what I want you to know: being a conservative

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions.  It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face.  If you would like to submit a story, email me.

Today’s post was written by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous.


What I want you to know is that even though I'm a Christian and I mostly vote Republican that I am not an uninformed "values voter" that loves Bush and hates Obama. 

What I want you to know is that it really bothers me how people assume that the only political issues I care about are abortion or gay marriage. 

What I want you to know is that just because I vote Republican doesn't mean I'm rich, selfish, greedy and lack compassion about others who are down trodden or have less money.  My husband and I live off just one income and give over 10-12% of what we bring in each year to help others and support a variety of causes, people, issues, etc.  We don't buy expensive clothes or fancy cars.  We don't own iPods, Wiis or other expensive "toys".  We try to live a simple life so we can spend as much of our extra time and money to help others.  We're not excessive, we recycle anything and everything we can.  I have some of the same clothes I've had for more than 10-years and one of our cars is 14-years old.  I am just as passionate about many social justice causes that Democratic voters are but I just have a different opinion and idea about how to fix the problems.

What I want you to know is it's really hurtful when people accuse me of being intolerant just because I have a different opinion about something that is culturally popular.  It is not intolerant or discriminatory if I have a different opinion.  And just because I have a different opinion doesn't mean that I think those with opposing opinions are terrible or awful people.  I'm not passing judgment on them and should be able to respectfully agree to disagree without being considered intolerant. 

What I want you to know is that I believe people innately will make mistakes and abuse power which is why I don't believe that more and bigger government involvement is the answer to our problems.  The more we rely on someone else to fix things the lazier we become.  That is why I do not agree with most Democratic proposals and why I often am just as frustrated with Republican agendas.  I want you to know that I think grassroots efforts are the most influential way of helping people and that relying on the government to do it is just passing the buck off to someone else when we should be doing it ourselves.

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