In following up my article about the first time I registered to vote, I thought I’d update everyone on what I’ve learned so far. The election, or as I find better referred to as “the vote” (will explain later) is coming up in less than two weeks and I’m trying, like many of you, to understand all the gibberish I’ve been seeing on TV.
First of all, I’d like to call it “the vote” because I feel things that are more important to me are being voted upon and I won’t necessarily be “electing” anyone to a position. I see the vote as a chance to choose candidates that support issues that I strongly believe in.
As many of you know, I have never been very politically minded. I’ve always figured that whoever was in power would do what’s best for our country and even if I didn’t always agree with them, I couldn’t imagine any candidate doing anything crazy. I mean, we all want this state, this country to succeed, right?
Right. And this is something that both parties, Republican and Democrat, can agree on. But, there are many issues in which the two main parties disagree. So recently I have found myself wondering am I Republican or a Democrat?
I’ve always considered myself liberal. That’s a word I can understand and I see it as meaning generous, open-minded, and a belief in equality. Thus, I have come to the conclusion that I am a Democrat. Most Democrats take the liberal philosophical view and often support equality and liberty among all people in the United States regardless of income or class.
Most Republicans, I have found, are more conservative. Most believe not everyone has a right to certain things (like healthcare, marriage, and lower taxes). Most believe that the rich have earned their money and therefore don’t believe they should be paying higher taxes (even if they can afford it).
Again, that’s most Republicans.
After taking a couple online “Are you a Republican or Democrat” quizzes, I was considered a Democrat but not by much. There are things I am truly for democratically and that’s Pro-Choice and Pro-Love (allowing same-sex marriages) but I am not sure I fall entirely into a category, definition, or label.
So why do we have these definitions and labels that we call Political Parties?
After some research I’ve found the term “political party” was formed to put like-minded people together and allow someone to represent them. The two parties also protect (or are working to protect) government from being overwhelmed by too many small groups, or factions, forming under their own agendas. As you can imagine, it might be hard for the government to get anywhere if we had hundreds of factions running around disagreeing and arguing with each other all the time.
Instead we just have two.
Here is where I am divided. I get that our government might essentially “implode” if millions of people couldn’t agree on anything (and form parties) but I also believe in progress. Clearly Amendments were made to the Constitution because people started challenging it as we continued to grow and develop as a country. Things that for one reason or another may have made sense in 1787, like not allowing women to vote, don’t apply now. We’ve grown. And I think we are still growing and evolving. In order to do this, though, it only makes sense to me that we question ourselves, as a country and personally, on our beliefs and the way we see the world.
I’d love for us to listen to each other; to look from different points of view. Just like in football, as a receiver you may think you are open, but the quarterback has a different point of view, one in which the safety has come to help and you are no longer an option. So the quarterback looks elsewhere and then explains to the receiver what happened. Even just in sports, as a receiver in this case, it’s hard to listen to other points of view. But that’s exactly what we need to do; we have to listen to each other. I think a little bit of talk, discussion, and eventually agreement, can go a long way.
Then again, I guess I’m a lover not a fighter. That makes me a Democrat doesn’t it?… Here we go again…
If you want to check out some fun reading check out this article by Leon Felkins in which he pokes fun at both parties’ stances…
And to take a Republican/Democrat quiz (just for fun) go to: