OPED: I Am Your Boogeyman
By: Jason Byrd, Contributor
That’s right, I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
I believe in the right to bear arms. Yes, I own guns.
I believe that a jury of my peers should be allowed to settle my disputes, if necessary.
I am pro-choice. However, this is not so much an ideological belief, but rather more due to the fact that I am a man and thus I can never become pregnant (well, unless I turn into that guy in China I heard about on the news once).
I believe the government should not tell me what to do, or how to live my life. However, I do believe that I and others have a social responsibility to be involved in government and that some level of state and federal government are necessary.
I am a Christian. I attend a Methodist church. I believe a thorough reading and understanding of the New Testament should be required before quoting Old Testament verses out of context.
I believe I have a social, and more importantly a moral obligation, to help others, especially when they cannot help themselves. I understand that this is not always easy due to my own selfishness and given the fact that I have not always been given help when I need it. However, I still have these social and moral obligations.
I believe a strong education system is key to our society’s future. On that note, I do not believe the Texas education system is as strong as it could and should be.
I do not believe oil companies should have the right of eminent domain to take my property as they do now in Texas.
I try my best to be open-minded. I do not agree with many of my friends or colleagues on many issues but I try to respect their opinions. When I am open minded, I tend to learn from others.
I believe that all of us are created equal and deserve equal treatment and respect. That being said, I do not believe we all start at an equal place in society. The path for a young child born to a wealthy family in River Oaks is not the same path as a poor kid from the barrio in south Texas. Heaven knows my path has not always been easy, nor did I start where many others did. However through education, hard work and perhaps a heavy dose of divine intervention, I have been given ample opportunities personally and professionally.
I loathe hatred for the sake of it, racism and elitism. Most of all I hate taxes.
I am a Texan. I was born here, educated here (Whoop!) and have lived here my entire life. Although I think the collection of our fifty great states and the experiment that is the United States of America is as a whole magnificent in the eyes of history, I truly cherish my state and know it’s the grandest of them all.
I am white, married with children and a professional. But those are just words that describe my demographic in society…they don’t show who I am.
I AM A TEXAS DEMOCRAT!
Now, everything above doesn’t describe me in depth, but it does give some insight into who I am and what I believe. You know me. I am the guy next door. At the same time, they tell you I am your boogeyman. Since I am a democrat, they tell you I don’t believe in God, I want to take your guns, I want the federal government to run your life, I want to take everything you have worked for and redistribute it to the masses, and I am closed-minded to you. That’s not me.
I respect corporate America. Some of our greatest innovations have come from big business and the jobs provided by big business are tremendous. However, I am not a big corporation. I do not believe big business should be allowed to make all the rules. I believe all of us should play by the same rules.
I live in a state where a small oligarchy of powerful people controls government. They deftly profess support for certain social issues, but quietly exact an agenda that is self-serving, to say the least. Texans believe they are republicans because well, they are “conservative.” Well, I am pretty darn conservative, although not extreme.
I will be the first to say that I tend to distrust politicians and I do not believe either major party has all the answers. However, I want my kids’ schools properly funded. I want my kids to be taught critical thinking skills (the republican party platform opposes these). I want others to be required to maintain personal responsibility. I do not want an oil company taking my property. I refuse to be a slave to big business. I do not believe the Voting Rights Act which was signed into law by Texan and president Lyndon B. Johnson, making voting and access to voting more possible for minorities, should be abolished (the republican party platform calls for an end to the Voting Rights Act). That’s why I am a Texas Democrat. And beware; there are a lot of Texans just like me. Most of them think they are republicans; however, they may be democrats soon if the oligarchy continues to ride rough-shot over everyday Texans.
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