It appears that in the upcoming elections in November, polls show a tie between Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer and Republican Party candidate Carly Fiorina. When I read this, I thought this in and of itself is pretty crazy as I thought California is at least in the 21st century a solidly Democratic state. But, it gets even more unbelievable, so I kept the article in the back of my mind to share.
The Los Angeles Times summarized some "key points" of a debate held on Wednesday between the two.
Assault weapons ban: Fiorina restated her opposition to the federal assault weapons ban, saying the law is vague and ineffective. "We have loads of laws, and most of the time, criminals are breaking those laws and we are curtailing citizens' lawful rights to carry guns," she said. "The assault weapons ban is extremely arbitrary about what qualifies as an assault weapon."
Now, I've been a registered Republican since I was 18 except in 2008, where I switched to independent for the presidential primaries in California, but say what? "Assault weapons ban is extremely arbitrary?"
(I very much wanted Obama to win, so much so that I made international friends watch Obama's acceptance speech when he nominally won the general election in 2008... there was a lot of American flags on that broadcast... when you're excited about something you genuinely want those around you to be excited about the same thing as well...)
Anyways, why on earth is there a need to repeal the assault weapons ban or even talk about it. There's no way that the assault weapons ban will be repealed in California and I don't know exactly where this Republican candidate lives, but if I'm in suburban Los Angeles I buy meat at usually Ralphs. If I'm in Northern California, I buy my meat at Safeway (I think Vons bought out all the Safeways in Southern California. I remember seeing them as a kid and I thought they were a relic of the past until, well, I ventured north.) But, anyways, I usually buy my meat at either Safeway or Ralphs, and definitely don't go out and hunt my dinner. So, where is this candidate from?
I also don't worry about bandits coming over from a nearby village and robbing me... In my hometown, I do get uninvited and unwanted door-to-door solicitations once in a while though. I think visitors from the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints stopped by a while back. There's a significant Mormon community in my hometown. On the other hand, girl scout cookies are pretty good. This district, by the way, is also represented by a Republican congressman.
So, what on earth are these candidates talking about? Apparently, the article also covers the politicians' respective positions on some other key issues... global warming (whether one believes it, though Prop 23 does look like a substantial issue), abortion, gays in the military, same-sex marriages, what stem-cells should be used for research... The issue of the economy seemed relegated to the mere parisan litmus test that has become of President Bush's tax cuts, which by the way seems to me at least have been enacted for purely "ideological" reasons and also a little bit out of hubris and spite.
Talk about a disconnect.
Oh and for those that read this. I'm not sure where I stand on the political spectrum anymore, but I do believe more strongly in equality of opportunity and working hard than on equality in outcomes. This extends only to the point where everybody should have the opportunity to say, go to school, but not where there I think there should be rigid quotas along socioeconomic classifications determined by government or by abolishing standardized (and to some degree coachable) test results that studies may suggest show are positively correlated with income.
But, on issues, I like the status quo on abortion, think the defense department should have the final say on who they want in the military, same sex marriages are not marriages, all stem cells should be used for research... But, these are purely social issues that don't really affect each and every person in Calfironia.. I guess there is where the disconnect comes in...
And, I'm against President Bush's tax cuts which seemed to be an exercise in Republican hubris more so than anything else.