Un Cachito de la vida

Un Cachito

Un Cachito de la vida - A little piece of Cameron's life

I have a few articles I want to write that touch on politics, so I thought I'd state some of my views as a prelude.

Those of you who have followed my blogs long enough to have read my last blog, Current Events, will know that I was generally a good, conservative right-wing Republican. Well, in the last several years I have moved decidedly left and now consider myself a center-right moderate.

There are some areas in which I am still decidedly conservative such as small government, fiscal responsibility and social issues such as abortion and gay marriage. However there are other areas in which I strongly disagree with my fellow Republicans and which I feel push me farther away from the GOP (though not necessarily to the Democrats). This list of disagreements includes my positions on illegal immigration, the planet Earth and general intellectuality. Let me expound.

I've become somewhat passionate about the illegal immigration issue in a large part because I have several acquaintances or friends who are legal and illegal immigrants, and have come to understand the issue perhaps a little more than the general populace (which doesn't say much). The general argument of the Right is that the illegals committed a crime coming here and thus have no rights. They opine that we should round up all the illegal immigrants, send them home unconditionally and punish those who employee them. Some even wanted to criminalize the providing of general assistance to illegal immigrants. Now, I can see logic in the general argument - that they are criminals, so treat them as such - but I strongly feel the premise is faulty. It's overly simplistic. If you break the speed limit or jaywalk, does that mean you are a criminal and should be locked up? (Of course not; there are different degrees of breaking the law.) The main problem, per my understanding, is that it is nearly impossible to immigrate legally (I've seen it take years for someone's foreign spouse to get residency). If the situation back home (for instance, in Mexico) is terrible, you are going to want to find a way to better your situation. If the country up north won't let you come legally, you take a lot of risks and come illegally, trying to eke out a living. And let me be clear; it's not at all something I condone, but I do understand the rationale. I also realize there are a lot of problems that come with illegal immigration, but I know many who work very hard, pay taxes without receiving tax-payer benefits, and are an asset to the country.  Plus, a lot of those problems (like identity theft) would would largely be solved by legalizing in some fashion the immigrants. My desire on the immigration issue is to find a way to bring those who are assets into the legal citizenry and deal humanely with all. I believe in a 3-prong approach of making it much easier to come legally (even as a guest worker), make it harder to come illegally (I'm OK with the border fence) and deal reasonably with those who are here. Those who can pass English proficiency tests, don't have criminal records (ignoring of course their immigration status), and in general are a boon to the economy should be put on the path to citizenship, paying any relevant fees. This is similar to what Bush and McCain tried to do and I was in favor of that (although, for skilled laborers I wouldn't require them to go back to their home country first). If you want to call that amnesty, then so be it - I call it an approach that could do a lot to solve the problem.

Wow! That was longer than I had planned, but let's move on to Earth. I don't share Al Gore's conclusion that the planet is on the precipice of doom. I'll agree that it is getting warmer, but my priorities are more on taking care of the planet more than aggressively preventing further global warming. There's definitely overlap between those two ideas, but good stewardship of nature is my focus. Two of my personal hobbies are cycling and scuba diving and I can tell bad air from good and polluted seas from pristine coral reefs. Basically, I want clean air and clean seas. The GOP doesn't have a good environmental record and while there has been some progress, I don't see the Right doing much. On a positive note, Bush did set up an enormous marine preserve northwest of Hawaii which is commendable.

On the intellectuality issue, I feel like the politicians are dismissing any intellectuals as "elitists" and basically trying to pander to the less educated - saying they are the "real America." Well guess what, if you want to progress, you need to learn. Intellectuality, science and higher education should be prized, not scorned. There was a great Op-Ed in the NY Times that talked about this issue.

Posted by charr at 8:45 PM

Reader Comments

While I agree on some of the issues with you, I don't agree on your feelings towards illegal immigrants. Yes, the United State should make it easier to become a citizen. My BIL is from Germany and it took him many years to become a citizen. He did everything legally and almost had to go back to Germany, because my SIL died before everything was finalized. He had to start the whole process over. I highly disagree that they should allow those who came here illegally to just stay. Illegal immigrants cause huge problems in the state that border Mexico. We have to provide free health care and public education to them. While lots of natural citizens have to go without. My kids suffer from the verbal assaults from their children every day at school. Yet the white kids get in trouble and are "racist" if they respond in kind.

As for the environment, I would love to see both parties agree on measure that would benefit those who are trying to clean up the environment. More tax credits for those who use alternative energy sources in their cars and for their houses. Wind, water and solar power should be used more even on a smaller household scale. With proper incentives, big business could cater to a smaller scale. Once it reaches a scale that is affordable for the everyday person, then we will see a bigger difference in the environment.

Ok- how do you feel about the bailout?

Posted by Julie at November 20, 2008 6:58 PM

I won't deny that there are some problems that come with illegal immigration. However, I believe a lot of the problems come from the fact that the immigrants are forced underground. As with you, I do not like that they can have free (costly for taxpayers) emergency room care. But here's the thing - if everyone can be documented, then I think it can be easier to address the problems of health care, etc. and let/make the immigrants pay full taxes. Sending them all home isn't possible IMO.

As for the bailout, it is somewhat of a misnomer. The bill was more of an "Economy Rescue" attempt. it wasn't just giving free money to rich CEOs. I wrote more about my stance here. Basically, I was in favor of it at the time. I'd call myself a fiscal conservative, but also someone who is practical rather than ideological. We were/are in a real crisis and I agreed with SoT Paulson that letting the chief financial companies fail could be disastrous. You saw what happened with the stock market when the House originally rejected the bailout - it had one of the biggest drops ever. Unfortunately, the bill hasn't had a huge difference. It's very possible things could be worse if it hadn't passed, but clearly we're in the worst shape we've been in in a long time and it doesn't look like the Fed knows how to get us out of the hole. At the same time, you can't blame this on one person or one administration. The economy is very much its own beast.

As for bailing out the auto industry? I'm opposed. They need to go into bankruptcy and aggressively renegotiate labor contracts and become a much leaner, intelligent organization.

Posted by Cameron at November 23, 2008 6:08 PM

I generally disagree with the Editorials in the NY Times, but here is one on illegal immigration I mostly agree with:

Posted by Cameron at November 26, 2008 9:08 AM

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