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and ALS.
11) On American foreign policy, Republicans always do a better job. In my opinion, President Jimmy Carter gave the Democrats a bad reputation of being weak. He couldn’t solve the Iranian hostage crisis. Russia invaded Afghanistan in the 80’s, and all Carter can do is boycott the Olympic Games in Moscow. Putin invaded Crimea, and what did Obama do? Boycott the Russian Sochi 2014 Olympics. Have you heard that war lesson “Timing is everything”? If Saddam would’ve delayed his invasion to Kuwait and waited until Bill Clinton was president, Kuwait would’ve been under Iraq’s control for eight years. If John McCain won the presidential election, Putin would not have invaded Crimea.
As a result of all these quick points, am I a Conservative or a Liberal? It clearly shows that I share common ground from both political aisles. I can only say, I’m an evolutionist. I evolve every day through learning and open-mindedness, I came a long way from my Christian fundamentalist values to where I and my Assyrian community stand today on the horizon of progress.
I voted for President Trump but that does not mean I’m Republican nor does it mean I agree with every single decision or tweet. I voted for him just like I would vote for Bill Gates or Condoleezza Rice regardless if they are Republican or Democratic.
Tech companies, and corporate America in general, they have taken to branding themselves with liberal seeming policies, so as to connect with their workers and consumers. So, wouldn’t it logically follow that I could claim association to a political party by voting with my wallet? When I buy Apple, I’m embracing company political branding. Couldn’t I say I have become a liberal when I bought an Apple MacPro. (I’m not sure if iPhones count though.)
In the end, to my friend who inspired me to write this post, and to those Liberals like him, I would like to leave you with this question, if you are trying to change the word “Men” to “Humans” in the Declaration of Independence. Why stop there? Why don’t you change the U.S. Constitution and allow Nationalized Americans to run for the office of the president of United State of America?
* Please take a minute to comment what you think.
* Feel free to share to anyone!