I loved growing up close to my relatives. My mom has four siblings and they have created an environment where my cousins sometimes feel like brothers and sisters and getting together for events, weddings and holidays are always filled with life and laughter. These people, aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins and even their friends are embraced with love and acceptance and have shaped me in more ways than one. I am so blessed to have each of them in my life.
One thing that was always exciting to me was when my relatives from Ohio and some of my relatives from PA would talk about politics. It was always tenuous because most of my Ohio relatives were democrats, most of my PA relatives republicans. If you don't know much about American politics, these groups don't usually agree on much. :)
It generally seemed like a bad idea to bring up politics which always frustrated me. I've always hated the saying, "It isn't polite to talk about religion and politics." Well, what if those are the two things you find most interesting?
Anyway, I have been a republican for a while now. I guess cause republicans seemed more serious about cutting the debt, were against abortion and talked more about God than those godless democrats.
But over the years I have found myself putting down the Fox News and picking up the NPR (GASP). Logging of the Drudge Report and following intelligent, diverse, people and news outlets on Twitter. I have found myself looking at issues like being "Pro-Life" and thinking about not only what that means for abortion (which is still a very important issue to me), but also war, poverty, adoption, and the elderly. All of these issues deal can with "Life" and the protection of it.
I think most of all I have learned, and am still learning, how to think for myself.
I like some ideas I hear from libertarians, some from republicans, some democrats, and a lot of ideas I hear from outside of politics. I'm tired of picking sides, I'm tired of the demagoguery, I'm tired of fake choices, I'm tired of grandstanding debate instead of discussion, I'm tired of certainty when what I want is humility, and I'm just not sure where I fit in, in regards to a political party. I'm just not convinced either side represents me well enough to identify with.
And that's why I'm down with NPA.
It feels kind of nice. I know it's not that big of deal, but it feels like I have a little more freedom than a little less. A little more independence, a little less ties. And if I want to change it, or vote in the primaries, all I have to do is change 30 days before the vote. Simple!
I think there are more people like me. People who see the constant and blatant inconsistencies, who would like to embrace a little more nuance and a little less black and white. I think these people are going to change the political landscape and it may take a decade or two but I think it will happen.
So, for now, I'm NPA. Or maybe I will join the "Dance Party". That definitely sounds like one I can identify with.
If you are interested in some thoughtful political discussion and debate, check out NPR's "Left Right and Center," it is one of my favorites right now.
And although we might not agree with everything President Obama does or says, I think we can all agree that this video is awesome.