Social media is full of phrases defining what you believe or support based on your vote in the last presidential election or your political party affiliation. If you’ve been on any of the popular sites, you’ve seen it. “If you voted for Trump, then you’re a (insert insult here)” or “Hillary voters are a bunch of (insert insult here)”. I really hate this broad brush approach, but I’m sure I’m guilty of it too. I’ve been accused of all kinds of horrible beliefs and behaviors since November last, none of which are true. I just shrug it off to modern times and the explosion of ignorance which reliance on the media has set off. But it started me thinking about how I came to think the things I actually do believe.
I am chock full of opinions and obviously, patient reader, I am not afraid to share them. I’m well educated, I think I’m reasonably intelligent, and I try to stay informed. I’ve been on this planet for over 46 years and I joined the work force at 15 years of age. My opinions tend to be based on my personal experience, the experiences of people I know, and generally just paying attention to the world around me. I also try to throw in a good dose of common sense along the way. But, I also realize I have much to learn. I don’t claim to be any sort of authority on any particular subject, so I welcome intelligent conversation about any number of topics. I enjoy sharing my thoughts here and I look forward to generating more dialog as we add to our content.
So, back to the question of how I came to my current state of thought. I didn’t follow politics closely in my teen years. My parents weren’t very political and we seldom discussed politics that I remember. We were raised with a good, solid moral base, and to think for ourselves. I could have voted in the 1988 election, but didn’t because I didn’t really feel like I knew enough about what was happening. By 1992, I had graduated from college (the first time) and was pretty sure I knew all there was to know. Even in those days, college was very much a haven of liberal thought. I suppose I absorbed some of that thought. I felt like the world owed me and my peers a little something anyway. I knew I had to work hard thanks to my excellent upbringing, but still I somehow felt entitled to a good job and a nice salary by virtue of my brand new college degree. I thought corporations were inherently evil. I had no problem with abortion because there were too many people on the planet anyway. I wasn’t completely brainwashed, as I abhorred the idea of drug use, legal or otherwise, and I thought gun control measures were stupid. Still, when the 1992 election rolled around, I voted for Bill Clinton. I’ll pause while those of you who have known me less than 20 years pick yourself up off the floor.
OK, now that you’re back upright, I’ll continue. By the next election cycle, I was starting to see the world differently. The Clintons had shown themselves to be reprehensible human beings by then. I had been married for 4 years and out of school long enough to have learned that the world owed me exactly nothing. It became increasingly clear to me that the politics of liberal democrats were not for me. As I got older and gained life experience, I just didn’t buy it any more. From that point forward, I realized the core tenets of the Republican Party more closely resembled those of my own. In every election since, I have voted Republican, usually not because I really liked that candidate, but because I could not abide the Democratic candidate.
That’s where I find myself today. It is clear to me neither party truly has the best interest of the American people at heart. Their primary focus is doing whatever it takes to gain or remain in power so they can forward their agenda, regardless of whether it would be good for this nation or not. Those who hold the power are beholden to their special interest donors, not their constituents. The media perpetuates this as they report what they want reported about the candidate, rather than the facts about their actual platform. A disturbing byproduct of the media’s obvious bias is the ever widening divide between Americans identifying with either party. This is dangerous and will only serve to divide us further. We cannot solve problems when both sides try to paint the other as extremists. All of those who voted for Trump are not fascists, any more than those who voted for Hillary are socialists. This attitude is counter productive, intellectually immature, and lazy. In my opinion, there are far more true socialists in the Democratic party than fascists in the Republican. But we have to be careful to apply these labels where they actually belong, not to those with whom we simply disagree.
The point of this blog, besides serving simply as a place for me to vent, is to generate conversation. Hopefully, mature, logical conversation based on facts and not emotional knee-jerks and name-calling. If you don’t agree with what I’ve written, then comment. Come to the party with facts and logic, and we can have a conversation. Who knows? We might both learn something. Come at me with vitriol and personal attacks, you’re comments won’t be posted or acknowledged. Pretty simple. Thanks for reading and I’ll look forward to hearing from you!