Thursday, November 08, 2007

Why I Left the Republican Party, but Didn't Become a Democrat: The Formative Years

The furthest back I can remember engaging in politics would have to be elementary school. I remember doing mock elections at the school. The candidates were George Bush (R) and Michael Dukakis (D). I decided to back Dukakis. At that age, I strictly made that decision because I wanted to be different. Bush carried the school, like 88% to 12%. I was the only kid in my class to vote for Dukakis. Did I mention that I lived in the middle to high class suburbs of Scottsdale, Arizona and my school was 95% caucasian….thought that information might be relevant.

As I grew older it became very clear to me that “Christians” were Republicans. And why was this the case? I learned it was because of their stance on abortion, capital punishment, and money (gay marriage was not an issue yet). It made sense to me. I mean what other issues could there be. My parents were middle class Americans, and the Republican party seemed to have that category’s best interests at hand. Growing up as a Christian, I certainly didn’t believe that abortion was moral or right, and if someone killed other people, well then, they deserved to die too. This is how I was brought up, this is what I learned. I rarely, if ever, heard about other “life” issues like war, poverty, gun laws, and education. I heard that America was the best country in the world and constantly viewed the “God Bless America” stickers all over people’s cars. I heard that we were the supreme superpower militarily and that no one better mess with us because we would destroy them. I heard that our country was founded and rooted in Christian principles and that democracy and capitalism were non-negotiables.

This upbringing would thrust me into the forefront of defending and aligning myself with what is better known today as the “Religious Right”. I joined the Young Republicans. I attended meetings and bashed the principles of the Democrats and called them immoral. I argued and debated liberals at school and told them that they didn’t have a brain or morals at all. I was a terror.

Those were my formative years; that is how I came to be as right-winged as one could be. You can ask any of my friends about this subject and every last person would tell you that I was the staunchest conservative Republican around. I bled patriotism and I was steadfast in moving this nation forward in the “right” direction. This is chapter 1 of my story……

1 comment:

John Lynch said...

Bob Wade used to say, "Young guys do stupid stuff." I was proof that he was right.

Praise God that Christ living in us and our growth in that reality offers us a way of life different than perpetual "stupid stuff"!

I recently registered to vote as Democrat. I'm intentionally avoiding saying I AM a Democrat. That's not who or what I am. It's just a formality that gives me voting access to the presidential candidate I'm currently supporting in 2008.

What I AM is a Christ-follower. An increasing reflection of Jesus Himself. There's no political arena or any other classification in this world's cultural economy for such a person. It's a reality that belongs to a different kingdom. One that is breaking through in grace-giving ways now and will soon swallow up this death in life in every other conceivable detail.

Looking back humbles us, doesn't it? Love ya dude.