There Is No Black and White in Politics
Okay, I am going to do the unthinkable today. This is just me, and I am going to wax political. I am not going to talk about who is right and who is wrong, because nobody is. Not going to bash any group of people or any belief system, because they are all important. I am simply going to share my personal stance on some of the key political issues today.
Why? Because people keep asking.
I don’t mean that anyone is specifically reaching out and saying “Hey, Christine, tell us what you think…blah blah blah…” That would be as silly as asking the Dixie Chicks what they think. Who cares what they think? Who cares what Sean Penn thinks? Shut up and sing! Shut up and act! Nobody should really care about anyone else’s personal politics except their own, and the politicians that they are electing to represent them. I mean, seriously. Who gives a fat rat’s ass what Lindsey Lohan thinks about taxation? She doesn’t even pay tax on her jewelry……Steal me something cute, Linds.
Everywhere I turn, I see people posting vicious political rhetoric on their Facebook pages, and Tweeting up a storm about the Dark Side—which is whatever side they oppose. Statements such as “How could a woman or a homosexual vote Republican?”, or “How could a God-fearing Christian vote Democrat?” What usually follows is just more psychobabble from the writer’s friends that are nothing more than stilted, biased rants with no real thought put into them. Statements such as “they are just misinformed, mindless lemmings….” Apparently in these peoples’ minds, you cannot both be informed AND still have an opinion different from theirs…No acknowledgement that someone else’s belief system may have some validity.
And for me, the need to provide some rational input to such an inquiry is the same as asking me what I think….
At a time when most people are demanding a decrease in party politics from their elected representatives, We, The People, seem to be more polarized than ever.
Just the very nature of the questions posed above indicates a drive for a black and white answer, when there isn’t one to be found. “How could a woman vote Republican?” Because there is more to her than her reproductive system. She may also be a small business owner. A doctor. A devout Catholic. All of these things will also influence her vote. A woman doesn’t vote with her vajayjay—she votes with her brain, her heart, her pocketbook. Same as everybody else.
We are a diverse country, and no two of us is exactly alike. We are, ALL OF US, each shaped by many things:
Upbringing—how we were raised
Nationality—where we are from
Ethnicity—our ethnic makeup
Religion—our spiritual beliefs (or lack of)
Sexuality—how we affiliate as heterosexual, homosexual, and anywhere in between
Gender–male, female, transgendered, hermaphrodite, etc..
Career—blue collar, white-collar, pink collar, type of industry
Level of Education
Status as a Parent
Status as a Caregiver
Disabilities (or lack thereof)
And many, many other personal characteristics and experiences.
What that means, for example, is that just because someone is gay, doesn’t mean that the topic of gay marriage is the most important to him/her. If he is also a Doctor, he may be more concerned about how Healthcare Reform will impact his patients and his ability to provide quality care to them.
But I cannot speak with certainty to what drives anyone else’s vote, except mine. So here is my answer to the persons who asked me, without asking, “How could a woman vote Republican?”
I am a Republican, and I am a woman. But I am also many other things:
I am a mother to two children. This means that I have zero tolerance for violent and sexual crimes against children. If you kidnap, rape, or murder a child, you are the most vile of criminals. Statistics have proven that you will do it again. And probably again. You are likely not going to rehabilitate in prison. I don’t really care that you grew up poor, abused, or neglected. Lots of people did, but they don’t look at a small child and see a sexual object. And although prison is a brutal place, and it does give some measure of relief knowing what will happen to you in the prison shower, I am okay with you being dead. Forever. Oh, that there was a fast lane to the gas chamber.
I am a homeowner. I am in the socioeconomic bracket generally considered to be upper middle class. Like many, I struggle from time to time to make ends meet. But my husband and I work to earn our paychecks, and are proud of what we have. To see more and more of my tax dollars going to support people who can work but choose not to is sickening. And no, that isn’t hooey, or gobbledygook, that’s reality. In my career in Human Resources, I have countless times had to fill out welfare paperwork for employees who earned $10-12 an hour. But what those forms don’t include is the fact that those employees have lived with the father of their children for 10 years, and he makes $75,000 plus. There is true need for social welfare programs, but the abuses are crippling the system. We can choose to either fix the abuse, or increase the burden on taxpayers to keep funding the abuse. If you were funding the program with checks from your own bank account you would choose to fix it. Guess what? You are funding welfare abuse with your bank account, every time you get a paycheck with more federal tax taken out of it. And I also believe that if I have to pass a drug test to get a job, then you should have to pass one to collect the welfare checks that my job pays for. That isn’t hate. It’s common sense.
I am a Catholic. But guess, what? That has nothing to do with any of my political preferences, because I don’t believe that religion has a place in politics. However, I do believe that taking away students rights to voluntarily pray in school is a misapplication of the Constitution. To do away with invocation before games and graduation ceremonies bastardizes what our founding father’s intended. They wanted to create a state where people were free from religious oppression, where they could openly practice the religion of their choice. Freedom OF Religion, not Freedom FROM Religion…That means that the Government itself should not adopt or espouse any religious platform. It does not, and was never intended to mean, that people should individually be censured from publicly practicing their beliefs. Over 90% of the population of the United States believes in a higher power. Less than 5% of the population is Atheist, yet the 90% cannot voluntarily pray, lest they offend the 5%. All of us have been treated in a way or called something that hurt our feelings. We don’t write laws to keep people from getting their feelings hurt every time someone looks at them sideways. The pandering to whiners has long been out of control. Voluntary prayer in school should be made available to those that wish to take advantage of it. If you don’t want to hear, suck it up Buttercup, and let the 90% that do pray for a minute. Gee, sensitive much? Put on your big boy britches, for Pete’s sake. I would have said “for God’s sake”, but apparently your delicate nature can’t handle it. You can still call me a BITCH. I don’t like it, and I don’t think it’s true, but I don’t think there should be a law against it. I can handle reality.
This does not apply just to how Government treats religion, it also applies to how religions treat each other. Christians cry “foul” when some in their ranks are referred to as Christian extremists, but they in turn condemn all Muslims as terrorists and jihadists. You cannot demand religious freedom for yourself while condemning the religious freedoms of another. We cannot truly and peacefully coexist in this world until all religious groups learn to tolerate and respect that other belief systems are just as important to the people who believe them.
I am a Wife. I was fortunate to meet and marry my soul mate. I love him, even when he has gas, lays around on the couch instead of helping with housework, and watches the Spurs play 3 nights a week during basketball season. I cannot imagine life without him. I can’t imagine being denied the privilege of being married to him just because someone else didn’t approve. I can’t imagine us not being able to visit each other in the hospital, or having it understood that one’s estate would automatically pass to the other in the event of death. I can’t imagine raising my kids with anyone else. I can’t imagine being told that my love for him is wrong. Some of the best people I know are gay. I want them to have the same things with their chosen mate that I have with mine. I know this will cause ripples with the people who just read above that I am Catholic. If they were trying to force churches to allow them to marry in the same churches whose religious tenets condemn homosexuality, I would feel differently. Because again, Government has no place in religious business. But for me, this is not a religious issue. They are not trying to get married in churches that don’t support them. And they don’t care if it’s called Marriage or Frederick…They are just fighting for the right to be legally joined to their life partner, and to enjoy the same legal protections, benefits and rights that straight couples have. Why would we not support laws that gave them those rights? There are only two reasons.
1) Religious beliefs–see above—government doesn’t belong in religious business
2) Bigotry—if the thought of homosexuality just makes you sick, or scares you, or you just can’t understand it, and you have no religious basis for such, you might be a bigot. That’s okay. In this country we are free to hate whomever we wish. But doesn’t it make sense that we should be able to love whomever we wish, also?
I am Free, for now. And am proud of the freedoms we have in this country. Freedom to speak out against injustice, freedom to dissent against popular opinion, and freedom to be me. But with that freedom has to come the understanding that others are free too, to be themselves. We cannot pick and choose who can speak freely and who can’t, simply because we don’t like what someone else stands for. If the CEO of a restaurant chain wants to financially support a Christian charity or a pro-family group because that’s what his deeply held religious conviction compels him to do, then he should not be vilified for it. If the gay community wants to protest his choice, then they have to be free to do it. But for politicians to insert themselves in such matters is inappropriate, and is an abuse of their power. Whatever you believe in passionately, there are people out there who just as passionately DO NOT believe in it. You must both be free to believe what you wish. Freedom of speech must apply to all, or eventually it will apply to none. Next time you hear someone blabber-mouthing out loud an opinion you despise, try to relish for a moment the fact that he has that right, because you do too.
I am the daughter of a business owner. And I have been a business owner myself. MY DAD DID BUILD THAT! I recognize as simple logic what liberals dispense as folly. Each individual person has the same access as the next to be successful. All it takes is the hard work that far too few people are willing to do. When government puts too large a burden on small business owners in the form of higher taxes, obtrusive regulations, mandatory benefits, the people who suffer the most are the very people the government thought to help. As a small business owner, if I have to pay more tax, or shell out more money in benefits, I am going to find the money to do so in one of three ways: by passing the increase on to the consumer, by cutting staff, or decreasing wages. Nothing is free. If you don’t take care of your business it will, and should, fail. Same should go for big business. No business is too big to fail, and should not be bailed out. Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill because corporate leaders didn’t take responsible care of their business. When a big company fails, then there is opportunity for other, small businesses to succeed. When the government bails out another big corporation, the law of natural selection is disrupted.
I am an American. And that means that like most people, my people were not actually from here. Well, some of my people were from here. Part of my heritage is Cherokee. That is the only part with God-given right to be here. The rest of me had to get the right to be here the legal way. There is no mystery why someone would want to come to the United States from most other places in the world. The lure of the American Dream is strong. The freedoms and wealth that we enjoy in this country are easy to take for granted, but to someone from another country, the appeal is great. Freedom from government tyranny and oppression, freedom to determine your own financial success, freedom to speak up, to vote, to be educated, to worship the God of your choice. My people came here from Germany, Ireland, and England to find their piece of that dream. They registered legally, and worked hard to earn their slice of pie. I fault NOBODY for wanting to be here, but believe that everyone should follow the proper legal channels to be here. Laws exist for a reason, and should be enforced consistently. We should not be picking and choosing which laws to recognize, and which not to. If you don’t have documents from the American government that say you can be here, then you should be subject to whatever consequences exist for breaking the law you are violating.
I am a woman. That means that I was born with amazing power. I can almost hear Spiderman’s uncle saying it now “But with great power, comes great responsibility….”
Women have the power to create and nurture a new life. From the moment it begins inside of her, until it is a fully functional adult—somewhere between 18 and 30 years, depending on how good a job she does—she has tremendous responsibility. All along the way, she makes choices.
There may be times when she has very little, or even no choice in her reproductive path. Crimes such as rape and incest are two examples. Others include ectopic pregnancy, and other at-risk pregnancies that place her own life in grave danger. In these cases, since she has no choice in how she got in the predicament in which she finds herself, she should be able to choose whether or not to continue her pregnancy.
But under normal circumstances, she will have many opportunities to choose. She makes a choice as to when and under what circumstances she will engage in sexual activity. She will make a choice as to whether or not her sexual relationships can be casual encounters, or should be reserved for mutually exclusive and loving relationships, or will exist solely within the confines of marriage. She will choose whether or not to use birth control, and if so, what kind she will use. Each of these decisions carry different types of consequences, and represent differing levels of responsibility in decision-making. Eventually, almost all paths will lead to pregnancy. If she has made responsible choices, this will be a happy time. If she has made irresponsible choices, it will be a time of fear, anger, confusion, and inner turmoil. I know, because I have been there. I chose to take responsibility for my past irresponsibility, and I chose. I chose LIFE. Given all of the opportunities along the way to make responsible choices, I do not see how killing an unborn child has become such an easy remedy for irresponsibility. There is no need to debate at what stage life begins, because at present, a woman can get an elective abortion so far into her pregnancy that her baby could have lived had it been born and given proper medical care. And for no other reason than she doesn’t want to have a baby. This is what Liberals call “Choice”, and why most of them question “how a woman could be a Republican”. I think that the ease at which a woman can get an abortion now has actually robbed women of their ability to choose. Choice implies a thoughtful decision be made between two choices. Abortions are so easy to procure, and so commonplace among youth, that they have become an almost robotic response to an unwanted pregnancy. No thoughtful choice involved.
As a Republican and a woman, I say her choice not to have a baby should have been addressed earlier on, like when she responded to a booty call at 3:00 am, or forgot to take her birth control pill 3 days in a row. At the point that her irresponsible choices lead to the inevitable, if she does not wish to be responsible even then, she can still CHOOSE. She can choose to give up her baby to one of the many childless couples who weren’t lucky enough to have one of their own.
A woman who truly knows the value of the power she possesses should respect it, and use it properly.
So, in the end, I vote Republican, because of all the topics important to me, the Republican platform more closely represents my personal values. If you are finding yourself angry right now, and wanting to debate, un-follow, defriend, or unlike me, then you have missed the point entirely. No two people anywhere are going to feel exactly the same about every conceivable topic that needs consideration. And that diversity is what makes our country great. There is no black and white.
All of us live and vote in shades of gray.