Actually, Conservatives, Tea Partiers, Libertarians, and all…
I am with you. I share your love and protection of individual liberty and accountability. I share your economic views. I share your respect for the Founding Fathers and the Constitution – it is an amazing document. I share your belief in restricting the powers of the federal government and the subsequent protection of property rights.
But, (you knew there was a but coming, didn’t you?) but when you mention God at all or rail against gay marriage you lose me. I am gone. My eyes glaze over, I start thinking of all the things I have to do and I am gone. I am out of the conversation. Please understand that those are your views and the chances are great that I don’t share them. I don’t care about your religious beliefs and I will not join your advocacy of any subject if you bring God into it. By the way, I served in the U.S. Army to protect your right to believe whatever you want and be able to say whatever you want. But if you want my support in public policy issues or my vote, leave your God out of the discussion. I will be out the door as soon as you mention God. You are welcome to your beliefs and I will defend your right to hold those beliefs, but I am not interested in them. Go stand on your soapbox in the town square, blog your beliefs or walk door to door and seek an audience, but don’t mix them with politics if you want me to support your positions.
If you intend to ban gay marriage you will lose me as well. I am related to some gay people, I know some gays and I like them. They are good people. If they want to proclaim their love for another person and enter into a committed relationship in support of each other I think the whole world is just a little better off for it. It would be nice to see more loving support for each other whatever the source. Oh, and if they are in a committed relationship ( a marriage) they should enjoy the same legal protections of shared assets, private property, privacy and responsibility for their partner as I have. Calling their union a marriage does nothing to harm the relationship between my wife and me. Our relationship is stable and anchored. If my neighbor wants to marry his 1969 Mustang GT, I don’t care. That must be the Libertarian streak in me. I just do not want to hear any intimate details of that union. It is none of my business. So if you want to restrict those legal protections you have lost me. I will not support you.
I am standing here with my vote and my passion for the conservative agenda trying to decide which big tent I want to enter. If you want to restrict protections for gays or base your political positions on your religious understandings then the door to enter your tent is too small for me. I think there are a lot of conservative independent voters (and I think most independents are conservative) just like me who are looking for a home. We are looking for a way to unite around common conservative ideals. Lets not splinter into 5 or 6 groups. If we band together as conservatives we can change the leadership of the Senate and House. We have the numbers…can we tone down the rhetoric of our factions and compromise with each other?
Am I welcome in your tent?