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As an aspiring writer, I blog about whatever happens to move me at the moment -- though some posts contain serious content, my big-picture goal is to bring a little humor into an often humorless world! Welcome, y'all, and make yourself at home! Please make sure you update your bookmarks!

When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger...Epictetus

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Why I am a Republican

For some reason which I cannot fathom, people seem to not be able to carry on a respectful or decent conversation when the discussion turns to politics. There's nothing worse than people calling other people names because of who they choose to vote for (and, trust me, it won't get you anywhere if you're trying to change someone's mind). But, be that as it may, I've always been honest about the fact that I'm a deadly combination of Republican and Christian. I care deeply about this country and its people. I care about the environment. I care about the price of food and health care and all of those things everyone cares about (or should). I believe that Republicans and Democrats share concern over many of the same issues -- it's in the "fixing" of those issues that we differ.

I came across this quote:

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

I think that quotes sums up much of what I believe. And, by the way, that quote comes from Abraham Lincoln.

Basically, as a Republican, I believe in personal freedom. I don't want the government running my life, telling me what I can or cannot do, including how or when to spend the money I've earned. Republicans, on the whole, believe that people, given the freedom to make a choice, will actually be able to figure things out on their own. We don't believe in a hand-holding nanny state.

I've heard it said many times that Republicans are "pro-war". I guess if you aren't "anti-war" then you must be "pro." I'm not saying that there's no such thing as folks who are pro-war but the average Republican would not call themselves by that term -- we are not jumping up and down, shouting "kill all the bastards". But we do believe in a strong defense and in finishing the job, once it's started. And we don't believe in appeasement. Appeasement is like telling your child to oh, just go ahead and give in to the bully in the schoolyard.
It won't work. It never has

I've also heard some Republican Christians referred to as "evangelicals". What the hell does that mean? I think it's just something the media came up with on a slow day. I certainly don't refer to myself as that nor do any of my Christian friends but, oh, well. At any rate, the constitution says "freedom of religion" not "freedom from religion". There is a difference.

Thomas Jefferson said:

No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened (burdened) in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.

Uh-huh. Oh, yeah. But people take that and screw it six ways to Sunday. It means to me, if you are free to have your religion, then I'm free to have mine (as long as neither is espousing hate or breaking the law). But some folks don't see it that way. Do I believe in the separation of church and state? Yes, I do. But I also believe that any person of faith -- no matter what that faith is -- cannot and, more importantly, should not separate it from the other parts of their lives. If you can, what's the point?

Do I agree with everything the Republican party stands for? No, I do not. Do I agree with some of the Democrat platform? Yes, I do. But I have to make my decision on what I believe in the most. Would I vote for a Democrat? Yes, I would -- and have. But they have to prove to me why I should and most don't and can't.

I think the only reason for getting an abortion is if the life of the mother is in danger. It's not the baby's fault if he was conceived by rape or incest. It's not the baby's fault if she was an accident. However, I also believe that a woman's body is sacred -- and nobody should be able to tell her what she can or cannot do with it. The act and the aftermath are between the woman and whatever higher power she believes in.

On poverty, I give you an excerpt from Neil Boortz (SOMEBODY'S GOT TO SAY IT). Mr. Boortz considers himself a Libertarian:

The poor keep getting poorer because they keep doing whatever it was that made them poor in the first place. Ditto for the rich. There is nothing at all unexpected or unforeseen about the behavior that's responsible for most of the poverty in this country. If you ignore your education, fail to develop a work ethic, do drugs, get pregnant before you're out of high school or before you can afford to raise a child, become a petty criminal, join a gang, hang with what you obviously know to be the wrong crowd, become a drinker, or generally comport yourself like a self-loathing slob, guess what? You're probably not going to make a hell of a lot of money! You're going to end up poor, with nothing to do but work at that minimum-wage job you may find while spending the rest of your time complaining that the government isn't doing enough for you.

I think folks should be responsible for their own actions and that they should not depend on the government to bail them out of every bad situation. However, I also know that some people fall through the cracks. But services like welfare and medicaid were only meant to be a safety-net -- not a lifestyle. But tell that to the third and fourth generations who are still dependent on social programs -- and who have, for all practical purposes, been held captive in a vicious cycle.

There are way too many cases of people behaving idiotically -- and then claiming they weren't aware of the consequences or that something wasn't labeled properly. Like spilling hot coffee in your lap and then being surprised when you get burned. I don't know about you but I'd really hate to admit to not having a basic understanding that hot liquid and human skin don't mix. But, hey, anything for a buck, right?

I'm not a big believer in the saying "it takes a village to raise a child". While family should be involved in the emotional life of a child, why on earth would anyone bring a child into the world expecting someone else to help rear it? You might as well be holding your hand out as you're leaving the delivery room. If you can't handle the expense, don't do it -- and this is true for other things as well, not just children.

I believe wholeheartedly in this statement:

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.

And how does a Republican Christian handled gay marriage? Oh, this is a good one. I know what the Bible says. I know what most organized religions say. Many say, "love the sinner, hate the sin" -- and say that a homosexual must refrain from sinful behavior (in other words, just say no). But I also know what my heart says -- and that is how could I ever desire to keep two people -- who love each other -- from being together? I can't say that. I just can't. The idea of denying love and family to someone who is what he (or she) is because they were born that way just doesn't float my boat. And, oh, yeah, there is the "born that way" or "chose to be that way" argument. I don't know about you but I never woke up one day and said, "well, I think I'll be a heterosexual". I just don't think it works that way. You are what you are. So get married and be happy. But do it just like the rest of us do: in an ordinary, run-of-the-mill kind of way.

My family informs me I'm a gay-hugging, transvestite-loving woman. Oh, yeah?! Well, that's just fierce.

Race relations? Oh, dear God. As long as there are people (of all races) deliberately causing dissension and/or using the "race card", it'll never get any better.

This country is a melting pot and, while each individual is unique, what we all need to do, for the common good, is blend. Seamlessly. It's a dream but one that could happen.

Political Correctness? That needs to take a long walk off a short pier. And folks need to get over themselves. And figure out where they lost their sense of humor. Yes, there is plenty to be serious about but laughter can cure a lot of evils. I don't have much time for folks, as we say in the South, who walk around as if they have a corncob up their butt. I won't expound on that -- let's just say these are people who always look as if they smell something bad but they forget to check their own hindquarters.

Oil -- we've really messed up on this one. We should have been developing new fuel options and building new refineries for the last twenty years. But nobody would listen. We need to become less dependent on oil from other nations. As long as we are, well, they've got us over a barrel. And that barrel is expensive. People need to stop talking and start doing. And, by the way, this ol' Republican drives a hybrid car and recycles heavily.

Global warming -- I'm on the fence about it. There are pros and cons and you can find an "expert" to back any argument. But I will say that I feel like this -- we all need to be good stewards but some things are just a natural progression. Maybe I'm a bit fatalistic but when our time is up, it's up.

Do I believe that a lot needs fixing in this country? Well, duh. There's a lot that needs to be changed, revamped or gotten rid of. But, as with everything, be careful what you wish for. Or who you blame it on. We're all complicit. And there are so many things we need to pull together on, instead of arguing to the point that nothing gets done.

I don't want the government to tell me which doctor I can see or when I can see him (when and if that happens, the quality of medical care will go down -- and the best and brightest who ought to be doctors will opt for another career). I don't want the government regulating every little part of my life -- but they can do whatever they want to keep us safe in the air. I don't care if smoking is banned everywhere, all the time (back to health care, you would not believe how much taxpayer money is spent on smoking-related illnesses -- and, yes, obesity, too). I believe in capitalism -- and that anyone who works hard deserves to enjoy the money they earn. I believe no one is entitled to luxury items -- but if you earn enough to have them, then good for you. Why should the have-nots have what the haves have without working for them? That's called Socialism and I want no part of it.

I recently attended the funeral of my husband's uncle. While I didn't have very much emotional ties to this man, there was one portion of the funeral that had me weeping. That was when Taps was played and the American flag, which has draped his coffin, was folded and given to his widow. The flag was presented "by a grateful nation" in recognition for military service. No, I don't want my husband or my children to serve in the military (but would support them if they chose to) but I am so grateful to those who do. And, anybody who has anything bad to say about those brave men and women, well, don't say it to me. It's the one area where I have zero tolerance.

In closing, I can only say I love this country. For all its faults, the people who come pouring in every day looking for a new life prove that there must be something here almost everyone wants.

As Scottish-born Craig Ferguson so elegantly put it:

This is my first week as an American citizen. It's amazing. Now I can vote in the general election- and for American Idol.

I mean, really, what more could you want?

God bless America!!

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