What I believe...

The only thing more boring to me than reading about someone else’s dreams is hearing about their political beliefs. I have forever hated to hear people drone on and on about how their parents were staunch republicans, and “oh god, how can that be in a world such as this…blah blah blah blah blah” and they seemed able to go on and on forever in this fashion. And yet I find myself wondering what I really believe.

Maybe it is because of the situations with Israel and Iraq. Perhaps because of the threats we are all facing post-9/11. Maybe it is just part of getting older and trying to find your place in this world…trying to find out how to make a difference. Whatever it is, I can say with certainty that that nothing….is certain. At least not from my point of view.

I read an editorial in the local paper a week or so ago. It was written from a man’s point of view…he was in an airport and was watching an older couple as they stood together staring out the window in the terminal. They were watching cargo being moved off of a plane and seemed very, very sad. Their boy was being returned home from Iraq. In a box. He had served his country well and had died fighting for freedom. Now, this is touching and brave, and it is wonderful to see how many people fight for our freedom and for America in general… But – I am having a hard time with the whole war thing these days. I am certain that having two little boys adds to reasons for my newly perked interest in these matters – but I think just being a parent or adult in general makes me more aware of what is going on… and it forces me to figure out what I believe.

I would have to say that I have been a Republican all my life, however what does that really mean? My mother was one. It is just how I grew up. And it is wrong. I have my own beliefs and by declaring a party at all I think we are taking an easy way out – finding a loop-hole so that we don’t have to soul-search and figure out what we truly believe in. We have somewhere to place blame when things go wrong. By saying I am a Democrat or a Republican, I am escaping the soul-searching needed to figure out what I believe and because of that, I think I have failed as a citizen and more deeply as a person. So – here goes…

I am a republican.

I tend to think of life from a conservative point of view.

I think people should have to work for what they get out of life.

I believe that I work in order to support my family and for the good of those that I choose. I am not working to evenly distribute my income across the US in order to allow those that just don’t feel like getting job to stay home and do nothing. I do not believe that we should distribute the wealth. I am not working to support you or your neighbors or the people who are living beyond their means.

I believe that as a citizen of the United States I have certain fiduciary responsibilities. I need to support my government and ensure that I am feeding a certain amount of money back into the system so that we can maintain safety and security for our future.

I believe that parents should have the right to choose what type of school their children attend. Life is not fair – it is life. If a child has an opportunity to be well educated and wants to pursue it and the parents can afford it – then they should do so.

I believe that with this amazing freedom that the United States comes a responsibility to defend our country, to fight for our values, and to support our military. We must make this a safe place for our children to grow up. They need a place where they can learn, and grow, and believe in whatever they want.

I believe that as a citizen of the United States, I should be able to expect my government to make the world a safe place for me to live. I should not live in fear of other countries or governments.

And yet – I am a democrat.

I believe that I should have the right to choose religion – or not to. I do not believe that it is up to my country, my school, my neighbor, or even my husband to dictate or even encourage what I believe in. I should not have to support any religion unless I so choose. My children should not be influenced to become any religion unless they so choose, and the government needs to stay free and clear of this – always.

I believe that good people end up in bad situations and need help. There are hurricanes, and floods, and tragedies that affect our people and we need to help them. Financially, emotionally, in every way possible.

I believe that there are sick and destitute people that just need a little help to get moving in the right direction – and I think it is our obligation as citizens to do this.

I believe that a woman’s body is her own – and she has the right to have an abortion or a baby.

And then there are things I believe that make me think I am neither party… the gray areas.

I believe in God, but not in the devil or hell.

I believe in safety and security and believe that we all have the right to defend ourselves. And yet I don’t want a gun in my house – because I don’t want my children hurt by it. And I don’t want a gun in your house either because I don’t want my kids coming over there to play and have some accident happen.

I believe that evolution is how we ended up here – yet God may have had a part in that. How could something this intricate and beautiful and perfect be an accident?

I believe in defending our country, and yet I cannot fathom letting my babies go across the ocean to fight for something I don’t understand. I am not sure I believe in defending Israel or Iran or any other country – and I am on the fence as to how to properly defend my own.

I hate that the truly rich seem to get away with paying no taxes – that there are loop-holes to protect their money, while the middle class and poor bear the brunt of the obligations.

I envisioned all of this amounting to much more than it seems to have. I had hoped that I would have outlined a perfect religion or political stance – that I would have explored new territory and embarked upon the unknown…but alas I have not. I have come full circle and determined that I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I am just me.