A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Monday, September 10, 2012

True Blue

Joseph F. Smith (a former President of the Mormon church - along with Joseph Smith and Joseph Fielding Smith) was once accosted by a group of drunken men who pointed a gun at him and asked "Are you a Mormon?"  Joseph responded "Yes siree; dyed in the wool, true blue, through and through."  The man was surprised and said: "Well, you are the … pleasantest man I ever met! Shake, young fellow, I am glad to see a man that stands up for his convictions" (quoted from "Lesson 20: Joseph F. Smith-A Voice of Courage" in  The Presidents of the Church: Teachers Manual).

I doubt very much that anyone will hold a gun to my head and ask me to choose a political party.  But, if they did, the political conventions over the past two weeks reminded me that I am a True Blue Democrat.  Lately I've been wondering if maybe I just wanted to join some kind of non-partisan group urging greater political civility.  But, I realized as I watched both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions that I am simply a liberal.  It's who I agree with, for the most part.  This was especially evident to me as I watched my favorite speech, linked below:

Now, my logical brain (and reading the fact checking websites) will tell me that there are points in the speech where Clinton stretched the facts (just as Obama, Ryan, and Romney did).  But my heart and emotional connection was with him the whole time.  I loved this speech!  So, yes, I'm a true-blue Democrat.  The problem is that there are Really Red Republicans too.  How can we ever hope to work together when we stand so far apart in political philosophy?  The end of this Washington Post article expresses the same frustration - it talks about the difficulty of fact checking someone's politics:

"One can question some of the specific claims, such as billionaires paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. (The data show that is not especially common, just as the data suggest that voter fraud, a major concern of Republicans, happens only on rare occasions.) But it is virtually impossible — and probably foolhardy — to fact-check such deeply held beliefs."

How can we overcome this?  I guess by realizing that even if we are True Blue Democrats or Really Red Republicans, that there's an illogical and emotional component to our arguments.  By giving up some things we want to get things we need.  In a religious context, this is called sacrifice.  In political terms, it's compromise.  Either way, it means giving up some of the things we might really believe are good and doing what is necessary.

Anyways, I am EXCITED about this election, and excited about re-electing Barack Obama!  I'm True Blue, Through and Through!!!


  1. This post reminded me of this other one. Good stuff, all around!

  2. How anyone can be inspired by Clinton is beyond me. A man who cheats on his wife then lies about it not only to her but to the entire nation; who dodges the draft because he "loathes the military"; a racist who told Ted Kennedy "A few years ago, this guy [Obama] would have been carrying our bags". Obama and Clinton have never had a good relationship. This speech was all for show and no one's a better showman than Clinton. This speech didn't impress me - it was just more lies ... something Clinton is very comfortable with.

  3. BTW ... I'm a mormon and I'm NOT feminist. Don't presume to speak for me or other mormon women.

  4. 2bfit4life - I want to sincerely apologize for offending you. I definitely do not presume to speak for you. I did not intend to give that impression, and I'm sorry that I did. However, I would like to address your comments, and I apologize in advance if I unintentionally give offense again. I don't know if I know you in real life, but if you do, hopefully you know that I try to seek common ground with those who disagree with me. Hopefully we can find some common ground here.

    First of all, I make no claim to be inspired by Clinton's personal life. Of course his adultery was heinous. But Democrats do not have a corner on adultery - plenty of recent Republican examples abound, including Mark Sanford, John Ensign, and Newt Gingrich. Other politicians have made racially insensitive remarks or said stupid things. I point this out not to say who's worse, but merely to say that politicians are human - they have failings. If you are waiting to be inspired by a perfect politician, you will be waiting a long long time indeed. I totally understand that Clinton's speech did not inspire you - and that is TOTALLY fine. It's a free country, after all. I was inspired because he defended government programs I believe in - Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and yes, Obamacare. If you disagree with me, that is what politics is all about! Did Clinton stretch the truth? Yes, as did Romney, Ryan, and Obama. But he also, in my opinion, laid out a strong case against the Republicans' fuzzy math. From your comments, you disagree - again, completely legitimate criticisms. I'm glad you disagree with me, and that is your right - all I ask for is the right to (hopefully respectfully!) disagree.

    Second, I've added some language to the blog to make it clear that this blog speaks for only one person: ME. I think the "feminism" difference between us is probably a matter of how we define feminism. I will not assume how you define it, but here's how *I* define it, with a handy series of questions:
    1) Do you believe that women should have the right to vote?
    2) Do you believe that women should have the right/obligation to serve on juries?
    3) Do you believe that women and men should be treated equally under the law?
    4) Do you think that a woman should have an equal chance at child custody in divorce cases as her husband?
    5) Should women and men in the workplace be free from sexual harassment?
    6) Should each woman have the right to speak with her own voice in society?
    7) Should women be free to choose a career according to her own inner voice (and not be judged for choosing motherhood instead)?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I define that as "feminism." Feminism, to me, means that women and men have equal rights and responsibilities in our society. Again, you may define it differently, and again, that's totally a-ok with me. My blog speaks for me and me alone - I don't speak for every Mormon, every Democrat or even every Mormon Democrat. The list of reasons to be Mormon and Democratic was meant as a playful "teaser" to get people to think about labels. Feminism and Mormonism both, in my opinion, are misunderstood. Both are subject to stereotypes. Both are viewed as a group of monolithic people who all think the same - in truth, there are as many views of feminism as there are feminists. My brand of crazy-liberal feminism is not your cup of herbal tea, and I respect that.

    Anyways, sorry for the essay-length response, but I wanted to seriously address your comments. Thank you for being one of the three people to read this blog!