Political Identities

Who are you?

Fundamentally, what is your political DNA?

From my experience talking with people over the years, no one is singularly a Republican or Democrat. These are just social constructs meant to divide us and really don’t give a good description of a person and what they believe fundamentally.

For instance, not everyone identifying as a Democrat is pro-choice. Along those same lines, I know Republicans who believe it’s time for gun reform. I, myself, identify as a Democrat but I’m all for small government and harder punishment for violent criminal offenders.

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OPINION: “Do or do not, there is no try”

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Yes, a Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan’s apprentice.

 – Yoda

I’ve always had a very strong sense of patriotism. In high school, I won several speech-writing competitions showcasing this patriotism. I love this country and I truly believe that this country has all the workings and potential to be a leader in this world from our infrastructure to our governing processes to our educational institutions. I believe we could be the greatest country in the world if we tried.

As an adult, I’m still a patriot but I’m continuously frustrated with the direction our country is taking regarding civil rights, humanitarian issues, immigration, global warming, free speech, and violence. I’m devastated that we aren’t reaching our potential with regard to our infrastructure, governing processes, and educational institutions. I’m pissed that China owns the majority of our debt and that our national deficit is over $800 trillion in 2018. Most recently, I’m extremely upset that, on our border, children are being taken away from their families and jailed without any plan in place to reunite them with their families.

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OPINION: A Divided Country

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In 2004, when President Bush was elected for a second term, I sat on the couch in a run-down house where I lived with 5-6 other people and watched as the country decided that more of the same was what felt safe at the time. Of course, I felt disappointment, but since I couldn’t really identify with John Kerry, I took it in stride.

During that election cycle, Barack Obama emerged on my radar and I, like many young people, found him to be everything Bush wasn’t. I knew he would be president when I heard him speak. I didn’t know when, but I knew that would happen.

In 2008, when President Obama was elected for his first term, I sat on my friend’s couch and watched as the country changed forever.  I was a twenty-something college student during Bush’s second term and was heavily influenced by the worsening economy, liberal arts environment, and on-going war. Everything that I stood for went against this president’s agenda. Then, along came Barack Obama, who was charismatic, intelligent, organized, and who spoke to my generation.

At that moment, the divisions in this country got deeper. Subsequently, in 2012 when he was elected again, they worsened. Now, is it a coincidence that his election and the worsening division happened the exact year that social media became a “thing”? Maybe.

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