Monday, March 22, 2010

The One About Being Conservative

Folks that know me probably know that I'm basically a Republican. I say basically because Republican doesn't mean the same things that it used to. Right now in my little corner of the world Republican generally means conservative. But not necessarily conservative about the things that you might think. Over the past few days and weeks, there has been much chatter at kitchen tables all over town, and I've been privy to a few and I've learned a few things along the way.

We're closer than you think: Most of us are actually socially liberal. We'd like to help those that we can. As a matter of fact, most of us do. Whether it's time or money, most of us can be counted on to contribute to either organizations or individuals.

We are not greedy, we are fiscally responsible: The reason that many of us seem to fall into higher tax brackets is because we've been educated to be responsible with the money we earn and invest. We, as a group, are much more likely to reinvest in the economy, creating both jobs and liquidity. We are the people who create opportunities for less fortunate.

We are not all religious zealots: As a matter of fact, most of us don't give a whit about your religion, what goes on in your bedroom, or who you choose to make your life with. As a matter of fact, you might be surprised to find out that whether or not we "personally" agree with a topic such as abortion or gay marriage, almost all of us agree that it's none of our business. Many of us actually support gay marriage, and most of us agree that abortion is a personal decision.

We lament the loss of tradition: Seriously, one nation under God, and in God we trust is all about the tradition for us. We believe that it got us this far, there's no reason to think it won't take us farther.

We are not racists: Despite the current popular opinion, we're not racists. If anything we're anti-stereotype, not anti-race. It is the stereotype that draws our ire, not the race itself.

With everything that's gone on in Washington this week, I thought it might be important to understand that we are actually much closer together than we once thought. Although I remain vehemently anti-Obama, it's not for the reasons that some people might think...

Where do you stand???


PaintingChef said...

I do understand what you are saying... the problem is that conservatives like you are not the vocal ones. You aren't the ones that we see on the street yelling that a liberal social agenda is all the work of the "devil" or that our "Muslim" president is secretly working for terrorists.

Your voice is not the one making any noise. I think that if the zealots on EITHER side (yes... the far left ones irritate me just as much as the far right ones) would just sit down and shut up, we COULD finally get some work done and make this country better.

The only thing you wrote that I'll specifically disagree with you on is "one nation under god". It has no place in the pledge of allegiance and wasn't even added until 1954 after a campaign started by the Knights of Columbus.

But my whole issue is the repeated blatant violations of the separation of church and state. Federal Endorsement of any one deity or religion is a violation of the constitution. And THAT is why I think it has no place on our money or in our pledge of allegiance. Not because of my own personal religious beliefs.

Nyt said...

There are plenty out there like me. They speak quietly and are passed by, or, they stand in unison with the Tea Party movement. There are a lot of them and it remains to be seen if they will be able to have any effect on the elections to come. As I've written here before, it can be an unsafe situation to publicly disagree with this administration as an individual.

As to the use of the word "God"? I get it, I really do. But it really doesn't have to mean my God, it could be your God, or someone else's. Originally, I believe the intention may have been to convey the power of faith in the nation itself. As in the nation being the higher power. It's one of those blurry points in history. Personally, I just mourn the loss of the tradition.

PaintingChef said...

Actually, it's not blurry in the least. The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic organization and was signed into order by a Presbyterian president. So I'd say the idea of "God" in that decision wasn't blurry at all. If anything, the loss of tradition was in changing the pledge in the first place from the way it was originally written.

As for it being unsafe to publicly disagree with this administration, I spent 8 years being called un-American and a terrorist for speaking up about my disdain for the previous administration. My grandparents had their house repeatedly vandalized because of their Kerry/Edwards lawn signs back in 2004. Windows broken. Horrible things spray painted on their house. Actual human feces smeared all over their sign and their door. They ended up having to have a police officer parked at their house for protection.

I understand wanting to stay out of the circus. And it IS a circus, one I'd rather have no part in. But I cannot sit quietly. If I did, I'd never respect myself in the morning.

Nyt said...

I stand corrected. I, like many others, assumed that I knew my history, and I was wrong.

"In God We Trust" was first introduced by Secretary chase in 1863 and adopted as the motto for the 2 cent coin in 1864. The explanation is that the largely Christian population was reeling from the division of the Civil War. I suppose one could argue that if the majority of citizens are of a single faith, what's the harm? Given new information, I'd never respect myself in the morning if I didn't analyze my own position further.

As to the dangers is going "against the grain"? We've given the first amendment a very broad base. Personally, I find behavior from the far side of either side abhorrent. My absolute favorite examples of poor behavior were the left-wing war protesters who chose the FUNERALS of fallen soldiers to display their displeasure. There will always be people like that out there. I am equally appalled that it could be someone's grandparents as well as someone's child, spouse, sister or brother. I'll say my piece, I have no problem with that, however, I'm not going to engage with folks who are more concerned with promoting their agenda, then they are with debating the actual issue. Like I said to you in an earlier post on your blog, if I walk away from a conversation knowing more than I did before I had that conversation, then I'm better for the experience. If there's no chance for broadening my horizons, I'm done...

PaintingChef said...

That website is one of my favorite resources!

I completely agree with you that the protests at the funerals of fallen soldiers were despicable.

Regardless of how ANYONE feels about a conflict or a war, those individuals are heroes who sacrificed their lives for their country. You'll get no argument from me on that matter.

However, and I am only asking you this to double check the facts as I know them, I was under the impression that the funeral protests were the work of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas. My understanding is that the protests weren't anti-war but actually anti-gay protests. The church chose the funerals because they believed that God was punishing our nation for its tolerance of homosexuality by killing soldiers.

Nyt said...

Yes, the Pennsylvania protest was initiated by the Westboro Baptist Church and was originally organized to protest the existence or tolerance of homosexuality. The line became fuzzy when a single busload of Westboro followers took off from Kansas City, yet there were something like 250 people protesting in front of the funeral home in Pennsylvania. People used the platform to protest everything from homosexuality to the military. After extensive media coverage, it became de riguer for a time to protest the administrations policies outside ANY soldiers funeral, after all, it was pretty much guaranteed that the press would show up and your cause would be showcased on the evening news. My problem is that the protests were written off as though they were ONLY done by Westboro. How do you get 250 people on a bus that only holds what, maybe 100?