Sunday, March 18, 2012

Waxing Politic

Is there such a thing as a muffin with puffin meat inside? Kind of like a mincemeat pie? But a puffin muffin? That just crossed my mind.

Nathan and I went to our caucuses last Thursday, just like a million other Utah Republicans who didn't know what else to do because every other activity was cancelled (MBASA writing group, in my case).

Cute little Mormon elephant.

Our caucuses were held at an elementary school down the road from us. Upon arriving at the table in front of the Wymount precinct room, we found out that Nathan couldn't vote in that precinct because his driver's license bore an address from his single days. So the side-parted Republican tool manning the table wouldn't give him the special green piece of paper that said he could vote ... so Nathan went to his old precinct because he wanted to vote ... even though it was probably illegal we later realized. Whatever.

So I took Graham into the crowded classroom where we found no vacant seats. Then I got peeved because as a woman with a baby, shouldn't some able-bodied man get up from his child desk and offer it to me? This peevishness is evidence of my dual political nature, I think. I think women have different needs than men= not feminist=Republican. I want someone with more than me to give me some of theirs=Democrat. Am I oversimplifying? Yes. Was I just being a lazy mom with a heavy, squirrelish baby? Also yes. Through a bit of musical chairs ... I did eventually get a seat=opportunistic=capitalist=Republican.

Throughout the looong caucus process I learned a few things:

1. Our generation (including me) is woefully ignorant of how local government works.
2. People don't vote for candidates who use their 30 seconds of speech time to go on about how "I want to be a politician as a career, so I think this is a good place to start, oh and by the way, I'll represent you and listen to you." Even if that candidate's wife then says sweetly, "He's SUCH a good listener!" Oh, Wymount, I love you.
3. Graham is not interested in grassroots politics.
4. I have no qualms about invading a grade schooler's sanctum of a desk cubby to borrow a feather of questionable sanitation if it means keeping my baby from squawking through the reading of the party charter. (Democratic wealth redistribution? Or Republican tax breaks because I put the feather back?)
5. Graham's sign for "fish" (popping lips together) is a crowd-pleaser.
6. It's easier to be involved in local politics than I thought.
7. I need to learn more about all this.

After the caucus, Nathan and I talked politics. Were we really Republicans? How could we be more involved? What issues did we really care about?

We might not be Republicans?

I did a survey of my major political beliefs (again, I know I'm going off of party stereotypes here, but I didn't run for a spot as a county delegate--so no worries):

-I'm against the death penalty (D), but mostly because we can't be sure we're right about the verdict every time (R).
-I love nature and think there should be regulations protecting the environment (D).
-I love capitalism; go Walmart (R).
-I think the sick and poor should receive aid (D), but not the lazy or willfully stupid (R).
-I think everyone should have the opportunity to access health care (D), but government involvement should be minimal (R).
-I believe immigration reform is needed (D), but I don't think living in America is a human right (R).
-I believe unions generally impede progress and cripple the necessary purifying fire of capitalism (R).
-I think a great education should be available to all children (D).
-I don't think the rich should pay a higher tax rate (R).
-I don't think it's wrong to vote according to my morals (R).
-I believe abortion is wrong (R), but I wonder if its universal legality is necessary to protect the rights of victims of rape or incest, or those with medical problems that make pregnancy life-threatening (D).
-I love Pell Grants (D).
-I believe in equal rights for women (D), but I don't think men and women are the same (R).

Non-scientific Score:
D: 9
R: 10

So does that make me a moderate Republican? I think so. I'll stick with the Republican label, if only to keep my grandfather from rolling in his grave. :)

Grandpa in a BLUE tie??? My favorite!

While I'm on this red, white, and blue soapbox, I'm tired of people making sweeping generalizations about political issues: "The GOP is pure evil!" "Liberals hate the Constitution!" "It's Wall Street's fault I can't afford an iPad!" "Feminists eat babies!" "Big oil is scum!" and on and on.

Come on! Is 50% or more of the country (an estimate of how many people would disagree with any of these statements) really completely wrong? Guess what, Tea Party? Obama is not Satan; he didn't single-handedly thrust our country into the deficit by throwing a massive Hawaiian luau (or was it a Kenyan luau?!?). Guess what, hippie tree-huggers? Without oil companies, you likely couldn't afford to buy the bracelet handwoven by African single mothers and transported across the Atlantic on a ship powered by caterpillar toenail clippings.

I'm disappointed that I haven't found a candidate who is immune to making these types of comments. Maybe it's a testament of the mercurial, Colosseum-spectator nature of our country's votership--but I'm tired of it. I want a candidate to be honest and analytical--not sensationalist and rude. So I'm voting for Graham.

There's something very Teddy Roosevelt about this picture.

What are your thoughts on politics these days? Are you 100% Republican or Democrat? What issues do you waffle on? Is the waffle Belgian? Would Ron Paul eat the waffle?

5 comments:

  1. All of those 'D' issues are not solely owned by the 'D' party. Neither are the 'R' issues. I take issue with the wanting to keep the environment clean business as just a 'D' thing. I have hugged trees, I love plants, I clean up when I am out on trails, I try to use environmentally safe products in my garden, and I am planning a worm ranch and a bat house in my new yard, and yet I am the so far from ever voting for a 'D' it is not even funny. I think if you must split it into two sides it is progressive and conservative,and that has nothing to do with D or R. I respect Joe Leiberman (D) because he is conservative. I am rather disgusted with many of Orrin Hatch's (R)political stances because they are progressive.
    Go back and read the end of Mosiah, all of Alma, and Helaman. Mormon saw our day, including our politics. Those social/political chapters are there for US RIGHT NOW. What is a crazy tax percentage? The Book of Mormon teaches us that. How should the affairs of the people be carried out? also in the Book of Mormon. When is it OK to pick up arms and fight? How does Satan work to destroy a nation? What does that look like? Did they have a two party system in the Book of Mormon...uh, yes, they did. How did that look? Does it look the same now? Look for patterns. Everything is one giant pattern. What we need now is another Nephihah, Captain Moroni, and Helaman. Who is gonna step up? Who knows, maybe it will be Graham.....=)

    Auntie

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  2. Oh, and just FYI, Grandpa was a registered Independent!

    Auntie

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  3. Thanks for your comments, Auntie! I agree that my R&D labels aren't completely accurate--a testament to my ignorance of most things political! I hadn't thought about it in terms of progressive/conservative--thanks for that insight. How would you define those?

    And sorry for misrepresenting you, Grandpa!

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  4. I agree with you on the point that Democrats and Republicans are neither completely wrong or completely right on most issues. It's easy to generalize each side's positions, but it's not always accurate or fair. Law school has definitely helped my ability to see both sides of the issues all the time, and what I've learned is that the problems that our country faces are extremely difficult to solve. But at least we're working at it.

    By the way, I don't know if you took Teachings of the Living Prophets at BYU, but I took it from Mary Jane Woodger. She personally interviewed the First Presidency and the Apostles back when President Hinckley was the Prophet. We talked about politics one day, and she told us that the First Presidency (President Hinckley, President Monson, President Faust) was made up of two Democrats and an Independent. Just thought you might find that interesting.

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  5. I had heard that before, and I think it is sooo interesting. I didn't get to take the class, though. I'm glad to have that tidbit confirmed by another source--it was floating around my memory like so many other potential Mormon myths. Thanks!

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