Politically BiPolar

I figure I have now spent two days ranting about politics on a wellness website, so what’s one more, right?

Today I find myself processing all the cheers, jeers, and sarcastic comments that  have shown up in various Facebook posts of friends and acquaintances regarding the outcome of the elections. Around these parts, there’s a real hodgepodge of opinion. My county has traditionally been hard-core Democrat, yet recent years have seen a major shift to the far right as the Republican party has finally grabbed a foothold (and a noose) around our citizenry. It seems someone decided that the only way to be a good Christian is to be a good Republican, and that ideology has spread like Swine Flu in these parts.

I used to consider myself staunchly conservative, definitely leaning toward Republican ideals, yet defiantly independent, because that’s just how I am. I scoffed at the high school political science teacher who suggested that I was actually a closet Democrat and just hadn’t figured it out yet.

Ugh….I so dislike it when other people know me better than I know myself.

So this morning, my question becomes

What Am I?

Am I a Democrat now, complete with the notorious higher taxes, big government beaurocracies, and social programs out the anus?  Or am I still a conservative Republican with it’s trickle down economics, big business, war machine, and strong second amendment support?

Honestly, I’m none of the above. I don’t know that there is a party that can contain what I value.

So what do I value?

I value compassion.

I value live and let live.

I value keeping my money and donating it where I see the need.

I value good roads.

I value keeping the government and big corporations out of my way.

I value separation of church and state.

I value freedom of choice, especially where MY BODY and MY CHILDREN are concerned. When and if I choose to be a guinea pig for the pharmaceutical companies, I will let you know.

I value human life.

I value protecting those who can’t protect themselves.

I value freedom of choice. (Did I say that already?)

I value a balance between feeling safe and having personal freedom. If forced to make a choice, I’d lean toward freedom over safety.

I value personal responsibility, not legislated morality.

I value giving people a chance to stand on their own two feet without yanking them up by their bootstraps and giving them a wedgie in the process.

I value helping people toward independence rather than perpetuating dependence.

I value education that encourages entrepreneurship and creative thinking rather than creating compliant robots ready to spend their lives making someone else wealthy.

I value nature and things that promote sustainability over consumption.

I value independence and self-sufficiency.

I value teaching people to fish (and learning how to fish) rather than handing out fish day after day. There is definitely a time to hand out some fish. Jesus did, and we can, too, as needed.  However, if there is an opportunity to give someone a hand up after the handout, then I want to be ready to meet that need enabling them to pay it forward for the next person in need.

I value our constitution and the intentions of the people who created it. Yes, they probably envisioned a nation blessed by God, however, the concept of God and what God supposedly wants has changed substantially since then thanks in great part to preacher politicians. The founders knew the dangers of allowing religious ideals to drive government decisions. They sought to create freedom of and even (when necessary) from religion. This generation seems to be pushing towards religious control by the government.

I value local decentralized leadership and decision-making as much as possible.

I value social programs run by charitable groups rather than the government.

I value the right to defend myself, my family, and my property.

I value the recognition that we are all interconnected and interdependent. It’s in my best interest to help someone else succeed, live, thrive, prosper, be healthy, and I must realize my actions affect others as well as future generations.

To some, it may seem that I have lots of contradictory values. Maybe so. Maybe that’s why the political process is so frustrating to me. People want things to be black and white.

They can’t be.

They never will be.

The world is not two dimensional. It is multi-faceted, multi-colored, and loaded with a million shades of gray to blur the edges. There are no absolutes. There can be no black and white.

In the end, the only platform that matters is the Jesus platform, which happens to be quite similar to the Buddha platform and several others.

It’s really quite simple.

Love God, the source of life energy.

Love People.

The end.

Can your political party claim these two as the primary issues? If not, maybe you need a new party.


4 Responses to “Politically BiPolar”

  • So to me you are saying labels really don’t mean anything. If that is what you are saying, I agree.

    • I think I’m saying there isn’t really a label that fits what to me matters the most. Even when we find a label that appears to fit, it’s usually only temporary, because we are constantly growing and changing. The label that fit me best ten years ago suffocates me today. Maybe that’s why I have such an aversion to shopping….and why I don’t like shopping for a candidate for whom to vote. :-)

  • Kari:

    I love the last comments: Love God, Love people. It is our focus at church. And has become like a “mission statements”….And i HATE mission statements….

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We have even more in common than I thought. :)

    • I’m becoming more and more convinced that living by those two little “rules” (and not attaching a bunch “if you really loved God, then you would…..”), the world would be a much better place.

      And yes, I think we have TONS in common. It’s just that my presentation can sometimes be a little on the odd side! :-)

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