At one time I was the real deal-- the proverbial soccer mom-- until my kids grew up. Now my grandkids are beginning to play soccer; so maybe it's soccer grandma. It will come as no shock to any regular readers that I am a registered democrat who regularly votes. In 2004, my family donated money to the Democratic party for the first time ever to any political party hoping to keep Bush from a second term.
Once upon a time I voted for the man rather than the party. That was in those days before one party got a lock on power. I am one of those who likes gridlock where neither party can shove through their own agenda but instead must work together. I'd be happy if a third party became viable. I am not sure that is possible given the lock the two-party system seems to have on power. Well it was two-party, not sure right now what it is-- nor am I certain what Republicans or Democrats stand for given the way money has so corrupted our system.
In terms of expertise, I have no degree in political science, nor am I a lawyer... Nope, no MBA either. I majored in education when I was in college-- way way back. I don't watch network television to get my news, and don't regularly watch cable TV either. I read newspapers (with conservative and liberal bents), political books, go to websites where politics are analyzed. Frequently I peek in at World Net Daily, a conservative, Christian online newspaper, to see their take on things and always take time to add my view to their poll results. I worry the most when I am with the majority on a question-- which does happen once in a great while.
From the time I was a little girl, the 'why' of things mattered to me. I was and am one of those always questioning-- leaving my friends to ask why be so analytical or say you're looking too deep. I can't argue with them, but it's how I am. It might go with the territory of writing and art. In art my interest has always been in sculpting or painting people. I am curious at the reasons behind things. That is both a gift and a curse.
For lifestyle, I am unorthodox in my spiritual beliefs, am a rural living and animal loving woman, who has raised two kids who are currently raising three of their own. I come from a union family where most everybody was Democrat. Even then politics was a hotly discussed topic not only from my parents, but at most family gatherings. My own children grew up hearing political debates in their home, being encouraged to vote as soon as they were legally able. We don't agree on all issues and still carry on those spirited discussions.
Until the Bush people got into power, I would have called myself a moderate. My political positions, while firm, are not those of one side or the other. It irks me when some say a moderate is washy-washy. It's no such thing. A moderate is actually an independent thinker. Because the party they generally vote for believes one way or the other won't make them do likewise. To me a moderate is one who chooses positions based on their personal life and beliefs-- not what someone else tells them they should support.
As two short examples of what being moderate means for me (would be different for others)-- I am for the death penalty in certain types of crimes, but also for choice in early abortions. I am not for free choice through the entire length of a pregnancy. I am a gun owner who has a concealed weapon permit and very strongly supports right to bear arms but don't think ordinary citizens should be allowed to own machine guns or assault rifles.
Naturally over the next month I will be writing more about my political opinions. I believe that just because we inherited a wonderful place to live, doesn't mean it'll always stay that way. We have to stand up for what we believe, sometimes sacrifice and stay alert that the values we hold dearest are not sucked away by those who only value power.
Sometimes in seeking power, people lose track of where they're heading, what they have sold to get it. Sometimes a country can do the same thing. I believe to stay grounded in world like ours takes constant reassessing. In any nation, there are always those ready to tell us what to think if we haven't taken the time to figure it out for ourselves.
When I tried to think of a photograph to illustrate who I believe I am but in a broader sense what I believe my country stands for, one choice became obvious. It was taken 8 years ago on the Metolius River in Central Oregon. My children were taken to this place from infancy, and the day the above picture was taken I had the opportunity to be there with my first grandchild. This photograph represents a continuity of love for nature and the beauty of life in a country that I will always cherish.
Incidentally, I was born 63 years ago today. I was fortunate enough to be born to parents who wanted me, who taught solid values by the example of their lives. When I was a toddler, they moved us to a farm where my brother was born. There wasn't ever a lot of money, but they taught us through the way they lived that money wasn't as important as other things.
They have both passed to the other side now, but I am grateful and thank them for the start they gave me, for all they added to my life. The continuity of life is one of its wonders.
(This last picture shows my roots as well as anything could. That's my brother and me cooling off in a cattle watering tank.)