But for most of my life, all the way through my undergraduate education, I was a vehement conservative Republican. I wrote a column in my weekly college newspaper, called "You Know I'm Right." As I've confessed before, at 13 I rollerbladed door-to-door (the most heterosexual of all transportation) with anti-gay marriage literature. Even in 2002, after losing my dot-com job, I went to Salem to talk with the Oregon Republican Party about potential internships (to be honest, I had almost forgotten about that)... I used Scripture and Christian cultural agendas to support ALL of my Republican positions.
So people change. Priorities change. The spirit changes us, but so do relationships, and I'm a case-in-point for choosing my friends over esoterics.
I was listening to John Boehner talk about tonight's victory: by his reasoning, when Obama won a landslide in '08 that apparently wasn't "the will of the people." Subsequently, the Republican minority in both houses filibustered habitually, chronically, even obsessively - rejecting the actual voting process utilized in House and Senate, and undermining the recent majority of votes by American citizens. NOW, two years later, Boehner articulates his new majority as the REAL "will of the people." It makes me glad I'm not in politics - the subtleties are lost on me.
Still, there are a few takeaways that I'm optimistic about, after this election cycle:
- I'm pleased that in several local elections in Oregon, massive corporate spending was not able to "buy" elections.
- I'm cautiously optimistic about the number of female candidates in the Republican party. Although they are not necessarily progressive on issues of women's equality or women's rights (many of them passive or entirely silent on these matters), I find it fascinating to see conservative Evangelicals supporting women like Christine O'Donnell and Sharon Angle when their own churches wouldn't let them preach on a Sunday morning. Now these candidates are socially problematic for a whole host of reasons, but I'm willing to applaud any sign of equalization - especially in the midst of an ultraconservative movement like the Tea Party.
- NO MORE F***ING POLITICAL ADS! Good Lord, let us have at least a few months of quiet before the ramp up to 2012.
You might disagree with my politics, and that's okay. We can still be friends. But I will always choose my friends over other interests - corporate interests, theological interests, financial interests... the people I love get my vote.
I like politics because (A) politics are exciting and dramatic, and (B) because it gives me an opportunity to fight for the folks I love.