I don’t think I’ve ever discussed my personal politics on this blog. I have them, but either I am surrounded by people who share my beliefs or I’m in a situation where politics is just not appropriate. I’m not one of those people who constantly lets everyone know where I stand on issues. But sometimes they come out. And when they do it’s usually because I feel very strongly about an issue. So, let me tell you a little bit about me…
1. I am political. I think on some level we all are. It’s just that some people don’t feel comfortable discussing their thoughts. Or maybe it’s because they don’t know how. Being political and staying active in the running of this country is the only way to secure democracy and freedom for ages to come.
2. I am an American. I believe in the power of our government to grow and evolve. To create a better place for our children and our children’s children. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world (visit, sure, but not live).
3. I am a patriot. I support America as a country. However, I also recognize when we are wrong. I don’t naively think that America is the only important nation in the world. I also do not think everyone else is out to get us. That type of thinking leads to wars and lost lives. I believe in patriotism, not nationalism. Look up the difference.
4. I am a supporter of the President. Whoever he or she may be. I may disagree with the current President’s policies, but I will support the office of the Presidency. If you don’t like the current administration, get out and vote. Get involved in campaigns. Raise or give money for various campaigns. Or run for office yourself. Once a person is elected, it is our duty to work with that person to create a better America.
5. I am a believer in federalism. Let’s not forget that our government has three branches at the federal level (judicial, legislative, and executive), but also has levels of federalism (national, state, and local). Each section of our government has different duties laid out in the Constitution, state constitutions, and local charters. Crossing those lines destroys the fundamental layout of our government. Some issues, such as education, should be left to state and local levels. Others, such as treaties and wars, should be left to the national level. I am disheartened by the mixing of duties and expansions of power at every level. Let’s get back to the basic structures outlined in the Constitution.
6. I am a believer in an ever evolving Constitution. I do not believe that the Founding Fathers expected us to read the Constitution literally, word for word. It was meant to be a dynamic document. They wisely included a way to change the Constitution: amendments. Of course, they made it difficult to get an amendment approved. The time and effort required allows the population to determine all sides of the issue presented and decided yes or no.
7. In general, I am somewhere on the political spectrum. Everyone falls somewhere. We all have differing views on issues and components of the government. And yet, I don’t always feel comfortable identifying as liberal or conservative, democrat or republican, left or right. We’ve gotten so mixed up when it comes to those terms. Each one carries a weight that I don’t feel represents me.
8. Therefore, I am a multi issue voter. I refuse to vote party ticket in any election. I want to examine the current issues. I want to examine the current candidates. Then I will make my decision. Please don’t pigeon hole me as a one issue voter or a category (women, young voter, middle class, etc).
These being said, there are a few general issues that I will always stand up for.
9. I am a believer in civil equality. Every citizen deserves equal treatment under the law. Segregating the population by any means is detrimental to civil equality. That being said, I believe in same sex couples being able to marry. I believe in all people having the opportunity for a free and equal education. I believe in addressing the citizenship issues of illegal aliens and their children. We are of one race, humanity, let’s start acting like it.
10. I am for privacy rights. While I enjoy many of the programs created by the government (police departments, libraries, international trade agreements, legal system), we should still value our privacy and individuality. The biggest issue right now is in regards to contraceptives and abortion. Not matter where your morality stands, these are privacy issues. When we cross the line of telling any women what she can and cannot do with her body, we are creating a police state a la 1984. I don’t want to live in that world. And I bet you don’t either. The slippery slope toward an autocratic society is privacy issues.
11. I am not a supporter of legislating a religious morality. I am all for people making personal decisions when it comes to their personal lives. Feel free to live your religion or morality. The Constitution gives you that right. But the other part of that amendment allows for freedom against religion, government mandated religion. All of these current candidates spouting promises to follow Biblical law in their hoped for offices scare me. I don’t want Biblical law governing me. I want a consensus of laws decided on by the populace. We are not all Christian. We are not all agnostics. We are not all Muslim. We all not Hindu. Etc. We are a collection of peoples, beliefs, and lifestyles. And yet, we can agree on basic laws to protect the population. Just don’t use the Old Testament as your campaign promise. Have your read some of those Biblical laws? I didn’t realize that we could pick and choose which ones to follow. I assumed that the Bible was supposed to be taken word for word. According to the candidates, homosexuality should be made illegal, but adultery is okay… Right….
After getting all doom and gloom there, I want to end with two affirmations.
12. I am a human being. I like to be treated nicely. I will treat you nicely. No one deserves second class treatment. I am of the traditional ruling class of middle class European descendent. And yet, I experienced a lack of courtesy in many situations. I am a woman. I am (was) a single mom. I am (was) poor. I was a left-leaning person in a very right-leaning town. Every time I was put down or placed in a lower position, it hurt. I want to find commonalities between us, not differences. Let’s work together.
13. I am hopeful for the future. As cynical or pessimistic as I may be in my daily life, my future outlook is always hopeful. I want the best. I want to improve. I want to leave this world a little bit brighter for my descendants. Look to the future. Deal with issues in the present, but always with an eye to the future. Somehow politics has changed the orientation to reminiscing about the past. That’s no way to create a better world. Hope for the future.