Someone suggested that we "vote" for ideas instead of party, and I initially dismissed that as nearly unworkable. We have a representative democracy for a reason. However, when someone suggested that there are similarities between the parties or there are differences, I'm struck by how confusing those "similarities" or "differences" really are. The news and pundits are constantly comparing liberal ideas to conservative philosophies. Pick an issue, any issue/problem. What do the Democrats or liberals want to do to deal with the problem? What do the Republicans or conservatives want to do to deal with the problem? Health Care. Social Security. Medicare. Military spending. Military engagements. Deficit and Debt. Job creation. Education. Environment. Trade deficits. I can tell you exactly what I would do on any one of those issues, and many more. I can tell you exactly what most of the elected democrats would do on most of those issues if given free reign. What I can not do it tell you exactly what the republican elected officials would do. I say this not to bash the right or their ideals/philosophy, but to express some frustration with the lack of specificity in ideas. I've been called many names because I agree with many of the ideas put forth by the democrats. Just because I support an idea does not mean I have a specific philosophy or ideal you attribute to that idea. What's funny is that I'm kind of liberal, but I'm also kind of conservative. I have some radical views, and some very mainstream views. In other words, I'm just a normal, average, every day American. What frustrates me is that right now, I see problems that we need to deal with. I see escalating health care costs that have been getting worse and worse for decades. Everyone knows and agrees that there is a problem. The liberals have suggested everything from UHC to single payor to the 1993 Republican Health Care Plan (aka Obamacare). Other than tort reform, buying across state lines and repeal, I don't know what republicans would do to deal with this particular problem. That same confusion goes for many issues. --------- Is keeping tax rates exactly where they have been for several years addressing an issue or will it cause anything to happen (in either direction)? "Letting the free market sort it out" is not a specific solution for problems that the free market is not sorting out. Privatization is great for specific tasks where profit motive can spur on innovation, but it is not a specific idea; and, isn't serving the interests of all Americans the purpose of government, and wouldn't it be bad to subject that purpose to a profit motive or the personal desires of individuals who happen to have more money than their neighbors? ---------------- What I'm curious about, and would like to consider, are alternative ideas for dealing with our problems. I'm fairly familiar with the ideas from the left, and with the new "tea-party" influenced congress, I'm really curious about specific conservative ideas. They don't have to be proposed, just an alternative to what's proposed by the liberals. Idea vs. idea would be a nice change of pace. I'd love to hear conservative ideas from other liberal posters, but then again, I have no idea what ideas would be conservative anymore. Cap and trade and Obamacare were both conservative ideas, and now are not. Interesting reading: 2008 Republican Platorm (edit) Compare the level of detail that to what they have now. GOP On the issues (Why is GOP.com not the top (any) result under a google search of 2010 GOP Platform or 2010 Republican platform)?