Donald Trump has some really thin ice he is treading on in America, and his apathy toward funding science is a major issue people need to address. He refuses to fund research, refuses to give money to NASA, and refuses to keep what Obama had planned for the future with science research. This is a major issue that is inexcusable in the modern world.
Trump needs to recognize the gravity of what he is doing by putting these research opportunities on hold. This means that scientific progress will go down internationally, and the United States could now easily be on it's decline of being an authority on science. He is so short-sighted and caught up on rash promises he made during his campaign that he would dismantle the most important thing you can do to advance technology. Hating to plan for the long-term just because you won't get elected next cycle hurts America in ways that Trump can not wrap his mind around.
By understanding the processes that happen in the world, not only can humans have a deeper and more fundamental understanding of the universe, but we can use those processes to our benefit, and put them into new technologies to help us further growth. Things like solar energy could take off at a huge rate if more funding an attention was put to it, and we could have a much cleaner Earth, and not have to worry about Climate Change. But, unfortunately, Trump has decided to disregard rising temperature and mounds of empirical evidence and instead opt to bolster coal usage (the most harmful of the fossil fuels, by the way) because of protectionist economic policy.
This sort of thing is not new to the political scene, though. Most presidents in the past use this short term approach to politics, and end up destroying the potential America has as a nation. If Democrats and Republicans could unite on some of these issues, they would not have to keep bickering over the small details, and instead focus on America's future. Just because the Rust Belt is failing because less people want to harm the Earth with fossil fuels doesn't make it okay to make America keep using them. Scientists around the globe are afraid of what Trump may do to the international community, and they have a right to be scared.
So, Trump, if you truly want to "Make America Great Again", do it by helping to advance scientific research and technology, and let the fantastic minds in America solve questions we've always wondered. Let those minds use the answers to those questions bolster advances in technology, and make a better life for all people, not just the 49% of America that voted for you.
The secular and religious states may not have much debate today, but before the American Revolution, it was a heated debate between citizens and politicians. People who want the state to support a religion often want the head of the state (typically a monarch or dictator) to hold the values of a religion, and support it through policy. Advocates of a secular state do not want religion in any government, and support tolerance of all religions.
Most of the countries today push secularism because of Enlightenment ideals spread in the 18 and 19th centuries. Countries in the modern world make sure that people have the freedom to practice whatever religion they please, as long as it is not harming other individuals. This may not sound radical to the average person in the 21st century, but basically all of Europe and Asia was founded on Theocracies. In Europe it was mainly Catholicism or Orthodox Christianity, while in Asia it could be Confucianism, Hinduism, or Buddhism. The switch from these theocracies into religiously free places was a dramatic shift in governmental policy.
There are a few countries that still are not secular, most of them in the Middle East. Iran is one of the biggest ones to have religion in government, as the Islamic Shah controls the country. The Shah is a religious and governmental ruler, and has laws that are directly influenced by the Qur'an and Islamic faith. The other big non-secular state is Saudi Arabia, which has Sharia Law in it's laws, making it so that women have to be covered when they go out in public, and heresy against Islamic faith is prohibited.
Theocracy is not limited to Islam, though that is the best example in today's world. To some extent, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) could be considered a theocracy, as it's laws protect the Cult of Personality around Kim Jong Un. Historical examples can be found everywhere, even in Mesopotamia in the first civilizations. Theocracy typically has a negative connotation in America, but the stability and unifying factors of a religious state can not be discounted. There are always benefits and detriments to every type of government, and to remove bias and look at things objectively, you can start to critique the time period you live in, and the government you live under.
The general ideologies of social liberal/conservative make up most of the popular ideas on how a society should run, and what it should value and seek to take care of.
Social liberalism has taken off in popularity, ever since the Women's Suffrage and Civil Rights Movement. Today, in America, most people hold socially liberal ideals. The Founding Fathers held these beliefs, and fought for equality for everyone (eventually).
The core values of a social liberal comes from ideas of equality, acceptance, and social freedom. Typically socially liberal people support gay marriage, and some (not all) join feminist/women's rights movements. Democracy typically either follows social liberalism, or allows it to flourish in countries that include it.
The converse to this ideology would be socially conservative, which holds values of traditionalism more so than progressivism, and value religion, moral behavior, and hierarchy. Several social conservatives would go so far as to call themselves Traditionalist, someone who upholds strict gender roles and has very strict ideas on how people should act. This could even be seen as a form of Confucianism.
There is a big divide in America today, as people debate on what people should value, and due to the 2016 election, many have become radicalized, and many people have switched to Antifa/Ancom (if socially liberal), or traditionalist (if socially conservative). That divide may close in a while, but due to the recent actions of President Trump, I do not see it stopping anytime soon.
This will be my personal opinion, not an objective view of an ideology.
I feel that there are major problems with democracy. Most people in the western world herald it for being the best governmental system, and there are no exceptions when it is taught in schools. To me, there are several different discrepencies within democracy; and republics for that matter. Of course, though, no system is perfect.
For one, people are stupid. You need a very educated populous to have democracies work, and in America, we do not have that. It can be annoying when you see a candidate that is either so obviously corrupted, or not fit to be in public office, win. Democracy incentivizes the politicians and those in power to create an ignorant population, so that they will bend to the will of the ruler.
Tyranny of the majority, or 'mob rule' is a very significant side effect of democratic systems. An example of this is the very split opinion of the American people on abortion. There is no appeasing the people on this issue, and the votes for/against can be as close as 51% vs 49%. In the case of a democracy, the 51% would rule, even though virtually half disagree.
Democracy also fundamentally can not be as efficient as autocratic rule. The time it takes to elect rulers and pass laws through congress is not efficient enough to keep up with the changes that can happen in a country. This can be seen in many countries today, as congressional establishments scurry to update laws and regulation.
Overall, democracy has many faults that are intrinsic to the system. They can not necessarily be solved, and can seriously hurt the people it tries to free. Though it does provide a certain degree of power to everyone, that does not mean that giving that power is a good thing. People do not recognize what they have, and it only makes politicians find loopholes in the system.
Capitalism is an economic system that came about by feudal systems in Europe, and the emergence of mercantilism in the world. There are several different subsections of capitalism, and I will attempt to give an overview of some of those.
In general, capitalism is defined by private citizens owning capital. Capital can be assets, private property, and other things of that nature. Private enterprise is the vessel in which capitalism operates in; where private citizens trade between each other freely.
There are different currencies that can be used within capitalism, and they are typically separated by what they're backed by. Back when the United States of America was set up, we had the gold standard. The gold standard said that our paper money is always backed by a specific amount of gold, and can never go above that amount of gold. This was a way to combat inflation, but has since been phased out and replaced by the Federal Reserve, making our money a fiat currency, or unbacked.
Unfortunately, in capitalism, people are often put down and some have unfair advantages. Wealth inequality is a big criticism from communists and socialists, as they claim the unfair advantages lead to families gaining vast amounts of wealth, and refusing to put it into charity.
Wages are a big part of capitalism, as people work and their employers give them a certain amount of money. The money could be either payed in salary, which is a fixed amount every year/month, or it could be hourly, which is a fixed rate every hour. The minimum wage was set up in 1938 in the United States. This forces employers to, as you guess it, pay someone's wage at or above the minimum.
There are several different sects of capitalism as well. The three main ideologies within capitalism are Keynesian, Austrian, and Chicago/Monetarist.
Keynesian economics came out of the Great Depression, and was developed by John Maynard Keynes. He is considered to be one of, if not the, most influential economists ever. This ideology established the Federal Reserve, and is a very complex and different take on econ, compared to the other two. The general theory he put forth was that during recessions and depressions, aggregate demand, or total spending in the economy, is necessary. There is much more room for subsidies and bail outs in this system, and is the principle theory that is put to use in America today
In the Austrian school, there is a very polarizing theory to that of Keynesian. Where Keynesians advocate for total spending in the economy, Austrians advocate for saving. Austrian economics is the predominant economic school of thought in Classical Liberalism, and ideology that the Founding Fathers mostly followed. In Austrian econ, there is no subsidies or bailouts, they just let the free market run it's course. Most Austrian believe in the "invisible hand of the free market".
Monetarist Theory stemmed from Milton Friedman, an economist who was the advisor to Ronald Reagan, and Margret Thatcher. He advocated for a fixed inflation rate, and open markets. It is kind of a middle ground between Austrian and Keynesian.
Anarcho-Capitalism (AnCap) is a radical ideology that pushes absolute individuality and completely free markets. This ideology is mostly focused on economic issues rather than social, as the social aspect of anarcho-capitalism based around one thing: Do what you want, as long as you do not violate the rights of others.
Some major figures that helped establish the ideology is Milton Friedman and Murray Rothbard. Both are economists, advocating for laissez faire markets; laissez faire meaning 'allow it to be' in French. The term was adopted by Jean-Baptiste Colbert. He is attributed to bringing back France's economy after nearly going bankrupt in the mid 1600s.
Things such as the police force, courts, and military would be completely privatized, meaning that it would be a business instead of a government controlling it. Anarcho-capitalism is pretty obviously a form of anarchism, so there would be no government controlling anything. The ideology is the purest form of capitalism, and private property is a very important tenet of capitalism. Of course, there is not anything stopping someone in a society that follows this ideology from stealing someone else's except for private courts, police etc., so most AnCaps follow the Non-Aggression Principle, or NAP.
The NAP is the only thing close to a moral code in this society, as it states the rights and wrongs of someone's actions. Though most AnCaps do not believe in things such as natural rights, they uphold the NAP as what someone should follow. So, what does the NAP state? For one, do not violate other's personal rights. That means things like violence, murder, stealing and 'initiation of force' onto another person. There are disputes on things such as abortion, intellectual property, intervention, non-humans, and the existence of a minimal state.
The basic economic ideology that Anarcho-Capitalism is the Austrian School of Economics. It is called Austrian because there were several different figures coming from the region of Austria that set up this school of thought. There are no regulations to any business or trade whatsoever, and no central bank, such as the federal reserve. Inflation basically non existent in this ideology, due to the lack of central banking. Taxation is seen as theft, as the state unwillfully takes money from citizens with the threat of imprisonment.
My Thoughts on Anarcho-Capitalism:
Though I am a big advocate for personal freedom, Anarcho-Capitalism is too extreme for me. I feel that the threat of imperialist countries would be too much for a private military, and the justice system would be flawed, or corrupt. The need for a state for protection, education, and justice is something that I feel is required for a functioning society. Plus, in theory, it sounds great, but people would take advantage of corruption and capital gain. Though capitalism is something I agree with, unrestricted capitalism would be harmful to the general population. I also feel that some climate issues would go completely unchecked, and humanity's survival would be at risk. Take Hong Kong for example, it has the most free economy in the world and also the worst air quality. Humanity's survival is more important to me than personal freedoms.
The Republican Party is one of the two major parties in America today. Modern day followers of the ideology follow mostly authoritarian rightist views, which include strict immigration, and supporting the war on drugs and terrorism. A great example of a Republican leader is Ronald Reagan, who was president from 1981-1989. He inspired a generation of young voters, and put in place the controversial reaganomics. The Republican Presidential Candidate for the 2016 race is Businessman Donald Trump, who has said many controversial things in his policies. He advocates for very strict immigration policy, and a bigger military budget to combat ISIS.
Being one of the most popular ideologies in America today, republican policy in my mind is not something I want to follow. I used to follow republicanism, but stopped after a while because of the complete harshness and war-like nature of the leaders of the party. Things like completely stopping immigration from parts of the world is unrealistic and very unconstitutional. Hypocrisy runs rampant in the party, as many claim to follow the constitution while installing several policies into law that go directly against the constitution. Overall I am fine with republican leaders, as they are to the right on the political spectrum, as I am.