It finally dawned on me.
I'm a minority.
Despite my liberalism, I wasn't brought up to think that way. Granted, I was the white girl in the Southern beach town who, thanks to an enlightened [read: integration] education in my early years on Air Force bases, spoke in favor of civil rights to kids just facing it, the banning of Rebel-flag-waving at sporting events, and John Kennedy as a subteen; joined the multi-cultural "Up With America" national cast as a teen, was told by my dad before I went off to FSU (he knew me so well), "If you're protesting or something and the press show up, cover your face for your mother's sake." In George Wallace Country, I was considered an "eccentric," not "unacceptable," because I came from a socially acceptable family, was an obviously devout and dedicated Baptist, a National Merit scholar, a Student Council officer three years running, and a member of the most popular clique from junior high through graduation (though to this day, I remember my high school days largely in the context of my extra-clique relationships -- I hung out with the debate clubbers, the math nerds, and the rock musicians so much that they are, to this day, my most precious memories. When I won this big stupid beauty contest [I entered wholly to convince myself that a serious health condition I had just endured was behind me and to placate my summer boss, whose wife was chairman of the event and wanted me to enter], you know who I heard from first and most, who were blown away by their intelli-playmate winning a CONVENTIONAL prize and were delighted by it? My math nerd friends, my debate partners.
And even now, in my Fortune-250-male-dominated company, I am allowed my very well-known political views, I'm not quite sure why. I think it's partly because I'm a great entertainer, and the "guys" enjoy having me around, even appreciate a stimulating conversation once in a while. I hope it's at least partly because I'm considered of some financial value to the company, since our new management (although not new to the company) is more focused on return on investment than the previous administration (I should state here that I'm 50-50 on this issue; both administrations, the most recent and the current, are so worthy and admirable, I just wish the USA could have such men/women at the helm).
I'm just (this is a diary, right?), you know, a person who has been popular all her life, within her sphere of influence. I know I affect my circle somewhat. I also know that my circle isn't wide enough to have much effect upon the nation's and the world's problems. And after this past election, I've been humbled beyond belief.
But I always thought that I was still a part of the majority of Americans. Hey, I'm white, an evangelical Christian, a mother of five, and a businesswoman. Aren't I a desirable demographic?
MY WAKEUP CALL
Here's my reality: I'm a Democrat in a red state (Texas). I'm a female executive in the most "manly" of all industries (figure it out -- 17,000 employees, $10+ billion in revenues, and only one female officer -- an almost unnoticed Treasurer -- and only two female "Directors" [one of which is me]. I'm an "evangelical Christian" --i.e., I believe in the Good News that Christ revealed -- who votes Democrat because our worldview and philosophy are more truly aligned with Christ's teachings than the Republicans'. I'm a Democrat in Texas. I support affirmative action (okay, it needs amending, I'm talking principles here). I oppose pre-emptive wars, especially when they are bound to threaten thousands of U.S. lives and limbs and have no rational or honestly U.S.-security-related motivation. I see no need to restrict the rights of any American citizen, whatever their sexual orientation (all of the arguments in favor I've heard/seen so far have consistent with the archaic arguments of pro-slavery; don't expect the Right to acknowledge their legal heritage). I am firmly opposed (and at this point I think it's peripheral but interesting to my argument to reveal that I'm in that well-over-$100k-per-year category) to further tax cuts that explicitly favor shifting the tax burden from the well-to-do to the middle class. I believe that the best way to protect our right to practice our religion whatever it may be, is to keep religious observances completely private and outside any governmental, whether local or national, jurisdiction.
As a person who is so completely in love with God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit (hey you guys! learn the VOCABULARY and maybe I'll win you to Christ!), I want to again tell my progressive brethren, "Keep the faith!" and to speak to my other more secular progressive partners, that somehow we truly ARE the party of moral values, of loving and caring for ALL our children, for creating and maintaining in this richest of all nations the most consistently OPEN excellent educational system in the world; that an advanced and economically advantaged society can provide for at least a reasonable safety net for productive-but-disadvantaged citizens (let's not even try to classify ourselves) and a European-style healthcare program; that we have grown up with great pride in our nation's values, as articulated in our Constitution, but are now watching old Twilight Zone
episodes in a new light; for trying to understand why 1 in 10 of our black young men aged 25-29 are incarcerated in U.S. prisons and looking for a solution; and in the end, I just want to cry out, and do in my own prayers, "Father, I have no idea what to ask for. I don't have the least idea what we (the USA) should do in regard to Iraq...or so many other things! Please, just bless our nation and help us to find our way to Your Way."
Well, that in additions to my other posts today, should label me among my blog circles as some kind of wacko religionist. Among conservatives, I am generally considered radically lefist.
I don't think I am. I keep thinking of myself as just as me.