In the past year, asking about my political leanings has been a pretty common conversation starter for friends and acquaintances. I thought it would taper off after November’s elections, but here we are in February, and it’s still a pretty hot topic.
Am I a conservative? Democrat? Independent? Republican? Liberal?
I’m all and none of those things. I think most people are like me. Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness….all the while knowing that life isn’t fair and there are no guarantees.
I believe in second chances. There are so many young adults who were not encouraged to be all they could be; or simply made poor choices in their youth. As a nation, we need to provide those people an opportunity to make something of themselves. A hand up in the form of food stamps, medical care, subsidized housing, job training, and subsidized daycare are investments in our nation’s future.
I believe just as strongly in personal responsibility. If you choose to not better yourself after given an opportunity to do so, then you must live with the consequences of your choices. If you’re seeking assistance with any of those aforementioned basic needs for your family, and choose to not take advantage of job training or placement, you’ve got 6 months to figure it out, because the public benefits will go away. If you choose to have a child when you don’t have the means to pay for medical bills or groceries or diapers, that is your choice and your consequence; no additional funds for additional kids. If you’re receiving government assistance in any form, any tax refund you receive should pay back that assistance.
I think everyone should pay their fair share of taxes. There should be tax benefits for those who invest in their retirement, build businesses, and bring jobs to this country rather than overseas. There should be benefits for business that provide employment for military veterans. Oh, and how about some incentives for manufacturing in this country? I also think there are veterans and seniors who have already paid their debt to this nation, and they should not be penalized for poor management of Social Security and military pension funds.
I think that people who have come to this country illegally as adults should leave. If a child was brought here illegally by parents or others, there should be an option for receiving residency as adults. I believe that immigrants to our country were the backbone to our nation’s greatness. Let’s face it, with the exception of the proud Native Americans, all of our roots sprouted on foreign soil. Yet, if an immigrant doesn’t have enough respect for this country to follow its laws and the required process for the privilege of living here, then get out.
I think people should be free to marry whomever they choose. Churches do not need to recognize unions that are against their beliefs, but the government should. Don’t want to call it “marriage”? Fine, then make a blanket “union” definition for the government.
I believe in the death penalty, and think the myriad of red tape and endless appeals need to be done away with. No waiting on Death Row for 20 years; be done with it. If there were public executions for certain offenses, I’d attend. Put it on Pay Per View, and let the revenue pay some of the legal costs incurred by these people.
While we’re at it, I think prisoners should shoulder some responsibility for their upkeep. Why should services be lacking for our communities when there are able bodied people being supported by taxpayers? There shouldn’t be a park that can’t be maintained, a school without a playground constructed, a highway that needs trash picked up, or a community center that needs paint.
I believe our military should be well funded, well equipped, and well compensated. There is no “fair” wage for people who willingly leave their families and risk their lives to protect our country, but a decent wage, educational benefits, and unwavering support from America is a good start.
I believe in the 2nd Amendment, but would like to see some requirements for owning certain types of firearms. At one time we didn’t require licenses to drive cars, either, but as they got bigger and faster, common sense dictated that people learn to operate them lest they hurt someone else by their ignorance. There are just too many jackasses with bad intentions. Evil is inherent in the human race, and will never be eliminated, but it can be thwarted. After all, if there’s no way to stop evil, we may as well eliminate law enforcement and military.
I think political correctness is ridiculous. Everyone should be allowed to celebrate their religious beliefs, their cultures, and their holidays. Don’t like it? Don’t look. Don’t participate. The Pledge of Allegiance belongs in our country’s schools. If that is offensive, then don’t live here. As far as prayer in schools, I saw a bumper sticker that summed up my beliefs perfectly: As long as there are math tests, there will be prayer in schools.
I believe in charity, kindness, decency, redemption, ambition, volunteerism, civic pride, and tolerance….but, like all the truly important things in my life, those can’t be legislated.
So what’s my label? How about “American”? No matter race, religion, politics, or education, are we really that different?