I am a political orphan

As a young adult making my way in life, there are many things I’ve had to (and am continuing to) figure out through experience. Things like budgeting and insurance. Getting my oil changed regularly and apartment hunting. Filing taxes and all that fun stuff. Another part of life I’ve been reflecting on for some time is my political affiliation.

Current events are a topic I’ve enjoyed keeping up on for years. I have strong opinions, and don’t tend to shy away from sharing them. I’ve been behind the keyboard for many a Facebook debate, usually having to do with the very calm and uncomplicated issues (I kid) such as abortion, same sex marriage, other life issues, and my faith. Don’t worry, though, they’re mostly a thing of the past.

I enjoy a lively discussion, and challenging bad logic, because I want to get to the truth. It’s not enough to me to take what any media source says as the truth. I want facts, which are often hard to find among the opinion pieces passing as journalism nowadays. And it comes from both sides.

At first, I registered as a Republican. But over the last several years, I’ve become disillusioned by Republicans who sit on their rears and don’t get things done. Some conservatives will stand with the party no matter what, since these are the people standing up, in their minds, to extreme liberals. Speaking of, I also have zero tolerance for the extremists currently representing the Democratic party. I find that their stances are often based on what is politically and personally convenient ($ from Planned Parenthood and the like is a great motivator to vote against a 20 week abortion ban), and are often out of touch with what people in their own party believe. There’s so much talk, but so little action. That’s why I’m now a no party preference voter.

My point is: what I’ve found in this journey is that I don’t really have a political home. In what seems like an extremely polarized country, I am a political orphan because I agree completely with neither side of our two party political system.

I am neither republican nor democrat, flaming liberal nor uber conservative.

I believe we are obligated to help our fellow human beings, but not that we are entitled to getting things from our government.

I believe in material aid, but not in handouts.

I believe in free speech, but not in normalizing divergent behavior.

I believe in women’s rights, but not a feminism that degrades men.

I believe life is precious at all stages, and that any unjust killing is unwarranted (whether it be abortion, doctor assisted suicide, euthanasia, unjust war, some cases of capital punishment, etc.).

I believe in small government, focused on people helping people most locally, but not that government is evil.

I believe in immigration, but that it should be done legally.

I believe in the triumph of the human spirit and not the allure of power, money, or Wall Street.

I believe taxes make sense, but not that our salaries should make us pay a higher or lower percentage. I also think tax dollars should be used properly.

I could go on, but you see the point. The two parties we have aren’t working anymore, because many people don’t fit into the box each party put itself into. It’s turned into identity politics where your beliefs explode into an ideology and you don’t just think for yourself because you go along with the party platform. We’re polarized by who you’re with, not what you believe.

And I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that this two party system is utterly broken.

What are we to do with this?

I refuse to give in to the idea that we are all on opposing sides of political debates, that it’s me vs. you in a competition to see whose party beats the other. I am interested in the truth, and right now that doesn’t seem to be coming from either of our self-imposed sides of the political spectrum.

The thing is, no political party really defines who we are anyway. Our culture is overly concerned about who we identify with, and what labels we embrace. But my opinions are not my identity. I have certain beliefs about many issues, which are informed by my Catholic faith. I am Catholic, but am otherwise not interested in labeling my beliefs. They’re not defined by a broken political system. They are my own beliefs, that evolve, are challenged, and clarified as time goes on.

This makes me a political orphan of sorts, and that’s alright. I don’t want to be part of identity politics anyway, because that’s not where my identity comes from. My identity is a daughter of God. I am created and loved by him, and that tells me all I need to know.

To Life,

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16 thoughts on “I am a political orphan”

  1. This calls to mind the “I’m not conservative, I’m not liberal; I AM Catholic” stuff that floats around from time to time – especially during election season.

    You are correct, the two party system doesn’t know. Yet, there are many systems which work in theory, but not in application/real life.

    Until enough voters wake up to realize we need a better system, I am afraid many of us will continue to feel like political orphans.

    Thank you for your thoughts – and, you are correct – you are not alone!

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  2. Girl, you must be my twin in thought. I feel exactly the same way. Exactly. This last election I was like a lost person at sea floating in my life raft.

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  3. I so resonate with this. I always back the Constitution Party candidates, even though I know it is unpopular and super polarizing in such a heated climate, even among Catholics who are very passionate about the grave necessity of pinning ourselves into one of the two very very flawed parties. Thanks for bravely giving voice to this issue!

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    1. Thank you! It makes me sad when even faithful Catholics are so wrapped up in supporting a party that it blinds them. I hope and pray we are able to look beyond that and be increasingly thoughtful in how we do politics!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s definitely difficult to choose a party because you may not always agree with everything. I say, follow God first, then whatever is left over of your own ideas.

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  5. Oh I felt like you were writing my political journal as I was reading this. Every day I listen to the news, the bias take on this week’s events and think “I don’t agree with any of you.” You may not have a political home, but you are not alone!

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    1. Love hearing this resonating with others feeling the same way. There are major problems with both ‘sides’ and I’m SO glad to see this growing voice of people taking issue with it. Thanks and glad to know there are more out there!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Laura, I love this! You basically wrote out so many of my thoughts here 🙂 I think it’s especially awesome how you mention finding your identity in God, and not in political opinions. After the last election, I do have rather optimistic hopes that a lot of people in our country are seeing the faults in the two-party system, and I’m hoping it gets changed. Here in Oklahoma, you’re not even allowed to do a write-in! You could only fill in bubbles to vote for the Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian candidate for president, and it made me sad. I don’t know if I’ll officially change my party affiliation or not, I would in a heartbeat except I like being able to vote in the Primaries and try to get the person who I think will actually do good things in the running for President. I’m still definitely thinking about dropping my party affiliation, though.

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    1. Thanks, AnneMarie! I think lots of people are seeing this problem too, which I agree is awesome. I am just so OVER people labeling themselves by political party (and lots of other things too, but that’s a different post). That really stinks you can’t write in! I chose to be “no party preference” because CA is basically a 1 party state, and the outcome won’t be changed by my voting 3rd party or Republican, unfortunately. I probably wouldn’t do this if I were in a swing state, though. Anyway, I am glad to see so many people thinking critically about how we do politics, and I hope it leads to positive changes in the future. So glad to give voice to what many of us are experiencing!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Check out Rand Paul! I think you would like him. He seems to be the only Republican opposing the excessive military spending and some other things you mentioned.

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