Fair warning: this is my one and only political post of this season, so if you want to skip this one and return tomorrow for more of the usual, please feel free. I won’t be offended.
So you stayed. Thanks. And to reward you, this will not be about bashing the other guy or opposing positions. This is simply my opportunity to let you know who I am--and who I am not--as a voter.
I am a proud Democrat.
What I am not is naive.
I believe in social justice, Civil Rights and religious freedom. I am not fiscally irresponsible, a moocher, and or easily dismissed.
I believe my grandmothers fought for my right to vote, go to college, earn equal wages and make my own healthcare decisions.
I am a wife and proud mother of four beautiful and loved children. I am not a baby killer. Perhaps this makes me a feminist, but I’d like to think I’m more humanist.
I do not see affordable healthcare as an affront. I am relieved that we finally value humans as much as we do our cars, houses and motorcycles. I am grateful that my son will be able to provide for his family someday without fear of his pre-existing condition. I’m happy that no other parent will have to make a medical decision based on whether or not they will be eligible for insurance.
I believe in a social safety net--one that was woven by my grandparents’ generation who lived through the Great Depression and decided a country as great as ours should never be without one again.
I also don’t see my grandparents as a voting bloc or a drain to the economy with their care after working their entire lives contributing to the system. I see them as brilliant architects of a society that allows us to grow and follow our dreams without fear of losing everything if we get sick or retire.
I am a person of faith. But I have no interest in my government making policy decisions based on any one church’s tenants, beliefs or interpretations.
I am an American. I believe one of the many sources of this nation’s strength is our free education system, and the more educated the population, the better off we are as a society. I believe that’s an investment that pays off in every facet of civilization.
Admittedly, I am also sometimes the token liberal. In our school, neighborhood, workplace and church, I have become used to it. What I am not is ashamed of anything other than the parents and teachers who suggest to my middleschooler that overturning Roe v. Wade is an age-appropriate topic, or the only factor in voting for president. I believe a pro-life agenda goes much further than this single issue that has no business being taught to children as a partisan talking point.
I am a realist. I know that social programs and defense cost money and that money comes from taxes which I don’t like to pay anymore than anyone else. But I can’t imagine living in a nation without schools, libraries, parks, police and a military that makes these things possible and I’m willing to pay for it.
I am a tree-hugger, but in genuine disbelief that no matter how you think the planet was made, that we can’t all agree to keep it clean. I think If bureaucracy is a pejorative term for agencies that keep our medicines and food supply safe and our air and water clean, then I suppose I’m a blasphemer, too.
I am a mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister, a niece and a granddaughter. I am an equal.
As are you. And whomever you choose to love.
And I am frightened. Because I believe all of the things I am is at risk this election unlike most others. I see unprecedented intolerance, anger, bigotry and ignorance and it scares me to my core that we can’t have an adult conversation about any political subject without name-calling and suppression of ideas different from our own.
But most of all, I am one of millions of natural-born caretakers this election that would like to see a return to people over positions, individuals over issues and family over fanaticism.
And finally, I’m a lifelong student and another lesson I’ve learned from my grandparents is that neither party can stop time from marching relentlessly forward. I’m determined to continue to progress so I’m not left behind.
And I am now stepping off my soapbox and returning you to our regularly scheduled election.