I usually don't like to talk about politics, mostly because I rarely agree with anyone around me. Do I support gay marriage? No. My church leaders have come out specifically in opposition to that. This puts me against nearly all the more liberal of my acquaintanceship. My faith is paramount in my life. Do I feel that society needs to ensure the basic welfare of all? Yes. I think many people agree with this tenet, but disagree with how it should be carried out. I love my country and I want it, and all who live within its boundaries to be as successful and happy as possible.
I personally feel that it needs to be specifically mandated that all are cared for, and the responsibility of the government to ensure that this is carried out. This puts me at odds with the majority of my more conservative friends who feel that this is the responsibility of individuals and groups within our society, but that depending on the government for these services is inefficient and unnecessary. For those of you reading, I understand. Believe me. I try to be as informed as possible and see every issue from as many vantage points as I can. I have seen both through social data and through personal anecdotal experiences that there exists major disparity throughout our society. I was personally born with many socioeconomic privileges and I am aware that many have to overcome so much just to be on the same playing field that I was given. This is why I feel I should sacrifice some of my income in support of those born with much less than me. I believe that, while imperfect and often not entirely efficient, social programs are a step in the right direction for allowing equal opportunity for success. This is my personal feeling. I know again that many disagree.
I support immigration policies allowing for amnesty. I have seen and have spoken with many who depend on undocumented workers for the economic sustainability of their businesses. It makes fiscal and moral sense to me to allow these undocumented workers a documented and legal place within our society. I will vote for candidates who champion causes closest to my personal beliefs.
This brings us all to this next November. While I value and admire the courage and character of most of the candidates, I will choose who I vote for based on my personal beliefs. I will not actively campaign or shove in anyone else's face my choices. I am very wary of those who belittle, mock, or bully someone who sees political issues differently. I have experienced this myself, and it is very unpleasant. I have very carefully and thoughtfully formed my opinions with the best information I have. I do not take the idea of forming opinions lightly. I hope by this paragraph I haven't lost any friends (because I have before), I don't think my political viewpoints are a secret. I also hope I don't return to Provo tomorrow to a mob of pitchforks outside my apartment. I only ask that we be respectful and understanding of others' beliefs and recognize that sometimes we just won't see things the same way. This goes for me too. If I do/say anything obnoxious, feel free to call me a dirty hypocrite. I also hope that this hasn't sounded like a long, annoying, pontifical rant. I promise this is the last time I will specifically mention politics in this blog! Whew!
If anything, I just wish Mike Gravel would run again.