“If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn’t thinking.
General George S. Patton, Jr.
As I reflect on my short life, I often have the chance to ponder on where my belief system began. It has been an interesting journey from an uninformed teenager to a semi-apathetic college student, to today. I am now an informed adult quickly hurtling toward middle-age, although I refuse to act it.
The Early Journey
Most of my ideas, thoughts, and belief system (political, religious and otherwise), started with my parents. I am a Christian and an Eagle Scout. I feel that these experiences have molded and shaped my work ethic and way of thinking. One of my greatest heroes is my dad, who has had a profound influence on my life. We often talk of political issues and agree most of the time. Even though I am a little more radical in my way of thinking, we do agree most of the time.
Going through life I feel I have made the right choices, most of the time, in regards to life and education. I went through my undergraduate work in five years gaining two bachelor’s degrees. I later attended graduate school achieving a master’s degree. It was at this time that I discovered that the “real” education begins outside of the classroom!
I give this basic information only as a background on my life experiences and as a basis for my belief system.
The Political Journey
In 1988 I voted in my first Presidential election, or any election for that matter. My vote went to George H.W. Bush. I don’t remember the reason I voted for him, but it seemed like a better choice than his competitor, Michael Dukakis. Not much thinking on my part.
Throughout the next four years I concentrated on my collegiate work and having a good time (friends, parties, etc.). I was by no means a lush – I just liked enjoying myself and the college life. I did not follow many domestic or world affairs during these years.
In 1992 I was a little older and hopefully a little wiser. I was working on a second degree at my university and becoming more informed on domestic and world affairs.
It was that summer I started to listen to (and watch) Rush Limbaugh. He said all kinds of things that I agreed with, and I felt like I had found a kindred spirit in the media. He had many of the same thoughts and desires that I had. At that time he was the lone voice of conservative political issues. Finally, someone was speaking my language on the national stage! I was by no means some kind of mind-numbed robot that agreed with every word Rush spoke, but he merely expounded on my thoughts and values already in place.
Throughout the 90’s, my life changed drastically. I got married, started my first job, and continued to move up the proverbial corporate ladder. In 1996 I voted for Bob Dole. He was the Republican and was, in my mind, a better choice than another four years of Bill Clinton. I soon realized that he was given this opportunity, not necessarily to win the Presidency, but as political payback for years of service to the GOP. I knew, (and suspected that many others did too), that he would never have beaten the popular Bill Clinton…so begins my education in the political realm.
The new Millennium ushered the end of the Clinton era and the beginning of the George W. Bush era. I actually loved the idea of the younger Bush carrying the conservative banner. I saw him as a much more conservative candidate than his father and hoped for big things.
“I started to listen to Rush Limbaugh. He said all
kinds of things that I agreed with, and I felt like
I had found a kindred spirit in the media.”
I truly believe that George W. Bush started off very well after all the election snafus in Florida. He seemed to be settling into office and dealing with a downturn in the economy after the “dot-com bubble” burst. Then 9-11 hit. I couldn’t have imagined Al Gore dealing with this situation with as much poise and honor.
As the 2004 election came around, I was still in the Bush camp and enthusiastically voted for him a second time. As the election ended and reality set in, Mr. Bush started to play the center, and some times left, in his positions. I watched him cave into the left on issues like prescription drugs and illegal immigration. It seemed like he had lost his way and just wanted to secure some type of legacy beyond the Iraq War and 9-11. I learned what compassionate conservatism really meant: the abandonment of conservative values.
“The Republicans have failed the country by being lukewarm
on important issues, like spending restraint and domestic
security. The Democrats have failed us due to their
proclivity to push the country to the left, and develop
a more collective (socialistic) society.”
When the election season of 2007-2008 came around, I was totally disillusioned with the whole political process. I certainly didn’t identify myself with the Republicans and had nothing in common with the Democrats. To put it quite frankly, I was a man without a party. I started to look elsewhere for a candidate that would make a difference. Sadly, the only candidates I really liked didn’t make it out of the primaries.
In the beginning of 2008, shortly after the birth of my second child, I started a little blog site called Rob’s Rant. This seemed an appropriate title for my writings and I was not concerned if anyone actually read them. They were meant for my own therapy. I started this forum out of my frustration with the caliber of politicians and the Bush administration. I felt that my voice was not being heard. I had a couple of readers that consisted of some friends from high school and college. Of course, they mostly agreed with my positions on issues. I posted when I was interested.
We witnessed the highly contentious election of 2008 between John McCain and Barack Obama. Being from Illinois I knew that Mr. Obama was not the right person for the job. The more I read about John McCain the less I really liked his outlook for America. I didn’t see much difference between the two presidential candidates. I reluctantly voted for the lesser of two evils, John McCain. It was the first time in my life I voted for an individual I had no confidence in to turn the country around. I liked the prospect of an Obama presidency even less.
To be honest, Senator McCain only received my vote because I didn’t want Barack Obama in the oval office. I also liked that he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. I cared very little about her political inexperience and problems with the media. Mr. Obama had less experience running anything, and he now calls the White House home. Fortunately for her, she is distancing herself from the GOP and really attempting to chart her own course. We’ll see where that leads.
“I am tired of the two party system
with their inherent dishonesty
Before the 2008 election, I was starting to lean Libertarian in my views, but I didn’t really identify with their whole belief structure. I still consider myself a Conservative but with marked Libertarian tendencies. I don’t believe I am alone in my views and think there are many people who fall into this group.
After the election of Barack Obama to the highest office in the land, I decided to see what was happening with the local GOP group. I was looking for some glimmer of hope for the Republicans. I had been invited by an acquaintance to get involved with the local group so I decided to give them a shot. I attended my first, and only, meeting in December 2008. I soon realized that although they called themselves the “NEW” Republican Party, the same old people were involved in the same old way doing the same old things. It was the longest two hours of my life and I couldn’t wait to leave. I know I only gave them one meeting but I just couldn’t torture myself like that again.
The Republicans have failed the country by being lukewarm on important issues such as spending restraint and domestic security issues. The Democrats have failed us for their proclivity to push the country to the left and develop a more collective (socialistic) society. I am tired of the two party system with their inherent dishonesty and disingenuousness. Do I believe that all Republicans and Democrats are evil? Of course not. I do believe there must be a better way to run the country.
“I consider myself an Glenn Beck conservative.
He is a lot like me. He rants and raves passionately
about issues that interest him. Sometimes he swerves
off the rails into perceived lunacy. I’ll admit it, I like that.”
Since the beginning of 2009, we have witnessed seemingly average citizens, like myself, take time out of their lives to attend loosely organized, as well as extremely coordinated events, protesting hot button issues like taxes and health care. We, as citizens, have been misaligned as radicals and out of touch with society. I believe it is just the opposite. Having attended a couple of these events, I felt very comfortable in the presence of these groups. I think this is the start of a real awakening of common sense conservatives in America.
As of today, I consider myself a Glenn Beck conservative. He is the current whipping boy of the left-leaning (and some right-leaning) commentators and main stream media types. I really don’t care. He is a lot like me. He rants and raves passionately about issues that interest him, is usually correct on the facts, but like a typical human does make mistakes from time to time and sometimes swerves off the rails into perceived lunacy. I’ll admit it, I like that. If that makes me an unhinged loon, then so be it.
I have no idea how I will vote in the 2012 election. I will not whore myself out any longer for a party that seemingly has no interest in preserving conservative values. We need a TRUE conservative to right the ship and reduce the massive amounts of people on the public dole. Other tasks should include a plan to distribute the tax burden more evenly among all of the income levels. Stop punishing the ‘”rich” for their success! Also, stop spending like a drunken sailor on shore leave (sorry, Navy guys, I liked the analogy.)
“When we complain about some group receiving
several million dollars, we are told,
‘That’s just a drop in the bucket to the government.’
Well, in my estimation, that is part of the problem.”
Why are these concepts so hard for the average politician to swallow? I think many, not all, of our politicians have lost touch with their constituents and forgotten they are spending the people’s money. When we complain about some group receiving several million dollars, we are told,
“That’s just a drop in the bucket to the government.” Well, in my estimation, that is part of the problem. When you start adding up all those “drops,” you start to fill up the bucket and then overflow this proverbial bucket. True reform starts with that one drop. Real change comes when we fill up the bucket. Revolutionary change comes when we throw out the collected drops and start over.
Do I think it is too late for the Republican Party to rebound and become a truly conservative party? Unfortunately, I do. I believe that too many wishy-washy Republicans have infiltrated the GOP ranks for true reform to happen. I hope I am wrong. Until then, I will vote my conscience and not a party.
I will continue to rant and complain about issues I am interested in and hope to strike a chord with someone. I’m not always factually correct and tend to fly off the handle on some issues, but I do have an opinion that I can express for all to hear. Until I’m carted away by a goon squad or silenced by the fairness doctrine or some form of localism, I’ll continue to express my heartfelt thoughts.
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Of course, this is just my opinion.