With this being an election year, and many people being less than enthusiastic about the choices from the Republicans and the Democrats, and not having enough information on the various third party candidates, I have a question for all of the average citizens that read this.
If you were to find (or start) your ideal political party, what would be the core values of that party? What platforms would they strive for? What would be most important to them?
There are no wrong answers in this exercise, as people having the freedom to have differing politics is part of what makes this nation great.
Personally, while I may be a registered Libertarian, I don't agree with all of the views of the Libertarian party. While the Libertarians are the best suited for my politics, they are not ideal for me. If I was to create the ideal political party for me, this is what the core values would be:
Economy: Above all else, individuals and businesses alike should be 100% accountable for their own successes and failures. If a financial institution made poor financial choices, and found themselves failing, it'd be up to them to either correct the problems or go out of business. By the same right, if an individual finds themselves making poor financial choices, it is their own responsibility to do something about it. The individual responsibility leads me into the next core value.
Education: Educational standards are the one thing that I feel should be regulated on a Federal level, and to standards at least as high as countries like Japan. An educated public is a public that is able to take care of themselves. I do believe firmly in public subsidies for education, making it cheap, if not completely free for any citizen or legal alien that should desire to take advantage of it. If a person is finding themselves unable to find a decent job because of their educational level, they should not be made to feel that education isn't an option because they can't afford it. Education, through at least a four year degree level, should be available to everyone, regardless of financial means. A high standard of education is the single most important step to a booming economy and a successful nation.
Military: The military should only be used for one purpose, and one purpose alone: to protect our great nation. We should not perform preemptive military strikes on the grounds that a foreign nation might do something. The last just war fought by the United States of America was World War II - and if you've read your history, we tried to stay out of it - we were no longer able to stay out of it after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Using the military in exclusively a defense role would greatly reduce our military budget and keep our soldiers at home - where they're happiest and most needed (by their families). The reduced funding for military could translate into greater funding for education, lower taxes for the American public, or capital to start helping to pay down the national debt.
Federal Drug Enforcement: Legalize it all. With the removal of the DEA from the list of government agencies, billions of dollars a year would be freed up for better use. Instead of prosecuting people for drug sales or use, educate them about the dangers of drug use and offer free rehabilitative services. The benefits of doing this are many. First, as previously mentioned, billions of dollars a year would be freed up for other uses or reduced taxes - even after figuring in the costs of drug education and rehabilitation. If drugs were legal, they'd likely be far cheaper, and would alleviate much of the drug-related crime. Very rarely do you hear about someone getting mugged for money for alcohol. Someone getting mugged for money for heroin or crack is something that happens hundreds or thousands of times a day.
Abortion: Not the government's decision. Abortion is a decision made by an individual (and sometimes two individuals) about a woman's own body. No man is qualified to tell a woman what is right for her own body. Abortion should remain legal, and a woman should have the right to choose, based on her own feelings on the situation. The right to choose is not a pro-abortion standpoint. It is a pro-woman standpoint. Many individuals will likely remain completely pro-life, and that is their right to do so. Many others will contemplate abortions if the need arises, and that is their right to do so. No person on this planet has the right to force a person to do what they do not want to do.
Religion: Let's take it back to the Constitution. The First Amendment - the single most important law in the land - so important that our founding fathers chose to make it the FIRST law of the land - guarantees the right to freedom of religion. This means that my religion is not your religion, which is not someone else's religion. Every single person in this country is free to practice any religion they want to, or even no religion at all, without being persecuted for their beliefs. Making laws based on faith is something that will never work in the long run, simply because everyone's faith is different.
Immigration: Let's not lose sight of the melting pot idea that America was founded on. People from all nations should be welcome here. That said, the number of illegal immigrants rises daily. Illegal immigrants put a lot of strain on taxpayers through all sorts of various means, including social programs, crime, and public education. The reason that there are so many illegal aliens in this country is because of the absolutely insane maze that they must traverse to try and become legal citizens (or at least legal aliens). Let's simplify the process, and make it easier for those that would be valued citizens of the US to become legal citizens, and make it easier for those that want to work in the US to get a green card or work visa. While screening of applicants would still be a necessity - to screen out those that may be a drain on the system, such as potential welfare recipients or criminals - the process could be greatly simplified for those that truly wish to be a productive member of society - making the naturalization process take only a year or two and making the process to get a work visa or green card take only a matter of weeks. Immigrants aren't the problem - most Americans are only 3-4 generations from immigrants themselves. Illegal immigrants are the problem. The complexity of becoming legal is what makes for so many illegal immigrants.
So, after my description of the perfect political party...