I have sometimes been asked, “Why are you a Republican, if this particular Republican did this, that, and the other?” Or “How can you support President Bush if he did/said that, this, and some other?” It really doesn’t matter who the person is, or the subject, there are people who can bring up examples of actions or statements that they disagree with.
First, I don’t feel the need to explain what other people said, or justify their actions. I figure that it is an individual’s personal responsibility to clarify his or her own position. A coworker came up to me one morning gushing over a comment by Bill Bennett and wondering how I could believe something like that. I had to explain that I hadn’t heard it, so I couldn’t comment on something I knew nothing about. And then I explained that since I hadn’t said it, it wasn’t up to me to explain or justify it.
I also don’t like being pressured to justify or explain the words or actions of others when I may not agree with what they said or did. I support President Bush, but that doesn’t mean that I agree with everything on his agenda. I believe he understands the problem we face with terrorism, but I can’t agree with his public statements about our illegal immigration problem. And I think his No Child Left Behind plan for education would work only if all kids were cookie-cutter duplicates of some ideal norm.
If I were to wait for a candidate that I could support and agree with 100%, I’d never vote. There are people I love and admire, and there are people with whom I agree in many areas, but there is no one whom I agree with 100%. I love my wife, but she is flat wrong about some things. And she knows it. (Hey! I call B.S. –TPK) Heck, I don’t even agree with me all the time. As I look back over my life, I can see how my philosophical and moral ideas have changed.
This is one reason why I don’t often rush to judgment. I would much rather wait for more information to come out than jump headfirst into the initial news release. Sometimes this means my comments are not right on the cutting edge of current events, but I’d rather have some time to get as much information as possible and think on it, rather than basing my opinions on gut feeling. When it comes to politics, I’d rather think than feel.
Since there is no one I can agree with 100% of the time, this means I can’t vote or support anyone, right? Heck, no! I would rather vote for someone good enough than hold back my vote, waiting for the candidate that is just right. Although my political leanings are more Libertarian and strict Constitutionalist, I usually vote for Republican candidates. I realize that in nearly every race, the Libertarian or other third-party candidate doesn’t stand a chance of winning, and I’d rather put a Republican candidate in office than split the vote and get a Democrat sworn in. I know I’m more likely to agree with the Republican’s position and ideas than I will with the Democrat’s. And while I would be happiest with many Libertarians in office, I realize that their chance of being elected is very slim.
Basically, I’d rather settle for achieving something good politically, than wait for the perfect to come along.