The journey I have made from being a young impressionable, liberal democrat into a thirty-three year old conservative republican has been an interesting, but somewhat difficult endeavor.
Most of my adolescence had been spent under the administration of President Bill Clinton. What I remember most is that he was popular, which was mainly attributed to how well our country had prospered under his policies. (Back then I did not have a firm grasp on the role congress played, but that would come later). The details are hazy now, but I remember the era being the last moments of optimism for my generation; before everything became consumed by the war on terror.
During that time, my life had consisted of picking colleges and mapping out my young feminist life. Make no mistakes, I was a liberal feminist. I had engrossed myself in the teachings of Betty Friedman. I believed the worst decision a woman could ever make was to resign herself to the role of housewife. I considered that a fate for my mother’s generation. My future was going to be boundless.
In January of 2000, I enrolled in my first onslaught of business courses. I was trying to decide between economics, or accounting. I was good at math, loved theoretical reasoning, and wanted a job that allowed me some flexibility. My first economics class was an introduction into the world of laissez-faire economics. The teachings of Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell became the building blocks which gradually moved my ideology in the direction of the conservative mindset. While not fully embracing the Republican Party, this is the moment where I first began to identify myself as a conservative.
That November, the first presidential election I was ever able to vote in, my ballot was cast for Republican candidate George W. Bush. Not exactly the way I had pictured myself voting for the first time, but I don’t regret it. After that, I focused my energy on an accounting degree. While enjoying the world of economics I found the constant theory based reasoning without definitive conclusions a bit unsatisfying. I enjoyed accounting because at the end of the day you came to a right answer.
Next, I set out to immerse myself in the world as a newly formed conservative, but I was always reluctant to label myself as a Republican. My impression of the party was that of the typical stereotype. They were either the rich wealthy elitists or the unbending social conservatives. I did not want to be associated with either of those images. I still had the remnants of the feminist liberal social value set because I favored abortion and gay marriage.
I will tell you why my attitude toward abortion changed. I was conversing with a college friend who was lamenting about the Republicans stance on abortion. She was angry about the 2003 ban George Bush had enacted on partial birth abortions. I truly did not see a problem with the ban and told her that in cases of the mother’s life being at risk it would still be permitted. Besides, I said “Who would want to have a partial birth abortion anyway? It sounds horrific.” She gave me a look that let me know I had just committed the most grievous of offences and said, “It’s not for any man in the government to decide what I do with my own body. They have no right to force a pregnancy on me that I do not want! Look at the new state laws! They are forcing women to have a probe ultra sound performed. It is ridiculous, invasive and cruel!” (Tennessee had just required ultra sounds to be performed before an abortion)
I remember sitting there for a minute and just looking at her; then a sobering realization struck me. My friend had revealed her true character and in the process she had exposed me to my own flawed ideology. Any other time before this moment, I would have changed the subject or dismissed the comment as youthful fervor, but I felt a shift in my attitude. My friend was a selfish, spoiled, narcissist who believed abortion was a right she was entitled to have provided for her, and because I refused to take a stand then I was truly no better than her. At that moment, I did not care what anyone labeled me.
I fired back, “Pregnancy is preventable, and I believe delivering a partially born baby, which could survive outside the womb, only to drive an ice pick into its skull a morally reprehensible act! To you, an ultra sound being performed is invasive, but allowing a suction rod shoved into your uterus inorder to remove a baby is not! I want to fully understand your thought process, because what it sounds like is that your right to be a Feminist Nazi b**ch, who refuses to practice safe sex, is more important than the life of a child! Am i correct?” Needless to say, she and I are no longer on speaking terms.
This was a turning point for me. I had never before thought beyond the needs of the mother. I believed abortion should be legal because a woman had the right to decide what happened within her own body. I was never an advocate for abortion, but only believed the choice should be there. That was the first time I thought about the baby as more than just a choice.
My feelings go beyond even a religious conviction. I do not believe any living creature should be killed simply because it is a nuisance to another. I will never understand how a liberal can handcuff themselves to a piece of machinery in order to prevent a tree from being cut down, but an unborn child is not a cause worth fighting.
Let me further clarify my position, I am pro-life, but I do not believe Roe v Wade should be overturned. I would not advocate women returning to back alleys, which would be a direct result if it were abolished. Abortion is only the end result of an even bigger issue. We need to encourage more advocacy groups who reach out to both the mother and father. We need to educate our young people, and identify where the disconnect is between prevention and unwanted pregnancies. I believe in responsible birth control education, but I also believe that teenage sexual activity should not be encouraged. We can have a balance between both.
Also, the statistical data show a disproportionate number of minority women are the ones having abortions. This is a growing trend that will only increase with time. Below is a chart showing the demographics:
* Total Estimate of Abortions performed each year = 1.2 Million
It is difficult for me to understand why even a liberal would not want to change the dynamics of how the above numbers are trending. My theory on why Liberals encourage such negative behavior connects to how they are able to retain their voting blocks. In order to retain voter turnout they desperately need to exploit and inspire a feeling of victimization. To accomplish this the cycle requires four basic steps:
- Create an outrage/issue
- Invoke fear
- Encourage the feeling of victimization
- Create an enemy
There is absolutely nothing the Republican Party can do to overturn Roe v. Wade. It would take an act of the Supreme Court, and with the current dynamics on the bench it is unlikely that would happen any time soon, if ever.
As far as Gay Marriage is concerned, I am not opposed to it. From my point of view, the government does not define marriage. Marriage is not in the Bill of Rights. The government/state only recognizes a union between two people and allows certain rights and privileges because of it. The word “marriage” is used to invoke fear (remember Characteristic 2).
The religious sect believes the government is trying to impose its will on the church, and the social liberals believe the right is spewing hate. The cycle repeats itself with no one accomplishing anything. The best solution for the moment is to allow a “Civil Partnership” for same sex couples. If the Church wants to recognize it as a marriage then it is free to do so. The Federal Government should only offer it’s input when it comes to any tax recognition. Other than that it should not involve itself in the process. The matter is up to the states and we have people freely voting on it.
Liberalism/Progressivism has evolved into an ideology that fiscally makes little sense; the rate of debt has doubled in the last four years. The economy is showing little growth. And morally it encourages class warfare, envy, and division which ultimately will lead to suspicion and hate. Liberals/Progressives are not content and well-rounded individuals. They seem to enjoy a perverse pleasure in believing themselves superior to anyone who disagrees with them, which is nothing more than a sign of insecurity and self-loathing.
Is the Republican Party perfect? No. But it is the most honest and responsible ideology in current American Politics . It has a history of advocating civil rights, from the ending of slavery to modern civil rights legislation, and encourages the limiting of government powers. The GOP directs it’s focus on ensuring a person lives their life on their own terms, without overwhelming government intrusion. It believes the goal is to ensure the liberty of the people through personal freedom and fiscal responsibility.
One of my favorite quotes, from a man whose life is the absolute definition of the indomitable strength of the human spirit, best describes the devotion the Republican Party can inspire:
I am a Republican, a black, dyed in the wool Republican, and I never intend to belong to any other party than the party of freedom and progress. -Frederick Douglass
If a former slave and a reformed liberal feminist can find value in the Republican party’s ideals, enough to make them worth fighting for, then I believe there is hope for this country.