Thinking Out Loud

This post began its life as a comment on Tom's blog, but built up enough momentum to evolve into its own post.

I get the feeling that a lot of people who read this blog believe that I'm a Democrat who became Independent. When, in fact, I am actually a recovering Republican.

Full Disclosure: Was born a Democrat - Began life in the late '60s as the great-granddaughter of immigrants and the daughter of blue collar (union), Catholic, parents in one of the most to-this-day, hard-core Democratic cities in the country. We were THAT Democratic.

However, as a young adult who'd worked for small businesses and witnessed how they struggled to survive I decided that the Republicans - who had not yet overthrown Congress - really were the Party of Logic. I was tired of the Democratic whine, "But it's not FAIR for fill-in-the-blank." Fair. Life is not fair, pal. Get over it.

So I joined the Young Republicans worked on Republican campaigns, met Newt Gingrich, Jack Kemp and Dick Armey (who asked me if I fixed my hair in a typhoon, thankyouverymuch).

I was all ABOUT, "I have supported myself since high school and made something of myself, and by God, so should everyone else."

Until I met people who had to leave high school to support sick parents. People who went to such bad schools they graduated dispite the fact they couldn't spell. People who have been told from the day they were born that they are worthless.

Now I work for a company that provides treatment to kids with emotional and behavioral problems (overwhelmingly the result of parental stupidity and neglect), and you know what? They absolutely cannot help themselves without receiving some help first. It is not unfair to expect them to figure it out for themselves and get a grip, it is unreasonable. And that's not a Republican talking point, so enter conflict number one.

Fundamentally, I don't like what the Republican Party has become. It used to be the party of small government, fiscal responsibility and a strong defense. Since the days of The Contract With America the government has become enormous, intrusive, bullying and irresponsible. Would Roosevelt or Eisenhower even recognize this party? Conflict two.

Also, as a thinking fully-formed adult, I have a problem with Thou Shalt Not Kill. If it is wrong to destroy fetuses, it is wrong to end an adult human life based on a verdict handed down by his or her peers. Possibly based on faulty evidence.

If it is immoral to kill, it is immoral to kill everyone. And don't fall back to the Old Testament when it is convenient for you and get all "An Eye For An Eye" on me. Judge not lest ye... Conflict three.
Also, it has always confounded me that the biblical blueprint for Judeo/Christian Behavior is one of charity, love and compassion, but the Republican party has become The Party of Hate. Help yourself. Me first. Screw the Environment. Spy on your neighbor. Conflict four - The Biggie.

I am not saying that the Democratic Party is without flaws. It's Congressmen, Senators, Governors, candidates and followers are flawed. They're human. I'm flawed. But I just cannot belong to the Party of Hate. Can't do it. Won't do it.
As much as I am saddened that Barak Obama has cheapened the word, I am about Hope. Like Ronald Reagan was about hope. And Abraham Lincoln was about hope.

But the Party of Hope has relocated to the Left, so here I stand in the middle looking in that direction for answers.
I pick on Republicans - not because I don't understand them, but because I understand them only too well - I was one of them - and they let me down.


Tom said…

What you said! Only in my voice! And louder!! It makes it a lot more believable if you yell it! And say dammit at the end!!

alejna said…
Thanks for posting this. I'm really intrigued by the stories behind people's political thoughts. I keep thinking it would be a great project to gather more such stories.
Country Girl said…
I probably should change my name to "Ostrich." I CANNOT reach a conclusion about any of I believe in the death penalty? I dont think so but then again...if you murder one of my kids I will take you down MYSELF. Slowly. With anger that exceeds any ever seen. Do I believe in abortion? I couldn't have one, but check back with me if one of my girls ever shows up pregnant at 14. I have family members who have been in politics in this little corner of the world for years...a seriously Democratic corner...but one of my relatives won a statewide election on a different ticket a couple of years ago. The Democrats mentioned: "It took a Democrat to beat us, on a Republican ticket." NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE. I vote, I must admit, for the person I think can do the most for me and mine. Period. Don't most people?
Anonymous said…
*got goosebumps*

*enthusiastic standing ovation*

I saw your comment on Melissa's about life in Stepford.

That's a very interesting take on the parties. I am still firmly right. I lean left on certain issues - like you with the death penalty for the exact same reason you do, in fact. But, since the left is solidly pro-choice and I don't feel we should kill anyone, I still consider myself a Republican. If the GOP changes the platform to not stand for the unborn, I will become an I or an L, I guess. I agree with what you say about the party. They have left many of us questioning motives, but I would disagree on the hate position. Both parties are hateful in some way. The last several elections, I haven't voted for the candidate I LOVED but for the lesser of two evils. I'm not a straight party follower, mindlessly following is dangerous. I think that is how it might be until the current group of politicians get the boot. It sickens me in a way. I would love to think I was fully behind a candidate, but it just doesn't seem like I will for some time. Although, this year there is one I'm loving. And, being the big time underdog, he stands no chance. He's the doctor, by the way.