Monday, May 11, 2009

Miss Independent

Independent. That's the box you'll find checked on my voter registration card. Some believe that makes me a fence-sitter. Let me tell you, I am no fence-sitter. Name an issue, and you will find me on one side or the other. But, what I am is a big picture kind of girl. I don't see much of this world in black and white details. I prefer my big picture in vibrant color.

The thought of drawing a line in the sand, and having to stay on either the right or the left forever (regardless of what's happening on the other side) makes me more than a little uncomfortable. I won't do it. The line was drawn years before I even entered the game. At any given moment, the team captains on each side, are making decisions for me. I don't know who these people really are, what's at their core. And what about the others, the players? Don't really know them either. I only know what they shared when they were squealing like 5 year olds: "Ooh, ooh, pick me, pick me." Why would I choose one side to stand on, regarding every issue imaginable, when I don't even know the captains and players?

I checked the Independent box because, quite frankly, I think both the Republican and Democratic parties suck...BIG TIME. I checked the Independent box because when I look at politicians, I don't see one (I mean NOT ONE) person representative of what I believe.

I checked the Independent box because on some issues I'm conservative, and on some I'm more liberal. Because Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh don't speak for me. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Keith Olbermann, Sean Penn, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid don't speak for me. I speak for myself. Today I woke up aggravated by these people who somehow, in their self-inflated egomaniacal worlds, believe they speak for me. They don't. Too many politicians and entertainers see this world in only black, white (and of course the almighty green).

Depending on which side of the line a person stands, they will view me as either too liberal, or too conservative. Can't win 'em all, right? I thought I'd share some of my line-crossing ideas. (Why, oh why, do I do this to myself?? Am I some sort of masochist? This could be the end of my blog. After this, I will have made people on both sides angry. Snarky Mama, you won't leave me will you?!?)


Here goes.......

Too liberal: I have been the target of religious discrimination. So I say, no prayer in school....unless we ALL get to pray. That's right. Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, whatever. Some will say I'm too "tolerant", too "accepting". I've had my prayers judged by Southern Baptists my entire life. It's humiliating, and infuriating as well. I guarantee that some Southern Baptists in Mississippi would have a huge problem with prayer in school...if that prayer was being offered by a Mormon. I can make that guarantee because it's happened. I will never be a member of the self-righteous prayer police. I will never be on the side of the line that pushes for prayer in schools, but only if those prayers fit their ideas of what prayer should be. One of the most beautiful things about this nation is that it was founded on religious freedom. Our forefathers left their mother country, left all that was familiar to them, for a new start. A new start for everyone. Granted, EVERY religion has extremists and zealots. But, I don't believe those people are the majority. The LDS church has 13 Articles of Faith. One that holds great significance in my life is number 11: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." In my life, it is a privilege to be a Christian. But, given Christ's belief in free will, how can I take the privilege of worship from someone else, just because they do it differently than I do? Or just because they have a different understanding than I do? I won't be that person. Too many hard-core Republicans are that person.

Too conservative: Our welfare system is a complete and utter disaster. It is massively flawed, and we encourage people to be dependent upon this flawed system. We do not teach skills. We don't reward hard work. We just hand out checks. It's interesting to me that the Democratic party is all about "hope", and yet I don't see evidence showing they really believe in anyone. If you believe in someone, you don't just throw money and ineffective programs at them. You teach them, you mentor them. You remind them that hard work pays off, not always immediately, but is does eventually pay. If you have hope in a person, you don't assume they can't make it without you. Instead, you teach them how to fish, and let them feed themselves. You get in there, and get your hands dirty. You don't create another ridiculous program that will be inefficiently/ineffectively run. Blindly throwing money at problems, especially when it's taxpayers and not your own, doesn't solve much. But, if you add hard work and effort to that money, you can solve a lot. Our current system sends the message that we don't believe people are smart enough, resourceful enough, or responsible enough to ever fish and feed themselves. Where is the dignity?

Too liberal/conservative: I do not believe Roe vs. Wade should be overturned. But, that belief shouldn't be misinterpreted as an endorsement of abortion. Partial-birth abortion will never be okay with me, it disgusts me. Everything about the abortion issue makes my heart break.

Too conservative/liberal: I, like Congress, believed going into Iraq was the right thing to do. NOT because I enjoy war, NOT because I want to wreak havoc, but because I believe in helping those who need help. Defending the defenseless. If we have the resources to bring members of our human family out from under the wrath of a dictator, I believe we should help. If genocide is taking place, if innocent lives are being lost and we can help, we should. That doesn't mean I'm a warmonger. I can promise you, there isn't a damn thing in Iraq that I want. And there are countless Americans who feel just as I do. The majority of us are not so Americentric as to believe we can fix all that ails the world. What we hope to do is help others who may not have the resources to help themselves. It brings tears to my eyes and makes me ill when I think that some people have a desire to, and do, profit from war. It's sickening. I also believe that when our efforts are not creating the peace we had hoped for, or when we have done all that we can do, it's time to go. Enough.

Too liberal: I am thoroughly disgusted by "old, white guys" who have cheated their way to the top, causing great misfortune to those they trampled in the process.

Too conservative: I really don't like the phrase "old, white guys" because I know more than a few. And they are some of the most charitable, compassionate, honorable men on this earth.

Too conservative: Capitalism in not the problem. GREED is the problem.

So there you have it.
I am guessing this post just confirmed what you already thought: "She really is crazy." Oh well, you were going to figure it out sooner or later. I was just hoping it would be later!

29 comments:

Brittany Ann said...

Just found your blog. Love it! I'm looking forward to following along with you!

noexcuses said...

I just came over from Tutu's Bliss! OMG (no blasphemy intended), we must have been joined at the brain in a past life. I'm sitting here yelling "YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS" to everything you have written.

It is so darn refreshing to have someone say exactly what I am thinking! I am hooked on you and will visit often!

BTW, I called those guys "Good Ole Boys" and they are very prevalent in the midwest, even in my girls' high school!

You are not crazy; I think you are brilliant!

KC Mom said...

I've joked with my Mom for years that I'm a liberal-conservative. I've never felt that I fit in any one "label". I feel that's all those political groups are...labels. Not one person is my voice either...other than the Almighty!
And even though I admire many commentators and thoughts and agree with a few too...they aren't Him.

Sarah said...

Came over from Tutu's and just love your post. Perfect. If someone says that they agree with everything a certain candidate/politician agrees with they really aren't thinking for themselves or they have no idea WHAT that politician is for...they just like that person. We all should be independent. It would make politicians work harder and would make us all think a little more.

Midwest Mommy said...

I can respect anyone who backs up what they believe with why. It bugs me when people say something like "there should be no prayer in school" and when asked why it basically boils down to that's what their parents told them and they haven't educated themselves on why they think that. I'll be back :-)

Sue said...

I fall somewhere between Republican and Democrat too (I am disgusted with both parties so I now judge on the individual person regardless of party affiliation) and am more conservative than liberal. You and I don't agree on all of these issues, but we do agree on many of them. And I love that you are spelling out the hows and whys here.

One of the conservative Republican issues that I personally disagree with is gun control. I am in favor of (limited) gun control and get sick of the NRA over-functioning in this area.

SnarkyMama said...

Me...Leave you???? You're kidding right? This blog is no more than literal proof I take you with me every where I go, every minute of every day....again, the whole "apple tree" thing.

You just have to know and expect that some people "won't get it" and others will "so get every word."

If everything in this world could be divided with a line down the middle and labeled black/white sides, wouldn't be much of a need for people to do a whole lot of thinking, pondering, soul searching, analyzing, or evaluating, now would there?

Oh yeah..that's right...that is exactly what is happening in our world today. You are either on his side, her side, the Democrats, the Republicans, the liberals, the conservatives, the good guys, the bad guys...and those lists are so incredibly confusing as to who is who and what is what.....

Me.. I will just try my best to stay on the side of truth, honesty, integrity, charity, compassion, and understanding, hopefully, with big doses of humility all in between.

Wow, looks like I picked the same side you are on, yet, again!!

I just love being in good company!
You can count on it...I am not going anywhere....I am forever....

Snarky Mama!!!!!!

Carly Marie said...

This was an incredible post Natalie. I absolutely loved The prayer in schools thoughts :)

Barbara said...

It's all about balance. Or it should be. We shouldn't have to vote this way or that, maybe we should be able to vote on each issue.

You're not crazy at all Natalie, you're really quite lovely.


xxx

Krystyn said...

Can you be my new BFF? For real. I agree on so many things.

And, as a teach, the prayer thing? We do a moment of silence. Do with it what you will. That way, if you chose to pray, meditate or whatever, I'm all for it.

I am LoW said...

I've been none too worried about prayer in school either. Why? Because you can't take it out of school. It may not be a public prayer, but I did my fair share of praying while I was in the classroom, just nobody knew it. :)

Prayer can't be taken away.

The abortion thing I have an issue with. I don't think it ever will be turned, but I think it should.

Lanie said...

I'm kind of the same way. I sure admire you for speaking your mind. I think that is fabulous!

Fiauna said...

Amen!!! Capitalism is NOT the problem. GREED IS!!! Greed and pride are at the root of all that is wrong with this country.

Rachel T. said...

Why would you be crazy for not blindly following a particular party. For actually having ideals, values, and being informed. There is no craziness to be found. You are one of the most "sane" people I know. Well as sane as a mother can be. Maybe im out of the loop, but when do you move again?

jen said...

Hmmm, Miss Snarky.
Very interesting. Like Sue, I find myself not completely agreeing with everything you say, but I do find food for thought. I especially like your analysis of independence. But, by not registering one way or the other, do you find that you slightly lose some control in our two-party system?
And, one day, I'd like to hear an abortion discussion, although I know how polarizing and painful it could be. Discussion opens horizons and minds.
Still with ya, sis. You'll have to do better than that to drive me away.

Mommy (You can call me OM) said...

Hmmmm . . . I think I mostly agree, but for the Roe v. Wade thing. I think it's too broad.

K2cole said...

I "so get every word"! I love the comments - some agree totally and some have some different views...isn't that how we are suppose to stay about middle of the road?

Great food for thought! I will always be a snarkette.

Natalie said...

Yep, I probably should have explained myself better on the whole Roe vs. Wade issue. I did go back and add that partial-birth abortion will never be okay with me. There are other parts of this issue that I could explain, but I'll save it for another day.

Thanks for sticking with me friends (new and old)!! ;)

karen said...

This is my favorite post of yours, I think. I learn so much from listening/reading you. I can feel everything you say here, but I have such a hard time articulating it. I just need practice. That's why I'm glad we have these little talks.

Laretha said...

hey girl! you know i love your views.

with the republicans switching to the dems and leaning left and dems leaning right it's a regular game of hokey pokey...

put your right foot in, put your right foot out....

i vote my values - thats my deal. i vote with the person who has a HISTORY of voting for or against those things that are most important to me - to my beliefs and to what I believe our country was founded on. not on the "pick me, pick me" campaign ads - but on the history of their voting record because that doesn't lie!

Hugs to you!
L

Laretha said...

OH -
PS...You know I agree with everything except the abortion thing. Then again, I don't believe abortion will ever become illegal, but I do believe in a God big enough to turn the hearts of His creation.

I also believe that when (not IF) pregnancy resource centers become the FIRST choice - over abortion clinics - we will see abortion clinics close. It's happening all over the country already.

When we truly give women the truth and options - not just abortion - they will do the right thing most of the time.

Hugs,
L

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

You make me smile! Love to you...

Valsy said...

Tell Krystyn she will have to be my bbf too. We are a package deal.

By the way, I have served in republican party and served as a rep in a democratic district. All done while being declared "independent." Still registered that way. :) And loving it.

Noah's Mommy said...

amazing post....I totally agree....in this day and age...with so many different..issues...I don't think it really works to be labeled one or the other.....happy SITS day

Jessica said...

Visiting from TuTu's Bliss and wow. You are fantastic. I so agree with you! Why can't we all just get along and let other people live their lives? Why do we insist on forcing our beliefs/ideals on other people? Let's try a hand up instead of a hand out. I could go on, but won't. Thanks for standing up!

K2cole said...

I figured out my picture problem and now see your banner - it is beautiful!!

jen said...

Had to show you this comment Tucker left on my page today. He's trying to outdo you.:)
Hiding butter knives takes all teh fun out of pretending to be wolverine!!!!!!!!!!!! If you can honestly say to yourself that you have never placed three butter knives between your fingers on each hand (granted...the second hand is a bit difficult) and randomly sliced at the air pretending you had an adamantium skeleton, then you can also honestly tell yourself you have never lived.

((((hugs)))) (so does four parentheses on each side make it a bigger hug than Natalie's?

Gretchen said...

I'm a Miss Independent too! Can't fit quite right in any of the other boxes. Thanks for sharing your views.

If we could figure out how to use the allocation to welfare appropriately -- to enable people who have the ability and to help those who aren't able (e.g., sick or disabled) -- I would have restored faith in our government. I am not crossing my fingers... at least in my lifetime.

Michelle said...

I think there should be a new political party called "Common Sense", and that would be YOUR PARTY! :)
Keep saying what you think--I love it.
I would be "Independent", too, but in some states that limits your voting (in Florida, for example). Silly, silly.