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Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Why I Should Be a Democrat...

Over the past several years, I've been told by a few different people that I should be a Democrat. As a woman who has definite political beliefs, I find this laughable, especially given the current state of the Democratic party. Here is a list of reasons why I should be a Democrat.

1. I'm a woman.

This argument takes me back to my days at Michigan State. I once was in a heated argument with two young men who vehemently tried to persuade me that I should be a Democrat due to the simple fact that I'm a woman. Their thinking went like this: I'm a woman, therefore I must be pro-choice. As a result, there is no option for me other than the Democratic party.

Of course, this angered me greatly. Am I not allowed to think for myself due to the simple fact that I'm a woman? Why must all women be necessarily pro-choice? Last but not least, what makes the Democratic party think that they have a monopoly on all women and those who are pro-choice? It was one of the most arrogant things I've ever heard.

2. I believe that a woman has the right to choose.

Let me explain here. While I'm not necessarily pro-choice, I do respect that women have the right to choose what happens to their bodies (for me, it is a basic human right). That said, I don't support abortion. I could never make that decision (for fairly obvious personal reasons), and I don't understand how others could. However, the law has already been established for over 30 years, and I don't see how it can be changed without serious repercussions. I will gladly support adoption whenever I have the opportunity, end of debate.

3. I grew up in Michigan.

When people find out that I grew up in Michigan (and still live here), they automatically assume that I am a Democrat. Michigan politics has been long dominated by unions, for better or worse. It won't change. I find it irritating that people (on both sides) get pigeon-holed into one political camp or another due to where they live. For example, what automatically comes to mind when you think of Texas?

4. Several people in my family are or were public school teachers.

The teaching tradition in my family goes back at least three generations, and as a result, I've learned a lot about Michigan's public schools from the inside. In the nearly 30 years that my Mom has been a public school teacher, the Michigan Education Association (to which she is practically coerced to belong) has yet to represent her political views when they endorse a candidate. Without fail, they will support the Democratic candidate in any election, whether or not that candidate represents the best interests of public schools and education in general.

Public schools in the United States have largely earned their poor reputations, but not all public schools fail their students. There are many dedicated teachers (two of whom I proudly call Mom and sister) who truly do have their kids' best interests at heart. The Michigan Education Association (MEA) and the National Educational Association (NEA) are in the perfect position to help move the public school system forward. Instead, they blindly follow party politics and increasingly do a disservice to the national public school system as a whole.

There needs to be less of a focus on indoctrination into Demcratic party ideology and more of a focus on true learning. Sadly, this tendency now threatens the university system (more on that later).

5. I believe that corporate America is on the wrong track.

I've had just enough experience working in corporate America to know that, in many ways, it is deeply flawed. However, I don't translate that into an anti-business bias. There are a lot of companies out there doing wonderful things, and there are probably at least twice as many small businesses contributing meaningful things to society as well. Democrats tend to believe that if you see the ills befalling corporate America, you must be on their side. In recent years, this petty tendency has turned into an all out anti-business bias. That bias is destroying the state of Michigan, and unfortunately, I believe that it is about to hurt the US economy as a whole.

6. We make less than $100, 000 a year.

My boyfriend and I certainly aren't among the wealthy (I'm currently unemployed). If many in the Democratic party are to be believed, our interests would best be served by them. The thing is, I don't want the government to take care of my needs. I want to do so on my own. It is one of the fundamental reasons why I identify with the Republican party. For me, the less government intervention into anything, the better off I will be.

The Republican party has long allowed itself to be tied to the "rich." However, what I find today is that many of the Republicans I meet actually come from the shrinking middle class. Most are upwardly mobile, eager to work hard to get ahead in life. We need more opportunities for people of every sex, religion, and race to do so. Unfortunately, what I've noticed of late is that people who claim victim status are much more likely to get the opportunities. What about those of us who refuse to be victims?

I'm sure that you're tired of hearing me rant, but the issues raised above have been on my mind for a long time.


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At 11:56 AM, Blogger Darren said...

When people tell me that I should be in a different party, my usual response is, "But I don't agree with that party--on much of anything."

"But how can you support George Bush on...?" "I don't, but given the choices, there's no one I'd rather have had at the helm on 9/11."

The nice thing about being a Republican is that it's a big tent party. In the Republican race this season, we've had pro- and anti-war, pro- and anti-abortion, pro- and anti-gun, pro- and anti-protectionism. You know what I call that? Diversity!

At 12:18 PM, Blogger russelllindsey said...

That's true. Democrats tend to like diversity in name only. It has been used as an excuse to exclude white mean and WASPs of either sex.

I don't know why the Republican party allows itself to be portrayed as it is. In many respects, it is the much more tolerant party of the two.

Again, I'm sorry about the other post! I corrected it.


At 12:47 PM, Blogger russelllindsey said...

I meant "white men." I can't seem to type today.


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