Tis the season for presidential candidates to announce their run. So far, there are a couple that were not surprises, one presumed candidate who’s out, one who was never really in but just stirred the pot a little, and a whole lot of others still thinking about it–out loud, in front of cameras. Here’s to hoping that I won’t have to choose the least pathetic candidate when primary season begins.
It’s probably a very good thing that the field is so wide open because these days, I have a hard time placing myself in any candidate’s camp right away. When I look over my voting-age years, I see that I have identified, to various degrees, with the red side and the blue side (well, not SO much with the blue side) and everywhere in between. If I were forced to label myself, I would definitely go with Conservative, but I would qualify my label as “kinda crunchy” or a little bit “granola.” The Urban Dictionary defines a granola conservative as someone who is politically conservative but has a “healthy suspicion of mass culture.” This 2009 article in The Wall Street Journal prefers the term, “Whole Foods Republicans,” who “embrace a progressive lifestyle but not progressive politics.” I’m thinking that sort of sounds like me:
- I was a breastfeeding, cloth-diapering mommy who gave birth one time naturally, no drugs. So, the natural childbirth was not by choice but because the anesthesiologist was too busy.
- I homeschool my kids. One year, I even made up my own curriculum.
- I know how to bake bread.
- I’m all about farm stands and buying locally produced food. You can read more about my opinions on that here. Basically, I’m in it for the better flavor and health benefits of fresh-from-the-field produce. I grow my own herbs and vegetables on my patio (with mixed success), and I’m adding more this year.
- Give me my grass-fed and hormone-free beef and chicken. It’s safer since the animals are cleaner, and it’s better for me. Happy cows make better milk and steaks.
- Waste not, want not. Let’s conserve energy and reduce our waste output. I believe we are supposed to be good stewards of the earth and its resources. I’m THIS close to putting up a clothesline…nothing beats the smell of line-dried sheets.
- I drive a Volvo, and our other car is a hybrid.
- I hate to see trees cut down to make way for new housing developments. I think public libraries should be a top funding priority for municipalities. I would love to see more public transportation (fiscally sound, of course) and communities planned for walking to schools and amenities.
- I graduated from a liberal arts college. Yes, I’m an intellectual.
So far, it sounds like I’m ready to sign up for “Hope and Change” right? Here’s where things get complicated. Mash up all of the above with the rest of my ideology:
- A strong national defense policy goes hand in hand with world peace. The military has been my bread and butter since the day I was born. No one is going to get past me with the “baby killer” and “no blood for oil” nonsense.
- The government, the Fed especially, needs to get out of the way and let the individual and the free market rise to the top. Washington has no business handing out health care or preschool, paying people not to work, telling me what to eat or what kind of light bulb to buy. Don’t take my tax dollars and spend it on Let’s Move programs or studies on World of Warcraft, jet lag in South American rodents, or internet dating.
- Individual liberty applies to everyone, that includes the unborn.
- I’ll conserve energy because there’s something in it for me–less money spent at the gas pump, smaller electric bill, or a warm fuzzy feeling about being a responsible steward of the environment–NOT because the government tells me to.
- I’m happy to make donations to help out those in need. By no means does the government have to take money away from me (taxes) and give it to the poor (welfare programs) upon pain of imprisonment.
- You’re not truly poor if you have a cell phone, cable TV, a car, name-brand sneakers, or if you’re a regular at McDonald’s. A whole lot of the people whom the government considers “poor” are, frankly, lazy or spoiled by handouts.
- This country will never be “post racial” if some of our population insists on referring to themselves as Fill-in-the-Blank Americans or crying racism at every disappointment in their life.
- If the light bulb can’t produce quality light, I’m not buying it. The same goes for a fuel efficient car that’s so lightweight it’s a death trap. And alternative energy sources that are not powerful enough are useless if they force me to sacrifice quality of living.
I’m sure I could go on and on. As we enter the next election cycle, I’m feeling more Uncommon than ever. Listen up, GOP. There are conservative intellectuals out there who like farm stands. There’s a Tea Party. How about a Red Granola Party? Or maybe a Whole Foods Right-Wingers Party?