Disclaimer: This post was written based on my opinion of a recent evening. I toned down some of the opinions expressed and I've removed many of the extreme terms used in our discussions. When my friend was offended it was because I used the term, "hate," when referring to same sex marriage and women. It was a heated discussion but we're still GREAT friends and respect each other immeasurably. My friend is not going to be identified but for those of you that are close to me and may know of whom I'm sharing, know that this is a lesson for me and learning to look beyond my tunnel vision.
From my friend as I reviewed the blog with him via Facebook so disregard the syntax and format:
Rodney and I hosted a small dinner party the other day with two of our very good friends. Rodney doesn't speak about politics in a social situation and I don't normally, either. There was an exception on this particular night because we are such good friends and we both enjoy sparring. Rodney and our friend's partner went off into the other 'wing' of the house to get away from the, well, semi-heated conversation.
Surprise, I'm liberal. My friend, who is 20 years my junior and just beginning his career identifies as 'leaning republican.' He's straight, white, smart, involved with a gorgeous woman (who BTW is liberal) and when he told me he leaned republican I couldn't believe it. Here are the statements that I heard:
1. Although he doesn't believe abortion should be used, like me, he believes it's up to the woman because it's her body.
2. He believes in women's rights.
3. He doesn't believe gay marriage should be illegal.
4. (And this one's murky) He believes in entitlements within reason, with a cap and protections against abuse.
5. Based on our conversation he believes in a progressive tax program for the most part except, "Why should rich people pay more than their fair share?" came out of his mouth at one point.
What irked me after we had determined these 5 points was that he still identified as 'leaning republican.'
I didn't get it. I absolutely offended him by stating if he leans republican he can't possibly believe Rodney and I should be able to marry. I added fuel to the fire by stating that leaning republican doesn't support women and their rights.
I know he doesn't believe these things but I'm at a loss. Clearly I have tunnel vision and I need my mind opened up. Most of my friends are 1%-ers yet, like me they are ultra liberal. My friend will be a 1%-er based on family business prospects so I think we have apples and apples for the most part. This morning when I told him I was writing this blog post he stated, "Compare it to the Catholic Church: I believe in God but I don't necessarily believe in the bible. They would want me out." Well, he used an expletive but I held back. (He is not Catholic)
This has been bothering me since Saturday night. Share your thoughts on the benefits of leaning republican, leaning democrat or simply being independent. Our country is so polarized right now I'm utterly shocked. I would love to see more civilized discourse and would like to start with myself.
Why not progressive?
At times I'm frustrated by those that don't follow politics in the United States. I worry they don't vote, I worry they don't get their opinion out there. Of course, I am very progressive and very much in opposition to the right, however, I'm being inspired by a much greater goal than politics. Politics is all cyclical. It's not important in the grand scheme of things. The important part of life is what all the regular people are doing. I'm changing the focus of this blog a bit. Not because I think the Tea Party won the midterms or anything like that but because I want to elevate us above that sort of derogatory nonsense into something that is far more useful. Something to save us and save the world. Small goals, I know. But seriously something to talk about.