Monday, December 6, 2010

Vote Democratic, but act Like a Republican

I don't mean much by this title, so let's get this straight first. There are plenty of fine liberals and conservatives. I'm just having a little fun. I am actually playing off the phrase, "pray like everything depends on the Lord, then act like everything depends on you". I had a discussion the other day with a friend about the Obama health care bill - its an issue I care deeply about and I've followed fairly closely, so I have pretty strong opinions on it. But then he found out we were planning on home birthing our fourth baby (due in January).

He also knew that I have come down recently in favor of properly funding public schools even though we home school.

This was incongruous to him, and he wanted to use it as a reason to stop the debate on these points a lone. You see to him, I was voting Democratic but I was behaving like a Republican. I wanted big government (his words) but I was rejecting government in every meaningful way in my own life. I want government, but for others not for myself. In his words, he lost interest in this whole debate because he could no longer take my arguments seriously.

Of course, I see things a bit differently. I want just enough government, but I also want to do everything in my power to succeed. Even if we weren't home schooling, I would hope that my wife and I would be engaged as much as we possibly were able in our children's schooling. I would hope that our kid's teachers would welcome our involvement and our advocacy on their behalf. I would try to find teachers that would allow for that.

Same thing for health care, actually. Do I just want to turn my health over to some nameless doctor at some massive hospital institution? In my experience that's exactly what they want you to do. But in each of our births, we took control - self diagnosing my wife's choestasis in her first pregnancy convincing them to do the necessary blood work to prove she had it, which ultimately led to an early induction and possibly saved our oldest daughter's life?

I have discussed the economy on this blog and how I've wanted our government to handle the mess we're in, but our economy continues to be stuck in the mud (they just don't listen to me darn it).

But unemployment can be an opportunity or it can be devastating. When a person loses their job, its definitely devastating, but it might be the impetus one needs to launch into a new career, take a risk and start a business, retool one's network, get training they've been putting off. In fact, if every single person who lost their job, got out there and not only worked their tail off to find another, they continued to work whether it be pro bono, they continued to learn, they continued to serve, our recessions wouldn't be nearly so recessionary.

It's why I love Seth Godin's blog so much. Especially when he says stuff like this:

"We are surprised when someone self-directed arrives on the scene. Someone who figures out a way to work from home and then turns that into a two-year journey, laptop in hand, as they explore the world while doing their job. We are shocked that someone uses evenings and weekends to get a second education or start a useful new side business. And we're envious when we encounter someone who has managed to bootstrap themselves into happiness, as if that's rare or even uncalled for."

Or when we make excuses saying we can't really afford graduate school then I come across cheap and in many ways more appealing alternatives to graduate school.

So, I'm trying to stay focused on two tracks in my life. I want to do my part to encourage and promote good legislation because in many ways I know how much I depend on good governance. But I also want to work like mad in my career, in my church, and in my family to help myself and others support and sustain my government, my country, my community.

In the end, our country needs each one of us pulling the most out of ourselves to succeed.

A Republican Conservative is at heart a "supply sider". We need to make sure we produce as much supply as we possibly can, each one of us. So, that our lives and the lives of others around us are enriched.

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