Sometimes I get so incredibly frustrated with people who think I am naive, or too liberal, or a bleeding heart. I get sick of hearing that I am a tree-hugger, or 'too far to the left'. I cringe when people call him 'your president'. Not because I don't consider him mine, but because of all the things they are implying by saying that. I can totally rock my Obama T-shirt, and I don't give a flying fuck who thinks I'm dumb, or too far left for voting for him.
I am to the point that I feel like I am being attacked when someone approaches me with the topic of Obama, the state of the economy, why I am getting my f-ing master's degree in social work, why 'your' President is 'taking away our right to buy ammunition and assault rifles (an aside here: Why the fuck do we need assault rifles? I understand military, SWAT, police dept., etc., but every day citizens? WTF for????), why I am liberal.....no matter how many deep breaths I take, no matter how educated I am, I still end up frazzled, frustrated, and usually in tears (but not in front of said jack-asses).
I know the facts. I strongly believe in some things, and you telling me that Obama is going to turn us into a 'welfare state' will not change my mind. Knocking me for my beliefs and convictions will not make me drop them and pick up yours. Rolling your eyes at my strong-felt conviction that we should be helping each other does not make me change my mind, nor does it make me respect you.
I am not just another pretty face; I am educated. Don't call me a bleeding heart, or a sucker, or a stupid girl. Don't say I am too sensitive (although I am), too forgiving (I am), or too giving for my own good. I don't just 'feel' these things; I do research. I educate myself on things that are important to me, whether it be same-sex marriages, stem-cell research, or abortion. Universal healthcare. Rehabilitation of offenders. The homeless population. Domestic violence. Sexual abuse. I don't carry the weight of these issues without knowing what I'm fighting for.
I do believe in abortion. Not as a form of birth control, but in situations where children are being raped, women are being raped, fetuses are growing with no brain (if that's what the mother wants).
I do believe that we should be actively teaching our children birth control options. I don't think it makes them want to have sex any more than the steady stream of hormones already going through their veins.
I do think we need to provide universal healthcare. There are ways of going about it; we can look at Canada's model and pick and choose what works for our country. I don't expect it to be perfect; things like this take years. I don't believe it will turn us into a socialist country. I do cringe at the thought of how many people forgo medical treatment and medication because it's that or food on the table. I've seen it happen so many times in my own family, and we aren't talking working poor, poor, or homeless. We are talking $40,000/year families, who can't afford to take care of their health.
I do think there is a cure out there for something (hopefully, lots of somethings) that is ailing humans, and I think stem-cell research may just be the key. I don't think it has to be pushed on everyone; I do, however, think we deserve the choice.
I do not have an issue with same-sex marriages. I don't see how anyone can even justify their disgust of this issue with the statement 'Their marriage is a danger to my moral marriage'. I realize people and religions translate the meaning of the Bible differently. I realize some are just disgusted with it. But I cannot deny the love that people have for one another, nor the rights they deserve to have. How can I say a woman can't be on her partner's health insurance just because they are both women? How can I deny them the right to marry, or adopt??
I do believe that each race deserves respect. I am color blind. I do think racism still goes on; I am not so naive to believe that it will ever disappear. I just refuse to teach it to my children.
I do believe that there are solutions to homelessness, hunger, abuse. I think we just need to think outside of the box. I think we need to care a little more about what the hell is going on in our own neighborhoods.
I do believe that our prisons are a mess. I know that most of them are criminals; they committed a crime, and they need to do the time. However, I do not think that our prison system even attempts rehabilitation. We store them; we lock them up. We expect them to get out and be normal law-abiding citizens. I do think that we are doing more harm than good. I don't want a sociopath who says he would kill again to live next door to me; that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is this: How in the world can we expect these men (and women!) to 'grow' or 'change' into law-abiding citizens when we don't give them the tools to do so?! What our prisons give them are the tools to continue fighting, hurting, breaking the law, doing what it takes to get by. I am not saying make it easy; I am saying make it workable. I am saying provide them with decent food. I am saying provide them with a real opportunity to see medical professionals (because, people, let me tell you, it's not happening; they are not receiving better healthcare on the 'inside'). I am saying give all of them the chance to read, write, seek therapy, etc. I am not saying give them DirecTV, internet, a library card, full access to your bank account, and a map out of the f-ing jail.
On a related note, I do not think sex offenders deserve more than one chance. I don't think rehabilitation should be trusted. I don't think we should waste any money to allow them to appeal, or keep them alive on death row. See? Look at that-a conservative point of view in all my tree-hugging satanic thoughts. I think we should just make it law that you get convicted of sexual assualt of a child, you get the death penalty. No appeals. Conservative? Hmmm. GASP.
I do believe we need to look at solar energy, wind energy, water energy. I do believe we depend too much on foreign oil. I do think we need to get our own damn energy and oil supplies. We do need to support the research of new ideas, innovations to make our time on this planet last as long as possible.
I do not like the fact that AIG is paying bonuses. I do think the government should make them give it back. Does that mean I believe in 'big government'? No, not necessarily.
Am I tree-hugger? Well, yes, in a way. Not in the literal sense of the word (although I did hug my magnolia tree when it bloomed for the first time). Am I liberal? Yes. Am I a socialist? No. Do I believe in 'big government'? Yes and no.
I am not telling you these things to change your mind, or belittle you for your convictions. I am simply stating my convictions. I am still a caring, loving, dependable, and loyal friend. I am a hard worker. I am a good person. And I happen to be liberal.
These are my convictions. These are my values. They deserve to be respected, just as the more conservative views others have. I deserve to be respected, not in spite of my convictions, but because of them.