Politics are something I never really bothered to pay much attention to, up until a couple years back when my brain slowly started to care about what was going on around me. I am a member of a very Republican family, but when it came time to register, I didn’t know which party was “mine”, so I ended up choosing to register as an Independent. All in all, I managed to shock my family with the revelation that I did in fact I had cast a vote in the 2004 presidential election cycle. However, it was not a well informed vote and likely was “they sound cool” for some of the positions ran for, and in the case of US President, I voted for Kerry because I had a feeling he’d maybe end the Afghanistan/Iraq wars that we were in at the time. Somehow, even back then, I was already sick of them and saw low point to them. Little did I really realize, but I was in a heavy Republican state and there was little chance for a Democrat to win South Dakota in the end. Fast forward to the 2008 election cycle, and I more or less repeated the same thought pattern. I was still not a well informed voter and I once again voted Democrat, as I was caught up in the hype behind Obama. I did do some research though and liked what he had to say about government transparency and helping things with the world wide web. Sadly those didn’t exactly come true.
Since then, I started exploring myself and trying to define my values and what I hope to see out of people and society. It started coming to light that I value independence and self-reliance. I do not believe in relying on the government for everything, and when I do need to rely on it for support of some sort, only doing so as long as I need to, while striving to get back out on my own two legs. I realized that I am actually socially liberal. All of the social issues we seem to make huge deals out of, I ask “why is this an issue?”. As far as I’m concerned, homosexual couples should have equal rights as heterosexual couples. Allowing that to be true is not going to be an issue in my life, and it will help them lead happier and fuller lives. Who am I to say what they’re wanting to do is right or wrong? Who am I to say how they should lead their own lives? This rings true with the rest of the social issues that I won’t list. I’m sure you can think of them yourselves. The other thing I realized is that I am fiscally conservative. The ideas of living within your means and not spending more than you make, make sense to me. Too bad governments have such a hard time with this. Give them a dollar and they seem to manage to spend $1.50, and tap your shoulder to fork over the extra $.50 as well. I am not completely against the idea of taxes, I am against the idea of wasteful spending. When you can’t manage to live within your means, you need to make adjustments. This includes cutting spending needlessly, not just increasing income.
With these realizations in place, it dawned on me that my registration as an Independent was quite fitting, as I don’t fit great with either Republicans or Democrats. There are parts to each side that I agree with, and I feel like a mix-n-match between them. With that, I consider myself to be a Libertarian. Yes, that means I do believe that Ron Paul was a great choice for President in 2012, however, as shown by the voting population, they all didn’t think the same. However, I am not limiting myself to just Congressman Paul, and he’s not the only liberty minded, constitutional abiding, limited government person anymore. There are others who equally deserve support and as time goes on, I hope to throw my support their way. Libertarianism is not just “Ron Paul” despite how some people certainly make it out to be. I do not know who, exactly, I will be casting a vote for in November. I don’t foresee myself voting Romney at all, but I’m hard-pressed to vote for Obama again too. I’m left hoping that Gary Johnson is listed on the ballot once I get there, as he’s another libertarian leaning candidate, and still in the race.
Finally, getting to the point of my post title I am a watcher of both The Colbert Report and The Daily Show. I view it both as sides of the “Two party coin”. I can’t help but interpret The Colbert Report as being “Republican” and know that Colbert is meant to be a parody of Bill O’Reilly. Meanwhile, Stewart is definitely a liberal. Both manage to make me laugh, a lot. The reason being is that both of those parties have a lot to laugh at and mock, if you ask me. Neither half is perfect despite what they may like to think. My perception of The Colbert Report is that it’s much more parody and scripted humor, while The Daily Show is more skewering commentary of news events, mixed with comedy. Jon, I feel, does a good job of calling people, of both parties, on their bullshit, which is why I can appreciate it, even if he does lean quite liberal at times.