Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Long tailed cat...

...in a room full of rocking chairs.

These days, everywhere I turn, I'm having to watch my tongue and guard my heart from sharing too much.  My innermost thoughts would doubtless render me a pariah.  And as hard as this is to picture me doing (I'm infamous for my unfortunate, accursed bluntness), I often practice the art of the polite nod and smile in the face of the off-hand, meant-to-be-humorous, and understood-to-be-widely-agreed-upon political commentary of others.  I have mastered the internal eye-roll.  The problem, it seems, is that it is simply understood in all the circles that I "travel"  that I'm a conservative person.  But what does that really mean?


1.disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.
2.cautiously moderate or purposefully low: a conservative estimate.
3.traditional in style or manner; avoiding novelty or showiness: conservative suit.
4.( often initial capital letter ) of or pertaining to the Conservative party.
5.( initial capital letter ) of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Conservative Jews or Conservative Judaism.
6.having the power or tendency to conserve; preservative.
7.Mathematics . (of a vector or vector function) having curl equal to zero; irrotational; lamellar.
8.person who is conservative in principles, actions, habits, etc.
9.a supporter of conservative political policies.
10. ( initial capital letter ) a member of a conservative political party, esp. the Conservative party in Great Britain.
11.a preservative.
Except for that whole math thing (see #7 - I mean, what the heck is "irrotational" and "lamellar?") and right up to the assumption of wildly cohesive "group think" on #9 and 10 and a growing number of odd ball issues covered on Fox News daily, I am conservative.   But still, I don't fit in anywhere 100%.  Not at church, not in my homeschool group, not in my neighborhood, and rarely at local political events.  (Note: I don't normally get involved in political events that are not local.)

I grew up in a church that taught that, since our Kingdom was not of this world, we shouldn't become involved in the political process. Hence, I never voted until 2002, when I was 37.  Those of you who know me know that I have since made up for lost time. ;-)    Rather than party affiliation, though, I choose to align my  political action with issues.  I just don't believe that everyone in America falls neatly under one of 2 columns:  Republican or Democrat.  Even if you throw in Libertarian, Constitution, or Green Party, you still haven't begun to cover it.  And I'm just not about phoney baloney labels.  Yes, they serve a purpose, but it is limited -- and if you really do your homework -- almost entirely unnecessary.  The politicians I support are people who will make a difference on matters that are important to me in positions of power to do so.  I don't select local politicians by their position on issues that local government has no impact on, any more than I vote for president based on whether or not my local water source is fluoridated or our local Zoning Laws are administered properly.

My own family has suffered egregiously because of this very human need for labels.  The scars go all the way back to the Civil War, believe it or not.  I can tell you stories of death over better pots of coffee.  Again, if you know me, this isn't hard to picture -- we must have some genetic defect where caffeine is concerned!  But in spite of this and my early neglect of politics and his own personal political "war' wounds, my father eventually became my teacher on this difficult, taboo topic of "politics."  His political views are simple to understand:    
The Golden Rule.
"Mat 7:12  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."
 I agree with my dad.  This should be our focus in all that we do.  Never more so than in our own communities.  I'm 45 now, and undisputedly (is that a word?) in the latter part of my life.  I think I've reached a point in which I'm going to move away from polite nodding, put on my Big Girl Pants and clearly identify myself as an advocate for the Politics of the Golden Rule.   Won't you join me?

1 comment:

  1. Well said. . .I'm with you, sister.

    I can so relate to everything you say. And my big girl pants are neatly folded and tucked away in a sealed compartment, time locked, and dead bolted under the concrete slab in my basement. I am very passionate about so many issues, but feel gagged by the current environment of divide and conquer. So, a chicken I remain. Political views undisclosed. Sad, isn't it?

    You have done one thing - opened my eyes to the importance of local elections. I've never missed a national election since I was 18, but have spent most of my years not knowing the name of my local mayor. Yes, I'm seeing your internal eye-roll. LOL