This post is going to be way outside my norm. I really don’t do politics in my posts, generally speaking.
It’s also almost a week behind the times (because that’s how my posts are running) and these days that may mean some other thing is on fire and making me insane. But here we go.
I’m also just going to volunteer right now that I’m a US citizen who is unaffiliated with either political party. (Partly because I understand the psychological thing that naturally happens by joining a group; you begin to identify with it, and to adopt their beliefs even if they differ subtly (or less subtly) with your own).
Usually that doesn’t matter to me, but in the 2016 election it was hard not to have a say in the primaries. Either primary, actually. My goodness, what a horror show that election was.
All that said, I consider myself a moderate. I live my own life rather conservatively but have some areas where I have some liberal leanings; I care about social justice and try to love my neighbor (without actually interacting with them because introvert haha ). I keep an open mind and think others should be able to live their own lives, but I don’t think being so open-minded that our brains fall out is a good balance to strike either.
I don’t think throwing money at a problem is always the right solution but I don’t think we should leave fellow Americans behind if we can help them up, and I don’t mind that a (very small, in actuality) bit of my taxes go to those purposes. And I know as I say that, there is privilege built in to being able to spare those pennies per paycheck.
I think any system can and will be abused (because I believe all people and all systems are flawed) but I am not inclined to think that systems like welfare and Medicaid are rife with it. (In other words I think far more people are meaningfully assisted than are cheating at any given moment, and therefore I think we should look at those programs thru the lens of help, not grift or waste.) And that said, I want spending to be measured, outcomes weighed, and data used, not so that we eliminate or eviscerate them, but so that the programs we do have to help others can be better at doing so. Even better, that we think about how we build them and our society so that we design ways to enable success – for everyone – not to prolong need, or undercut growth, or leave some behind. So that we can eliminate programs – when they aren’t needed. Which I’m not sure will happen, but we can hope. Until then, I’m supportive of continually improving them – which may or may not mean throwing more money at them, and should have a set of long-term measurable goals, for the betterment of its recipients and society as a whole.
So. I don’t believe I’m far left or far right. I think I’m fairly moderate.
I vote as best I can based on the candidates and their stated stances and I know I do that imperfectly. At times I have had to vote more against one candidate vs for another, and in the absence of better options I think that’s as valid as any other approach. I have voted for both parties in the course of my life and voted for each party roughly equally over the years.
But I am not on the fence following recent events.
I mean, I manage to be both unsurprised and utterly shocked, but I am not on the fence.
At this moment (posting nearly a week after the “trial” ended) I hope not too many of the Republican senators who voted to acquit ever aim for a higher office.*
Because although my past performance in voting Republican has been 1 in 2 elections– based on the current Senate as the sole source of possible future Republican candidates, their chances of getting my vote would be 1 in 53.
Thank you, Mitt Romney, for voting your conscience, truth, and your faith, above party. I respect that very much.
And I know there are Democratic Senators who will get penalized by constituents who support Trump, and to the extent you also were basing your vote on conscience and truth and not simply voting with the party for its own sake, I applaud you.
I don’t like and don’t believe in party politics.
So if you happen to think justice was done – you believe Trump should have been acquitted (as he was) or perhaps that he shouldn’t have been impeached at all (which he also was)… I just have to ask this little thought experiment:
- If Obama had done the same things in his tenure as President, would you still think that way, or would you have believed in that case that he should be the hell out of the Oval Office?
- In an alternate universe where Hillary was currently President, if she was doing exactly the same things, would you still think they are right or at least unimpeachable? Or would you be screaming Lock Her Up?
Or are things only wrong when “the other team” does them?
I’m genuinely asking that question… not being snarky. As a person who doesn’t believe in “team” politics, I’m puzzled.
Maybe I am hopelessly wrong. But I think that I process the world like it’s one America. (Though I know I can turn on Fox News and see a completely alternative set of reporting of events than if I watch pretty much every other news source in the world. It’s actually a fascinating thing to watch. But if you’re only watching one or the other, I don’t believe you’re getting the whole story. About pretty much anything. Or about why the next person over is interpreting things so differently.)
Anyway. I process the world like we’re at least supposed to be one country. Like rule of law matters. Like the President and Congress and Supreme Court are supposed to govern for good of the whole country, not just the half+ they think agree with them, and not just for the voters and businesses and PACs that can literally afford to give time and money to their support… but also for the people who disagree, for the people who are tied up just trying to make a life, feed, house, provide care for themselves and their families.
That is the America I believe in.
And the Americans I believe in want to get ahead: to live their lives and for their families to thrive and for their kids to succeed. But they want that for their neighbors too. They want that for themselves and for other Americans across town or across the country. They might disagree on how best to accomplish that but they want the same things foundationallly.
And if that’s true, then “the other side” is still just people. Not demons from hell. Not snowflakes and libtards, and not unfeeling monsters. Just people, made by God, deserving of being treated with human dignity (not name-calling – regardless of political party, race, creed, color or gender), and with needs and hopes and dreams not so unlike our own. People with different ideas, perhaps. People who might be wrong about some things (and it’s all too easy to assume they are wrong about the things on which we disagree) … but also might be right about some things (maybe even things on which we disagree). Maybe we’d learn from each other if we were listening. Maybe together we’d come up with new solutions, not to one side or the other, but something in the middle.
I dunno. Maybe I only think that because I am in the middle.
And maybe I’m alone there.
I don’t know where we go from here. But I am very concerned about the future of this nation, and that’s what I’m praying a lot about of late.
If you’re a person of prayer, I hope you’ll pray with me.
If you think I’m dead wrong — about this or pretty much anything else – well, I hope you will pray for me.
May the truth prevail.
And may the Truth prevail.
Come, Lord Jesus.
*Actually I hope most of them lose their jobs in the near future. Though I desperately hope that’s because their constituents fire them and send them home, not because our nation crumbles.