I don’t really like to get involved in politics. I know I should. I know I need to stand up for what I believe in. My biggest problem is that I can see it from both sides. I, for the most part, can understand where people are coming from and why they would vote one way or another. Honestly, when it comes to politics I have been on both sides of the fence—not to mention a big long stay on top of the fence. I don’t like picking sides in an argument; I just want everyone to get along!
I grew up in a very conservative home. My mother didn’t openly talk a lot about politics but my dad did. He was an avid CNN watcher and Daily Courier reader. He often talked about current events and didn’t hold back on the personal commentary. My dad served on the school board, even serving as president while I was attending public school. I naturally agreed with his opinions and views. The instant I turned 18 I registered to vote, and didn’t even hesitate as I declared that I was a republican.
Yet as an 18 year-old I went off to college. I met people from various walks of life. I lived with a Vampire, Lesbian, a foster kid, Californians, a Mexican, Korean, and a CANADIAN! I had rich roommates, poor roommates, and pretty much everything in between. I served a mission to Montana where everyone was a gun toting member of the NRA. I saw different walks of life and for the most part LOVED THEM ALL! I love the richness of culture in general.
After my mission I decided for sure on a degree in Social Work for I felt that helping others was the Lord’s work. The school I went to had a Behavioral Science degree with an emphasis in Social Work. I loved the hybrid mix of Anthropology, Sociology, and Psychology as it pertained to Social Work. It was here though that my conservative mindset started to change. I truly wanted to help everyone! I looked at the republican and the democrat views and decided that I was not a republican because they didn’t want to help anyone. They focused on an ideal world and not reality—in my eyes. I felt like the real work was out there helping PEOPLE—not business. I knew that if Jesus was alive then he would be a democrat.
The very next time I moved, I changed my party affiliation. The shock and scandal for some family members was entertaining to me. They thought that I had gone off of the deep end. My sweet Grandma Anderson told me that her dad had been a democrat, and so it was okay with her. If it was okay with her then I felt like that was good enough! When I met my husband, he teased me about it and said that our votes just cancelled each other out. I explained that I didn’t vote straight ticket but would vote for whomever I thought was the best person for the job.
Then I had kids. It wasn’t the actual fact that I had kids that changed my mind but the fact that I stayed home all day and watched WAY too much day time TV. It happened to be that one day as I was watching the View, John Stossel was on the show that day. He was reporting on a new study that he had done. I don’t really even remember what it was completely about, but I remember that they were looking at who gave more to charity—democrats or republican. Democrats I blurted out to the TV! Of course democrats would give more—we believed in HELPING people. John changed my life that day when he reported that it was republicans that gave more.
It turns out that it is republicans because democrats desire for the government to do the helping. I thought that this was a little extreme but it got me thinking. When I pay my taxes, do I get the feeling that I am helping people? Do I get the same warm feeling that I get when I help my neighbor? Do I think of all the good this money is going to do in the world? Maybe some of you do. I just know that when I am in the moment with a person in need, I feel compassion, understanding, and love. The same as what the Savior felt as he helped people.
Maybe Jesus didn’t give money to big business so they could hire more people, but he surely didn’t give it to the government in hopes that they would go out and feed the 5,000. I think that is where good-honest God loving people can be on opposite ends of the debates. Both want to help people they just have different views of how it should be done. I believe that I think it should be done person to person, heart to heart.
I have been that agent of the government that you all paid for with your taxes. I have helped families that needed help. I have protected children. I have (hopefully) stopped kids from doing drugs or alcohol. I spent my days helping those in the community that didn’t know where to turn. I honestly think those programs are wonderful, and needed. Yet I don’t think I saw the same miracles as when I served at my (okay mostly my parents) cost as a missionary. The difference was in the recipient. When you are acting as an agent of the government, a lot of times people take you for granted. They feel entitled to your help. They also see you as the government that is MAKING them do something.
My parents served an LDS mission in Austria. Austria is a socialized country. They loved the people and the beautiful country that they lived in. The one thing that they had a hard time with was that there wasn’t as many opportunities to serve others. The government takes care of everything. Their neighbor fell and broke her hip. The government fixed it, put her in a care facility, when she returned home they sent someone to clean for her and bring her meals. This sounds wonderful, except that the human feeling of helping someone in need is gone. Also, they can’t afford to take care of everyone. So the Austrian government is selling all of their mountains and roads to foreigners to pay for all of the socialization.
So for this reason I have changed my party affiliation back to republican. Although I don’t love everything about Mitt Romney, I do love that he believes in the founding father’s vision. I love that he is a man of faith. I believe that he can help this country get back on its feet. And by his life, I know that he is a man that believes in helping others.
There you have it folks, my one political post. Now I will go back to the pretend world I live in where everyone gets along!