I was recently asked to consider being a PCO (Precinct Committee Officer) for the Republican Party. In a nutshell, this means that I would be a representative for my precinct (which consists of about 10 square blocks), remind people to vote and be available to discuss policies and junk.
The first thing I said was, "I don't know if they would really want me. I am not your typical Republican."
What do I mean by this? Allow me to explain.
I once heard a radio host (actually, I have heard this more than once, but it was one particular time when it really hit home) who, at the time, was very fond of the tea party, explain that he is a Conservative first, a Republican second.
That right there is where I get annoyed.
To me, Republicanism does not always equal Conservatism. I will explain later.
Next...when I attended the "victory" party during the 2012 election (victory in quotes because we lost most of the elections), I was remarkably put off by the distain expressed towards Chris Christie, a fellow Republican. People were furious that we had the gall to walk arm and arm through the newly ravaged New Jersey coast with Barack Obama. You know...the President of the United States. Their problem had to do more with the fact that he's a Democrat.
Here is my voting order:
I am an American first! This means simply that I don't care who is walking arm in arm with whom. Chris Christie and Barack Obama are both Americans And...New Jersey just suffered a major hurricane. To me, their unification was a sign of greater strength as a country. It's what we've been missing for a while. They can argue taxes later. That day, they were both Americans and they were there for each other. Just like we should all be there for each other. Regardless of Party.
I am a Republican second. Party comes after country. I believe in lower taxes, states rights, individual freedoms, the free market, a strong military, etc. You know what I don't believe in...telling people what to do in their bedrooms. When did this become a Republican value?
I am a conservative third-ish. I mean, I don't really even consider myself conservative. Certainly, I have conservative views on some things. But, I consider that more coincidence than anything. Low taxes is conservative. Being allowed to pray in schools is conservative. However, being allowed to pray in schools has been turned into school led prayer. Which, unfortunately, goes against my Republican values of less government....sooooooooo, we have a problem. If the Jew wants to pray, he can pray. If the Baptist wants to pray, he can pray. If the Atheist wants to do nothing, he can do nothing. But, when the principal gets up and says, "Let us pray..." you just alienated everyone who doesn't want to participate.
I am a Catholic forth. Meaning, I do take Christian values into account, but not on the level that my values will infringe on another's religious freedoms. More along the lines of "Teach a man to fish" or "how you treat the least of my children is how you treat me." (I don't have the Bible memorized, in case you couldn't tell from my paraphrasing.)
And 5th, I am me. This means that I reserve the right to change my mind. I will always vote my conscious. If I think the main guy is a schmuck...I won't vote for him. I will write a name in before I vote for someone that I don't genuinely believe will do a good job.
Anyway...apparently, as I was told my a friend in the party...they need more people like me. Otherwise, the Tea Party nutjobs will take over.
Those guys...they need their own party. Because, right now...they are really screwing mine up.
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