putting a label on things

Conservative? Liberal? None of the above?
 
I had intended to write this a few days ago; like most things lately, it seems that all the bits and pieces of life’s Do List didn’t provide any free space in my days to do so. So here I am on a 20-minute lunch break with a meeting in 20 minutes.
 
I’m not a political animal, not a deep thinker where it comes to certain topics like government, politicians, finance, worldly issues. I’ve lived in the same county nearly all my life. Not a traveler (due to no money when I was a single parent, and to no traveling companion now that my daughter’s grown). I’m a simple person, a peaceful being, a Child of God, a listener, volunteer, mother, friend, grandmother, sister, daughter. Not very complicated or sophisticated.
 
Even as a late hippie, I always considered myself to be conservative. I promote peace, thoughtful discussion, caring for one another, for the planet and all its inhabitants. I withdraw from violence of any kind; verbal, physical, mental, spiritual, emotional.  I don’t care for things that explode; loud, agitated voices; intense, physical gestures; rough behavior; aggressive actions. I prefer peace and calm in my environment.
 
I don’t believe in Big Government; the less government interference, the better. I believe in taxes necessary for infrastructure and basic welfare of the people. I don’t believe in spending on pork-barrel projects ($375 million for an amphibious assault ship for Mississippi?) I believe we should all be encouraged to help our neighbor, to give of our time and talent to others, to donate to charity. I think there should be some measure of government assistance or legislation to ensure the well-being of all our citizens, but that doesn’t abdicate the citizens who can help to simply turn it all over to the government via higher taxes. I believe Bill and Melinda Gates are doing great work in giving back to others throughout the world.
 
My peaceful mien colors my take on "the issues" as well. I am pro-life, believing in the sanctity of all human life, from beginning to end. But I believe we need education, not legislation, to reduce the tragic circumstances that face women with unwanted pregnancies. Although the thought of taking an innocent life hurts me to my soul, I don’t believe that any woman or doctor should be cited with criminal penalties as a result of abortion. As a pro-life advocate, I don’t believe in applying the death penalty to take a human life. There are those who should never be allowed to take a place in a free society, but I can’t advocate their murder by the state. (Although, if anyone sought to harm one of my own in my presence, I have no doubt that I would defend them as violently as possible. I am human.) On gun control, I can only say that there would be fewer shootings if there were fewer guns. They are violent, loud, destructive – and too often in the hands of those who seek to do harm to others. Drive-by shootings (and their unintended consequences of killing innocent children and other bystanders) wouldn’t be possible if not for guns. Drive-by rock-throwings, anyone? lol!
 
OK, now the war in Iraq. My thoughts will likely appear wish-washy. Years ago, I read articles showing the massacre of innocent Kurds by Hussein; women and babies lying in the dirt streets, bodies in mass graves. Why wasn’t the world doing anything about this? Why would the world allow Hussein to massacre not only Kurds, but Sunnis and Shiites – even his own soccer team’s players – and anyone he simply wished dead? Later, seeing detailed analytical reports in Newsweek showing suspected sites for weapons manufacture, seemed to paint a picture of a despot bent on destruction beyond Iraq’s borders. If our neighbor was killing his wife and then his kids out on his front lawn, would we peek from behind the curtains in our windows, or would we charge out and try to stop him? I believe that ousting Sadaam Hussein was the right thing to do and I believe that there were good intentions in the initial manner in which it was done. Nonetheless, in 20/20 hindsight – so perfect! – it’s obvious that huge, tragic mistakes were made and continue to be made. News interviews with Iraqis and letters from our service people indicate that most Iraqis are grateful to be free of the dictator. But a mess has been made in the way in which it was done; removing all government, disbanding the entire army – the majority of Iraqi jobs. The entire Iraqi economy will be suffering for many years. But to pull out and suddenly abandon an unstable situation will result in untold deaths and despair for the Iraqi people, people who simply want to live their lives, raise their families, be happy. And yet, I don’t want to see American lives continue to be lost in this action so far from American soil. Now, I see full-page magazine ads asking why the US isn’t doing anything about the massacres in Darfur. Why does the world continue to look to us to police the world? We are harshly criticized whether or not we do something that no one else wants to do. How do we promote peace throughout the world? How do we convince governments to embrace peace and caring for their people?
 
I consider myself to be a conservative. I pray for peace each day. I promote peace in my words, thoughts, actions. I try to live a lifestyle of sustainable living. I drive a gas-conservative compact car, recycle, purchase items with consideration toward the environment. I believe in small government and only vitally necessary taxes. My brother sent me the following link to a quiz recently: http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html Imagine my surprise at my result: LIBERAL. It’s only a label, of course, but I recoil at thinking that I could be lumped in with the Hollywood liberals. I am a conservative. Primarily because of my pro-life beliefs, I am a registered Republican, as are most of my friends and family, although I don’t follow the "party line" in toto, just as I don’t follow all Catholic teaching even though I’m an active Catholic. I admired JFK and Bobby Kennedy and what they stood for. They were Democrats, but were they liberals? The labels confuse me. So where do I fit?
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3 Responses to putting a label on things

  1. Lynn says:

    Imagine your surprise when I tell you mine:
    Centrist! 
    And you know what a liberal, gay union-supporting,  Rainbow flag-waving, ACLU on speed-dial calling crazy I am.  Don\’t worry my Sit by the Stream Friend, and I won\’t.  I think we can both breathe easy…it was the world\’s shortest political test.  They can\’t possibly get it right…errr, left.  Ummm, correct.
     
    What are you?  You are a warm, loving, peaceable, peaceful, intelligent person who votes the Issues.  The BEST kind of Voter.
     
    *Blessings*
    Lynn  

  2. Lynn says:

    Bless your Daddy and tell him thank you from me some time too, Stream Sister?
    How are you feeling just lately?
     
     
    Love to you, Lynn

  3. Thot says:

    you are a flaming…american…

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