I know. I know. Never talk about politics. Ever. There is nothing worse than talking with people of differing political views, unless you talk about religion…another faux pas I am all too guilty of doing. Lately, I have found myself in the middle of the battle, and while I don\’t feel like I am super politically savvy, I do have some opinions. Much of this stems from the fact that I am a social scientist, and in the field of sociology there is a strong emphasis on making things better, which often turns to changing the government. Though grassroots organizations make you feel good and can influence top-down entities…the most effective changes come from the top…in many cases the government. So let me get something straight right now. I guess I feel like a moderate…or an independent (don\’t we all?) I can understand opinions from both sides of the spectrum. When I was living in Houston, I was pegged as being ultra liberal. Here in Austin, I am viewed as much more conservative. But despite how many conservative views I have, I can\’t bring myself to truly consider myself a Republican, because when push comes to shove….I don\’t trust people. I know, and I have argued with many people about this, \”businesses are better left unregulated\” and \”consumer demand will cause more favorable outcomes\” and \”businesses would do a better job at taking care of social services than the government\”. I get the argument…it makes sense. The problem is that ultimately, I truly do not believe that companies will do what is in the interest of the people if it does not also make sense on a fiscal level. Money will always come first, and I believe that mentality is at the expense of the people\’s well-being. I don\’t think that businesses are purely evil, either. They serve a purpose and their purpose is ultimately to serve the people. However, when that perspective is lost and it becomes about the money are allowing ourselves to be cogs in the machine instead of the benefited individuals. I can understand what Karl Marx was so upset about and even how this mentality effects a slew of other social injustices, such as gender and racial inequality. So, I lean a little to the left maybe in terms of social programs and I stay far away from the libertarians who want little to no governmental involvement. I feel like that is an extraordinarily bad idea. My real focus is how to make the government more efficient at actually functioning and making real strides in the advancement of our society in not merely a financial way, but in a humane, holistic, healthy way as well.
\”The government does for the people what the people cannot do for themselves.\” – My UTA Government Professor