Why are you so interested in everything politics?
Why am I so obsessed with politics? This is a question I get asked often. Many people prefer not discussing political topics when in social or family situations. I am not one of those people. Politics fascinate me. I don’t care if someone disagrees with me, but I like to hear their logic on a subject (particularly when we disagree) and to hear why the define their political ideology the way they do. I find that, in my opinion, a lot of people label themselves as something but really have no clue what the label really means. Politics is an addictive drug for me and this is the story of how I got hooked.
When I was a freshman in high school I lived a very sheltered life. If a specific topic wasn’t something I needed to know to get through the day I probably didn’t know much about it, whatever “it” may have been. That’s why I was floored when I first came out of the closet and didn’t receive the exact response I had anticipated and hoped for. Don’t get my wrong, now everyone in my family is 100% supportive of my being an out and proud gay man. With that said, I know it came as a bit of a blow when I did announce I was gay, especially at such a young age.
That’s when I felt as if I was forced to truly listen to what defines a conservative and/or Republican versus a liberal and/or Democrat.
It was late in the afternoon and I was sitting in the passenger seat of my sisters silver Chevy Cavalier. It was parked in the back of a parking lot outside of a Starbucks away from all the other cars in the lot. My sister said one thing to me after I retold the experience I had of coming out to family, “you came out to everyone? Are… you… crazy? Do you know how Republican our family is?”
Up until that comment the extent of my understanding of what the label Republican meant was that Republicans always say they are better with money than Democrats and that we just didn’t like democrats. Other than that I hadn’t had much exposure either way.
I wanted to change my lack of knowledge on the topic almost immediately after that conversation. I was so shocked by the delayed acceptance I received from different people in my life that I had to understand why I wasn’t accepted. Being that the only reason I was given for not being fully accepted was that I was surrounded by republicans, I set off on a quest to understand political ideology, political platforms, political parties and really everything politics.
That night, after the passing commentary from my sister, I immediately started to investigate what defined a republican versus a democrat and I was a bit taken back by what I learned. I learned a lot at the introduction of my education on politics, but it still took until my freshman year of college to completely announce I was a democrat. None-the-less the process was started by my coming out and my obsession with politics was started by coming out of the closet.
Over the next few years I learned a bit more each day about the topic, and frankly I still learn a bit more each day, that republicans do in fact suck, especially when it comes to the LGBT equality issues. (Please don’t get mad, not all republicans suck, this is a generalization of the stereotype)
Republicans, and this is more of a generalization, want the government to back off on issues that should be handled privately. They want less taxes, less deficit, and less regulations and oversight on business. They want welfare programs to be handled more by religious affiliated groups and charitable organizations as oppose to government welfare systems. They want small government. They want their guns. They want less government intrusion.
That is, less government intrusions on things that are important to their lives, but they want full regulations on all things they view their religion may dictate.
They seem to think the government should have no involvement in healthcare. That should stay privatized, at least health insurance should. Yet, they have no problem suggesting that the government regulate abortion clinics, which when looked at logically is actually a clinic promoting women’s healthcare.
Republicans are against estate taxes. They seem to question why the government should have control over a family matter, yet republicans want the government to get involved in marriage. Marriage is just as much of a family issues as death. You can argue that estate taxes is a financial issue, but marriage is as well, in part. A part of marriage is merging bank accounts, assets, property, etc. Hence why we have prenuptial agreements.
I also learned that on the fiscal topic republicans still can’t get their head wrapped around their stances to make a logical argument of substance. They want to cut taxes and decrease the deficit. Tell me team Romney, how the heck do you plan to pay down the deficit if you cut the country’s income? Cutting spending will help, but isn’t the end all solution. We have a load of bills to pay and cutting spending won’t end the deficit. (Just a suggestion, but maybe Republican’s should call the Clintons for a lesson on economics. President Clinton did get rid of the deficit and leave a nice economic green light for Bush to ruin.)
Every argument I heard from Republican’s seemed to be so empty, hypocritical and lacking in overall logic. While I started learning all things politics I realized just how fascinating it all really is. Politics is life. Politics is religion. Politics is just freaking entertaining.
I immediately became obsessed after soaking in some of these basic issues, stances and missing puzzle pieces. I think went to college and my major was all but decided for me by my obsession. I went straight into political science. Can I just say one thing? I miss college! Being immersed in everything political was a poli sci geeks wet dream.
In one class, US Congress, we learned all about the senate and house of representatives. Part of the final project was to run a faux campaign for a congressman. Define the candidates issues clearly and logically. Write the candidates speeches. Show that you can win over the constituents.
In the end of the educational period of my life I realized that politics is and will always be a part of life. I find it highly important for people to be involved in the political realm and to participate to the fullest extent possible. I feel like politics is just as much a part of who I am as running is! Narrowing down my obsession to one or two topics is nearly impossible. I feel like a kid at a candy store when any political issues is broached. I love soaking in as much information as possible from every side of the aisle.
How could you not like politics?
Dear Mr. President by Pink