Dear Friends:

I am a Republican.

I have, for the most part, kept my political leanings to myself.  I don’t write a political blog, and people don’t come to my site to read about politics (unless it’s the politics of the BCS and other college football ranking entities).

I am an independent thinker.  I don’t necessarily vote along party lines.  I’m a registered Republican, but I’m also a ‘cafeteria Catholic’ — I’m not very good at either.  But I make my political decisions based on reading and on educating myself.  I don’t watch the commercials.  I don’t watch ambushes thinly disguised as interviews, because I believe, perhaps naively, that the presidency, and indeed all of government, is the sum of its parts.  Therefore, how well you come across on glitzy network television, when the interviewer has a carefully crafted script and an agenda, has little bearing on how a president and his or her advisors will deal with an uprising in Bora Bora.  I can guaran-damn-tee ya that if you put a half dozen spotlights on me and started throwing questions at me, I’d get that deer-in-headlights glaze-over FAST – and I KNOW EVERYTHING. 😉

I actually considered Obama early on.  I don’t think he, or Biden, or McCain, or even Sarah Palin are the antichrist.

What I am not is (a) a moron, (b) retarded, (c) misguided, or (d) all of the above.  I don’t resort to judgments and name-calling and I would respectfully ask the same of you.  (Yes, I’ve been called each of those – personally.  Ironically, by those who pride themselves on being accepting, accommodating, and non-judgmental.  I was even called a ‘hyperactive but retarded Republican’, whatever-the-hell that means.  But that was by a co-worker who refers to his office as his room.  So, yeah, whatever.)

I am not a bible-beating evangelical.  I am not opposed to gay unions/marriage.  I believe that the taking of ANY human life – whether you call it a ‘choice’ or an ‘execution’ – is wrong.    I believe that social programs have created a true welfare state.  I believe that everyone – regardless of race, creed, religion, or any other designation or demographic – should have the same opportunities.  But I believe that our Creator gave us free will and the ability to work hard.  Much like Communism, a share-the-wealth mentality is great in theory.  In practice?  Not so much.

I came from a working-class family.  There was never much money.  I got through college on loans and the blood, sweat, and tears of my parents, all in order to obtain a largely useless degree.  But I have that diploma and the pride of knowing I earned it myself.  I’ve worked my butt off since my first part-time job at age 14.

My family has endured more unemployment woes than you could ever imagine.  I saw my husband – a good, hardworking, decent man – lose a job because he wasn’t political enough, ten days before the birth of our first child.  I’ve seen him reduced to tears worried about what would happen to us.  But not once did we ask anyone else to take care of us.  We got through it, time and again, by sheer will and determination that we would not lose what we had worked so hard to obtain.

I believe in a strong military.  I believe in those soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world.  They signed up to do this, and they are doing a fine job.  My heart swells with pride when troops deploy as well as when they come home to the arms of their loved ones.  And I believe that all those nations that are so quick to criticize us are damn happy to see us when we are defending their freedom.

I think it’s great when stars use their celebrity, in a bipartisan manner, to encourage our youth to vote.  But I don’t need Matt Damon to tell me who to vote for.

I believe that there is rank hypocrisy on both sides of the political fence.  I believe that for every crisis that has arisen during a Republican administration there is one that existed during a Democratic one.

But I believe ultimately in us – as a people.  And I think that no matter how dark the days appear right now, we will survive.

I am voting Republican.

There.  That didn’t hurt a bit.