My Family Thinks I’m Liberal, But I Disagree

While camping over a holiday weekend last year, a family friend noticed I was wearing an NPR t-shirt I received as an intern at the network back in 2005.

He declared, “NPR, they’re pretty liberal.”

Before I could react, my father retorted, “So is my son.”

Needless to say, my family and I don’t always agree on certain issues. But, to be clear, I don’t consider myself a liberal either. Rather, when pressed, I identify as moderate.

Frankly, I’m rather disenfranchised with both major parties and disappointed by the attitude that one cannot have mixed views on the myriad issues facing our country. The partisanism that dominates today’s politics is one of the barriers that prevents our nation’s leaders from accomplishing important and meaningful goals as we try to recover from the madness of the last decade. Focusing on partisan divisions and affiliations prevents both compromise and cooperation, only adding to the problems facing our country.

Why is it that the politics of today dictate that I cannot be against abortion while supporting healthcare reform?

Why can’t I be pro-business while recognizing that in some cases, such as healthcare, the interests of insurers are generally at odds with the needs of those receiving health coverage?

And why can’t I support individual gun ownership while simultaneously believing that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional?

Possessing mixed political views, based on thorough and thoughtful reasoning, is today viewed as a sign of weakness. I, however, vehemently reject the notion that one must agree wholeheartedly with every aspect of one or another party’s platform. It is time for politicians to put aside their focus on party affiliation in the interest of helping the nation.