I am a violent, pistol-packing, woman-hating, fund-cutting, greedy, money-grubbing Republican.
Not really, but given some of the conversations I surreptitiously hear around me, I have no doubt that is what people would think of me if I wore my politics printed on the front of my shirt. I tend to use my journalism as an excuse to avoid political conversation, claiming the need to remain impartial.
The truth is that I’m an unaffiliated voter. I don’t give my loyalty to any political party. But I tend to vote conservative, and I may as well have “Republican” stamped across my forehead. If I have to pin down a political philosophy, I’d say I am a Libertarian.
I am pro-life. I own a gun. I am a capitalist, and I don’t see a problem with making money, being rich or doing exactly what I want with the money I make. I reserve the right to be frustrated about how much of my tax money goes into welfare programs. I am an Ayn Rand-inspired objectivist existentialist (eat your heart out, Jean-Paul Sartre).
Does this mean I’m voting for Romney? Most likely. There are things about Romney that bother me. I am bothered that he was elected by a state that kept re-electing Ted Kennedy. What does that say about Romney’s politics? I can guarantee that Kennedy wasn’t leaning toward the right in any of his political opinions.
What I do know is that I’m not voting for Obama. With those 11 words, I’ve just put a target on my back. Obama’s supporters are, if nothing else, loyal. I have been surprised at the venom of Obama’s supporters when someone dares suggest that he’s not the man to run the country. I like discussing issues, but not if it means I’m going to be screamed at. And to be fair, I know Tea Partiers I’m every bit as reluctant to talk to. Rabid political loyalty is not party specific.
I don’t tow Romney’s political line. I don’t agree with his xenophobic stance on immigration. I don’t agree with how much he’s cutting from certain programs that would be considered liberal. I support the regulation of marijuana.
But check out the stats. A record number of immigrants — many of them legal — have been deported under Obama. His shiny new healthcare policy will fine me for being poor. As a person who has had to lift a gun in self-defense, I’m not all that wild about Obama’s position on the Second Amendment.
So, to make a choice between the two of them, I’ll vote for Romney and call him the lesser of two evils. You don’t have to like my choice. I probably won’t like yours. I understand that colleges are notoriously liberal and I am not.
It’s a free country. But I’m under no illusion that either of our parties are going to keep it that way.