Sunday, August 1, 2010

Republicanish? Not so much...

This is a type of post I have not previously written a lot of in the past. It is a political post. I write them from time to time, and when I do I usually get quite a bit of positive feedback and some negative, and that is always welcome, too! So here we go:
I have not really talked about my personal political beliefs very often, at least not on this blog and not on twitter or facebook. However, as you can see I am a card carrying member of the South Carolina Republican Party. This runs pretty deep. I was a delegate for our county in the last major election. As a matter of fact my very first baby bracelet? It was a sterling silver elephant. I was born a republican. I have been a republican. Well, that is until the past little while.

My family and I have always discussed current events and politics. It was dinner conversation growing up and wine and cheese conversations now that I am an adult. My brother was always a staunch democrat and I, a pretty strong republican.  Over the past few years, however, we have both started coming closer together in our beliefs. I began questioning whether or not I was truly "republican" or not. I called myself "republicanish". Don't get me wrong, I have NEVER, not one time, voted a straight ticket. I do not vote for someone simply because there is an "R" beside their name. I have voted for a few Democrats over the years. However, predominantly I felt most closely aligned with the beliefs and views of republicans.

I have engaged in a number of conversations with Julio, whom, if you have ever read his blog, you will know is the furthest thing from a republican! Actually he used to be, believe it or not, but is no where close to being a republican these days. We have had so many conversations where he will point out some crazy thing some republican or republican group has said. I have, for quite some time, maintained that the squeaky wheels get the grease, the crazies get the news and that the things he is quoting and reading are nothing more than fringe groups. That the majority of republicans do not feel the way these crazy people do.  However, I have to say I am beginning to think these fringe groups are taking over the mainstream more and more.

I awoke this morning to find an email from the website Conservative.SC. I get a ton of political emails, mainly because of my membership in the Dorchester County Republican Party. I tend to ignore the vast majority of them, however, this one caught my attention. It was about a blog entitled: When Did Homosexual Parenting Become Mainstream?. I decided to check it out. 

I don't think I had ever visited this website before and I do believe there may be some useful information on it. However, I was quite astounded by this post and by the comments that followed it.  Most of you know my brother is gay. He is the best uncle you could ever imagine. He kept my kids all yesterday afternoon while I was away at a meeting for work. I came  home to find he had bathed them and they were getting ready to eat dinner. They were happy and had had a great day with their uncle. I cannot wait until my brother has kids. He will make the most amazing dad. His parenting abilities have absolutely nothing to do with his homosexuality. Nothing. 

The comments on this blog consisted of the following:

I personally think it is outrageously disgusting. Our law makers are to blame for allowing this filth to get into the class rooms, they will pander to the Homosexual's for a vote.

Perversion is not mainstream, but the media would have you believe that it is.

I would like to see the perverts sent to Mexico along with the illeagle aliens and Obama

The "perverts" these comments are referring to? Homosexuals. I am appalled. The intolerance that I have begun to see in the republican party is what concerns me most. I have always believed myself to be very open minded, loving and to have very strong Christian beliefs. I was taught we are not to judge. That is God's job, not mine. I was taught to be loving. To "love one another" as it were. I have seen the republican party, which I was always told was closely aligned with the religious right become more intolerant, more judgmental and more prejudiced in its beliefs.

It is for this reason I no longer consider myself a Republican. Does this mean I won't vote for another Republican? Not at all. I just find myself wanting to be associated with this group of people less and less. Now, don't get me wrong, I think they have as much a right to speak their beliefs as anyone else, I just do not wish to be associated with it anymore.
I truly do not know "what" I am anymore. Am I a democrat? Oh I am just not ready to go there. Trust me, just saying I am no longer a Republican is a huge deal. It has been part of my identity since, well, I was a baby. Oh, and the proof? Here is my baby bracelet I was referring to earlier (sorry, it definitely needs some polishing!):


Darkwulfe said...

Is funny Baby...the longer I am with you...the more I find myself crawling inch by inch closer to the middle...and apparently visa versa...great blog post.

Kim said...

Much like you, I also grew up with heavy Republican influence. Over the years, I slowly inched my way towards the middle left. And honestly, I think trouble comes when one person stays strictly on the "red" side or the "blue" side.

I have also never voted "straight". I don't think people should, that's when I get scared.

Great post Mandy!

Dana said...

I used to align most closely with Republicans ... when Republicans were really Republicans.

Last election, I changed my status to Independent, and I didn't vote for a Republican nor a Democrat as neither has ideas that aligned with what I thought was best for this country (BTW, I did vote).

I think your observations are actually quite main-stream these days. People are looking for middle ground - the gray if you will.

Jay said...

I believe that fringe groups have definitely taken over the republican party. Back when I was in college I felt like fringe groups were in control of the democratic party. I've been a registered republican, then a registered democrat and for the last 6 years or so a registered independent.

You're beliefs seems to align much more with the traditional beliefs of the republican party. Smaller gov't, strong national defense and fiscal responsibility. Unfortunately today, the republican party is almost all about the culture war and all the little things that distract us from the real challenges we face.

Jaffer said...

I'm going to be an outsider here. I grew up in a place where 'Anti-Americanism' runs high.

But that society also leaned heavily to the right hand side of the political spectrum.

But after moving to Canada, I left behind those sentiments and now consider myself Left of Centre.

I think it's unfortunate that Americans only tend to see that there are only two (or three) choices, to make their ballot count.
Therefore, if you are not one of us then you must be one of those !

You've made a very good point about fringe groups taking over the media - I am going to think on this.

Great post. Here via Jayman

Slyde said...

im with you.. i rarely get political on my blog.. it just opens too big a kettle of fish...

Will Shealy said...

Wow, Mandy. We've both come so far. Had I owned a Democratic card I would be doing the same thing right now. There was a time when the two-party system worked, when each major party had liberal and conservative wings. It seems fewer and fewer of us are finding our way to the rational middle as our government becomes more polarized and less for the people, and more for the fringe.

Thank you for the kind words, and for the (unnecessary) reassurance that once again, you and I are on the same team.

Love you sis.

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