I had determined to keep the idea of politics out of my blog, but today I seem to be finding myself taking a slight departure from that rule. And while I certainly don’t intend to get up on a soapbox and start preaching my ideals to the masses, I couldn’t help myself from musing at my own political convictions.
Growing up, I considered myself conservative, a staunch republican. Laughing at myself now, I realize I had absolutely no clue what that meant or how to represent that in my life. My, oh my. How things have changed.
Now, I don’t know that I am really a democrat. I don’t know that I am a liberal. I don’t even know if I would be considered independent.
So, now that I have figured out exactly what I don’t know, lets get down to what I do know. I know that I am not a typical, right wing, conservative republican. Not by a long shot. One of the things I have learned about many conservatives is they are very narrow-minded. There is no room for deviation from the standard party-line-of-thought-that-we-all-belong-to-and-must-conform-or-you-are-an-outsider point of view (ok, that was a mouth full). And perhaps that isn’t a fair representation of the conservative crowd as a whole. But, unfortunately, there are many people out there who portray that line of thought and simply make me feel like there is no room for one such as I in the Republican Party.
A few examples:
1 – I am for the death penalty. Certainly not a liberal point of view.
2 – I firmly believe should a man and another man, or a woman and another woman, want to marry, I am not the one to tell them they can’t. Certainly not a conservative point of view.
While one conviction has nothing to do with the other, they are at odds with the standard Political Party beliefs. To many, it seems you cannot be one and the other. There is one way, and no other way, and to believe in both simply makes you undecided and the focus of intentions to sway your wayward opinion to one side or the other.
I don’t know that these are any radical points of view; in fact I am sure they are not. There a thousand people out there who would jump to support either conviction and just as quickly denounce the other. That is simple politics.
What really chafes, and to date I don’t know of any ointments to relieve this particular burn, is they way people are treated for holding to their convictions. I hate religious zealotry and political fanaticism by way of bumper sticker and yard sign. If you live your life by your convictions you shouldn’t need a bumper sticker to be pegged as a certain type of person. It should be obvious. Yet it is the guy in the old VW bus with 8 thousand bumper stickers who quickly yells at me for driving a vehicle that is not friendly to the environment. As far as I know, the emissions from my truck are probably not much worse, if at all, than his dilapidated old touring van. At the same time, the religious zealot with all the “God loves me” bumper stickers is the first to yell at me for having friends who are of an alternative life style. Does God love anyone less simply because they don’t conform to the standard of Christian living?
I fear I might be on the soapbox, if so I apologize. I certainly don’t mean to criticize or condemn anyone for his or her own convictions. Our convictions make us who we are, and how we conduct ourselves. I have mine. I try to hold to them in everything I do in life. I hope, those that know me, know my convictions simply because of me, not because I have bumper stickers on my car and political signs in my yard.
Perhaps, one day, there will be no need for these bumper stickers and yard signs, and the general discontent that comes from opposing views and people who are unable to cope with another person’s opinion. Until then, I will live my life as I see fit. I will respect those that differ from me, and vote according to my convictions, which are mine and mine alone.
That’s who I am. Thanks for tuning in.