Well, my friends. I am breaking every rule in my book today. I’m going to talk politics. And I’m going to talk honestly about politics (something else I hardly ever do). If you agree or disagree, if you think I’m right or wrong, if you voted red or blue, I hope you will put these differences aside, as I am learning to do.
I am a Republican. Living in Connecticut, that is like announcing that I am a leper. But try as I might, I can’t hide the fact that my value system is based firmly on the Republican platform of less government, less taxes, less foreign affairs. In a nutshell, I believe the government should really keep me safe from harm and that’s about it. I don’t want them in my doctor’s office, my small business, my classroom, my family, or my church. These are the principles that make me a Republican.
In the past 8 years, it hasn’t only been living in Connecticut that has me hiding my Republican philosophies. It has been shame in my party. The governing authorities in power for the past 8 years are not the ones I elected. True, I checked the box and cast my vote for them. But their agenda was not the agenda that I voted for. And for a long time I thought that this meant Republicans were wrong. This was our President. This was our party. This was our platform. If I didn’t agree, then surely I was wrong.
But we all learn as time marches on, and I have learned that I am not wrong. I may not be right, but I am not wrong. The Republican party that I know has strong values, believes in the vitality and independence of the American worker, respects privacy and the decisions of individuals, acknowledges working classes in ALL pay brackets, and, above all, is proud of its country and its leaders. I’m sure if you were to put this list of characteristics in front of any Democrat, they would describe this as the fundamental of their political platform as well.
In the simplest of senses, we all want the same thing. We all want a country that keeps us safe, but we want more than that. We want a country with values and ethics, great potential and the resources to realize that potential. We want a country who is proud and noble without being judgmental or dominating. But there are a thousand different ways to reach these goals. Republicans have one path. Democrats have another.
I had truly hoped this next generation would see the pride and honor of the Republican party that I know. And I had hoped they would experience this through the next President, John McCain. By as early as 8:30 last night, I knew that wouldn’t happen. And I’m not frustrated. I’m not disappointed. I’m actually quite hopeful.
I’m hopeful that I am wrong. I’m hopeful that the ends we all desire can truly be met by a variety of means. I’m hopeful that the nation will respect viewpoints of all different platforms, nationalities, races, genders. And while at this point I am a bit skeptical and doubtful that we have elected the change everyone is so desperate for, I am hopeful that we have.
I am a Republican, and I didn’t vote for the man who made history last night. But I will support him. Because he is going to be my president and because he has inspired so many Americans to see the good in their country again. I will support him cautiously, but confidently.
I wanted change from a different source. But in lieu of that, I’ll take change. Onward and upward can’t begin until we are all on board.
And I am.