My new politics

Tonight I got up the courage to rent “Fahrenheit 9/11.” In the past few years I have changed politically. I began daughter-imitator of a seriously Conservative Fox-news loving father and have slowly transitioned into a sort of mutt moral conservative, social democrat as many evangelical types might call themselves. Now I’m not even sure those are proper labels. Although I’m 25, this is the first election to which I have paid any attention. I guess the realization that I am one of those wined and dined swing-state undecided voters finally sunk in.

But really the fact that the world seems so much more complicated, incomprehensible and messed up has somehow driven me to assert myself as a voter. If I don’t care enough to vote, (and shamefully I didn’t in the last presidential election) then I really have no right to complain.

I say I got up the courage to rent “Fahrenheit 9/11” because I’ve always been hesitant to stray from the conservative mold I’ve been brought up in. For many years I considered myself a pretty hard-core evangelical Christian. I thought of life in simple terms; black and white, logical and straightforward. Do this and you get that, believe this and you receive that. Life, however, is anything from straightforward and Christianity certainly does not have to be the way I was interpreting it. But there is social pressure from some to believe a certain political party line because you hold certain spiritual and religious convictions.

I suppose that’s how I came up with the idea that good Christians vote for candidates like Bush almost solely on the basis that he is strictly against abortion, despite the fact that I may disagree with everything else he says and there is almost no political chance to overturn Roe v. Wade.

So I’ve made two decisions. One is to think for myself and vote for whoever I want to based on my complete personal convictions, not just the fact that I happen to be personally pro-life. The second is to stop thinking about the world in objective black and white terms. This is much more difficult. I’m a labeler like the rest of them. I feel the urge to figure people out and categorize them to decide how I feel about them. But if I know I could never be accurately categorized, then it follows that I’m only misjudging and selling people short myself.


2 Responses to My new politics

  1. Mary says:

    laura – i love this entry. very thoughtful. sojourners magazine does a really good job at examining the platforms of both candidates (hmmm, i’m sure they also look at nader, but i haven’t been paying attention since he’s not even an option on the illinois ballot). check it out –

    also, i LOVE that you have a blog. i got in late last night, much too tired to feel much of anything, but quickly jumped online and found that you had entered this little blogging world. i was ridiculously happy. ask hans. he was there. you’re such a good writer – i’m glad you’re available to the masses now 🙂

  2. Laura says:

    Thanks dear.. my very first comment. Here’s to many more. =)

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