This I Believe
I believe in being passionately middle of the road.
All my life I have been in the middle. I am too conservative for some of my friends, too liberal for others. When asked where I fall politically, I always say, “passionately middle of the road.” They scoff “No such thing.” People think if you don’t fall completely in either camp you must not consider or care about the issues. I can’t help but see both sides.
Take gun control. I am not afraid of reasonable gun laws. I have no interest in hunting or target practice; yet I grew up in the country where if a dangerous situation occurred, it would be perhaps too long before a sheriff could arrive. We had to be self-reliant. Why can’t our government make reasonable, common sense gun laws? Why is it all or nothing? The courts are full of lawsuits that stop sensible thinning of trees that prevent giant forest fires. Shouldn’t environmentalist value forests above individual trees? I think it is the fear of the slippery slope. Many lawmakers seem unable to take a step to the middle for fear of ending ten steps from what is comfortable. There is a delicate balance between the freedoms we would like to have, and the protections we would put on others who might impact our world. We all would like representatives who would draw the line where we would. That isn’t easy to find.
I think centrist politicians don’t get elected because not enough moderates vote in primary elections. The far ends usually elect the candidates. That leaves two extremes to choose from. Yet many say a vote for a third party is a wasted vote. No wonder so many Americans don’t bother.
Being a republican or a democrat doesn’t even mean what it used to. I feel like I stayed the same and my party moved. Sometimes even the party platforms don’t make sense to me. Why are pro-life positions linked with pro-death penalty and anti-gun control? Shouldn’t it be kill all or kill none? Why do women have the right to control their bodies, but not the right not to be over taxed and over regulated? It seems a bit contrived.
I was raised by two life long republican mid-westerners, so when I turned 18 I registered that way. Some people are born Jewish. I was born Republicanish. I live in California and own a health food store, so as you might guess, I frequently disagree with the republican base. I probably should be an independent. But If I changed I wouldn’t be able to vote in the primary for more moderate candidates. I’ll keep trying to bring politics back to the middle. This year, by courting independent thinkers, the candidates are even acting like they are passionately middle of the road. Well if it doesn’t get any better, at least I can vote against the people I don’t like — twice.