Do any of us really “fit in” (politically speaking)?

I am getting ready to watch the Democrats debate.

I remembered a conversation I had with a dear friend that I had the pleasure of sharing a meal with several times in February. She is pro-choice, pro-gay-rights, an atheist and someone who believes in public investment in things like infrastructure, schools, wi-fi and the like.

And yet: she is a Republican! Our presidential votes have consistently cancelled each other out over the years. Yes, I like her very much and were I single, she’d be on my “I want to date her” list, at the top. No worries; she is also a good friend of my spouse and they like each other too.

Yes, she knows my politics. In private, she said something to the effect that, politically speaking and, on social views, we have quite a bit in common. We do.

Both of us believe in a capitalist economy; we differ on the degree of regulation; both of us agree that no regulation is no good and that too much can be smothering. Both of us are big on personal responsibility; the personal decisions that one makes can affect one’s future. Both of us agree that merely “wanting to have kids” isn’t a good enough reason to have them; it is the parents’ job to provide for the kids! And many who are having kids shouldn’t be having them (I disagree with my spouse strongly on some of these issues).

And yet I vote Democratic; I am willing to tolerate a few slackers and deadbeats (and they ARE there) in order to help those who need it and those who have made mistakes, and there is evidence that poor kids who get SNAP and other benefits are LESS likely to need them as adults than those who don’t.

I call myself a “spreadsheet” liberal and I distinguish the individual from the aggregate; I believe that a large group of people in poverty will, statistically speaking, make more bad decisions than those who are not in poverty.
As some say: “poverty makes you stupid” and I was fortunate enough to be born to responsible parents; I did nothing to “deserve” that.

And so it goes; our country has a two party system, but in some ways I am closer to some of my Republican friends than I am to my Democratic voting friends.

And yes, my Republican friends are right about some things: SOME liberals are those who want society to clean up after their own personal choices and mistakes. SOME…certainly not all.

So, there are dumb irresponsible Democrats and smart, responsible Republicans. And vice-versa.

And as far as politicians, I am NOT one of those who thinks that all of our candidates suck; I actually think that Hillary Clinton would make a good president. I see her as smart and knowledgeable and someone who shares my values.


March 7, 2016 - Posted by | political/social, politics |

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