I am a conservative...
I was somewhere on the playa when Arnold gave his rousing "I am a republican!" speech, so I missed it. I read the text later, but frankly, without the accent, it probably wasn't the same. Nevertheless, like most good speeches, it got to me to thinking. I've noticed a number of blogs recently where the writers are flirting with liberalism...not in the blatant "look at me" manner of the 60's, but in that sort of "well, whatever...let's move on" post 2000 manner (a decade that we need to start referring to as the Oh-Oh's). They present a few issues that are genuine - our role in Iraq, the economy, and occassionally an issue or two that is ridiculously inane (the President is from Texas, you know....and his father, who was also President, also lived in Texas!). It feels like it's been hip to tip towards Kerry, less as an attachment to him than a detachment from Bush.
All of this has gotten me thinking - aside from the rhetoric and banner ads, who am I politically? I find I'm very conservative, based on the following:
1) I'm not angry at rich people.
Understand, I'm not one. I'm far from one, and have made life choices (ministry, a big family, etc) that pretty much insure I never will be one, but I'm not angry at them. I think that if they pay a majority of the taxes and a tax break is offered, they should get more of it than the rest of us. I don't think "they can afford it" is reason enough to punish people - in fact, that seems sort of kindergartenish to me.
2) I believe that most people, given a fair opportunity to work, would rather do so.
The welfare state in our country has it's roots in the left's New Deal - the deal being "we're renting your votes indefinetly. All you have to do is stay poor. We'll provide a meager amount of monthly funds and make sure it's never easy to make much more." I'd rather spend significant amounts of money in job development and training than spread the same amount of money out over X number of people who have no impetus to work because it would mean little or no economic increase for them.
3) I'm willing to vote principle over pocketbook.
I've read some people who say "I'm not a one-issue voter", casting themselves as the voice of reason among a bunch of crazy conservatives who will not vote for a pro-abortion candidate. They "take all the issues into consideration", which generally looks strangely like "How will this affect me personally..." and then decide. Call me a moron....I'll wait....but I can't do that. There is one issue - the issue of the safety of the unborn - that I will always side with, even if it appears to be a losing side. I'm happy to lose right rather than win wrong. My vote is not up for trade in exchange for job security or social services. This probably makes me appear simple, but it seems to me that the better word would be principled.