Sunday, June 11, 2006

A manifesto, of sorts...

This was originally posted a few days ago by me on DemocraticUnderground.

I am a Democrat, always been. I am a church-going, traditional family kind of guy... pretty mainstream really. As I've said, I've always been a Democrat; my dad was a local Democratic councilman (who had his run-ins with the Republicans on the board) when I was a kid. So from an early age, I viewed the Republicans as "them", the "enemy".

Getting back to the "traditional guy" thought. Like I said, I live in a traditional family. I've been married for 22 years to the love of my life, I've got two teen-aged sons, two medium-sized dogs, a decent, not showy, house, a couple sensible cars. Nuthin fancy. But it's all nice, decent stuff. And like I said, fairly traditional.

I sometimes think that socially, status-wise, etc., I should be a Republican. I fit the profile. But in the end I just can't do it.

The Bush years haven't been fun. I live in Texas, and the support Bush still enjoys is shocking, considering what a slime he's being revealed to be. (We've known that all along, but the Repugs are just now starting to get suspicious.)

Lately, though, I've begun to be proud to be a Democrat again. The days of slinking around are ending. I'm not saying the Democrats will take over; in fact I still worry that the Repugs will continue to rule in Bush's aftermath. After the redistricting in Texas, the Democrats will have a tough time winning seats back.

I post on several other forums. A couple of them are automotive forums. Lately, strange and wonderful discussions have broken out on them. In the middle of discussions of new models, questions about Bush's knowledge of the absence of weapons of mass destruction pop up. Amid discussions of suspension mods, threads pop up about gay marriage.

There are supporters and detractors on both sides. But I've found that through reading DU, posting on (of all places), and debating Bush's policies with my Texas conservative coworkers, I've become better informed than the average chimp-lover with respect to many of the issues of the day. I'm not by any means a policy wonk; I just pick things up.

Now, I have no intentions of marrying another man; I've been happily married to a woman as long as I remember. And that woman, by the way, called W on the WMDs when he first cited them as a reason to execute a preemptive war. I'm just this middle-class guy who quietly lives his life. But lately, after putting in my two cents about Bush's deceits in the buildup to the war, after justifying why I, a heterosexual Christian man, am against an amendment banning gay marriage, after embracing other causes where I, as a Christian, try to advance the side of the least, the last and the lost, I've noticed that when I make these stands, I get fan mail of sorts.

I got a nice email from a guy in NYC thanking me for my questioning of Bush's justification of the war. I get supportive and grateful emails from both straight and gay guys on an automotive site for articulating a mainstream case in support of gay marriage.

I don't think holding these views makes me a liberal freak. If anything, I hope it demonstrates that not every heterosexual middle-class family man is a gun-toting homophobic bigot. I hope it demonstrates, and sets an example of, compassion.

I am mainstream and proud of it. I am Democratic, and proud of it. The Republican revolution has just about spent itself. I'm glad, and proud, I stuck with my values, even when they weren't popular. They're starting to be popular again.

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