First of all Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, Happy New Year and Happy Festivus.
It has been awhile since I blogged and that has been because I have been spending a majority of my time with my wife and kids. Everything I do, all of the political activism, my job, etc. is to help my family live the life that we want to live. With that said, I believe it is good for the body, mind and soul to occasionally take a step away and just relax. So, that is what I have been and will probably continue to do for awhile.
As always, with that said, there is something that I want to get off my chest that has been weighing heavily on me. I am probably going to get flamed for this, but so be it.
Maybe it is just me, but I have been noticing that people and the media are really looking to be labeled lately. It harkens back to high school and everyone wanting to choose what group you are/want to belong to. We have people saying they are Conservatives, Republicans, Tea Partiers, Moderates, Liberals, Fiscal Conservatives, Democrats, Blue Dogs, etc. Why do we feel the need for these labels? I understand that as we know it today there is a two party system and that the rule of government is broken up based upon party lines. That I can deal with, but now we are dealing with people who want to continue to fractionalize those groups. Lindsey Grahm is a RINO, Jim DeMint is a Conservative, Michelle Backman is a Tea Partier, Ben Nelson is a Blue Dog Democrat and on and on and on. Why?
Does it really matter?
There are fellow bloggers that will call out Lindsey Grahm for taking a moderate position and say he is a RINO, he is not a true conservative. There are Democrats who are calling out Claire McCaskill for wanting to ban earmarks as not a true Democrat. Whatever.
Let's face it people, there is no true conservative. There is no litmus test for being a Republican or Democrat. We need to get over the labels and the name calling. Period.
If you are fiscally conservative, but believe in gay marriage and allowing abortion in some cases, you can still be a Republican.
If you are progressive in your social beliefs but believe in a strong military and defense, you can still be a Democrat.
Both parties and its members want to say they are big tent parties. We welcome all sides and will listen to all points of view. It seems to be that way until you join, when you are told to sit down, shut up and follow our party positions.
As bloggers and as politically active members of our society, we need to each get beyond these labels and talk about the root of the matter. Say what you believe in and what you expect of your representatives. Understand that other representatives may make different decisions or have different opinions based upon the people they represent. Remember, this is a BIG country and not everyone thinks like a North County Blue Collar Republican, a South County White Collar Democrat, a St. Charles Catholic Conservative or a Ladue Jewish Progressive (Don't you just love the labels). Because of the desires of others around the country, our Congressman/women and Senators have to negotiate to get things done. Pure and simple. We cannot start calling people names and labels because they do not conform to what we think they should be.
That said, there are times when people have had enough. That is where the Tea Party came in. The Tea Party was a name for a group of people that were tired of government as is. They were a group of people that are against something. They are the party of NO. Because the Tea Party is not a true party, but a label of people that are sick of the standard government. The Tea Party should stay that way but instead it is being converted and twisted into a part of the Republican party. It is becoming and being twisted into some sort of alternate ego for fiscal and in some cases social conservatives. Those that say they run the Tea Party should be wary of allowing this. The Tea Party label, if we must have one, should continue to be independent of Conservatives, Progressives, Republicans and Democrats. It should be no different than the NRA or any other advocacy group. The Tea Party should be the label for the people who are saying NO to big government. No more, no less.
So, after saying this, let me tell you who I am. Not in a label that can be summarized, but in words.
- I am someone who usually votes Republican but has voted Democrat.
- I am someone who votes based upon the issues and the stances taken by the candidates.
- I am someone who believes in a small and limited government.
- I am someone who believes that the best offense is a good defense (and if we are talking sports a good QB or Albert Pujols helps).
- I am someone that wants you and everyone else to stay out of my and everyone else's bedroom.
- I do not think the government should be able to license marriage. Marriage is a religious act. I personally believe that the government can license civil union contracts between a man & woman, a man & man, and a woman & woman. Let the churches decide how they want to or do not want to define marriage.
- I think the best way to have equality is to get rid of any and all social programs that push one race, gender, religion or sexual preference over another
- I think America is one of the most perfect places to live because of our liberties.
So, are you just a label or are you more?