Although I come from a Republican family and myself used to be a Republican, I have had to withdraw my loyalty and allegiance to conservative causes because so many of them are out of touch with contemporary realities. However, despite being a Republican “apostate,” I could not stomach Democratic causes enough to switch over to their side. Thus, I found myself floating somewhere in the middle of the two, but a supporter of neither.
As a child we are often born into circumstances, and sometimes thrown into them, by the sheer force of existing family loyalties. It’s like when I once asked a devout Mormon (or it could have been a Jehovah’s Witness) who was trying to pull me over to their faith, I asked him, “Were you born into this or did you convert from something else?” As children we are impressionable and slide very easily into what might simply be a family tradition, and so it stays that way until we become adults and have enough experience to start looking around and questioning things like traditions, as in, “Do I really agree with everything they do?”
And so it was with me and Republicanism. The more I saw of it the more I disagreed with a lot of it…not ALL of it, but enough of it to be unable to continue calling myself a Republican, or even a conservative. And yet, I couldn’t call myself a Democratic or a liberal, either. So, what was I? To my astonishment I discovered I was a little bit of both. Sometimes I felt the liberal approach presented the best solution to a problem and likewise with the conservative approach. There is, it would seem, no such thing as a “one size fits all” when it comes to dealing with life.
I have not redefined myself so much as I have actually, and finally, “defined” myself, and for the first time in my life.
For example, I support same-sex marriage, the right for a woman to abort her pregnancy for any reason, and the decriminalization of drugs (ALL drugs). On the other hand, I support regulated (but unrestricted) gun ownership, that is to say I don’t care what you buy as long as everyone knows you bought it. Also, I don’t want my tax dollars spent on ANY kind of social programs — period. I am NOT my brother’s keeper, and if YOU think YOU are then YOU reach into YOUR pocket to subsidize someone else’s life. Emma Lazarus can take a long hike off a short pier. We didn’t come here to be “taken care of” by those who came before us. So, I would add a box on the IRS’s 1040 tax return form that, if checked, would prohibit your taxes from being spent on social programs. Pretty simple to do, really. Sort of like a “line-item veto.”
Some people would call me a Libertarian, but I think that brand carries too much “weird” baggage, like I’m a hippie or something. I prefer the term “Demo-Publican” — I just made it up right now, and it accurately implies an amalgamation of the two sides, cherrypicking their virtues while dumping their vices, and they both have both.
Is this just a bit too complicated to process? We’re not ready for this. Are we? I actually think it’s more “progressive” than a progressive. Think about it. I see it as our long-term future, if we survive to have one.