First, I’d like to thank Oso for the kind words and for giving me the opportunity to come on here. I have been reading some of your comments, and previous posts, and have quickly realized that I am going to be dealing with a very intelligent and well-informed group of people.
I’d like to start off with a little bit (don’t want to bore you too much) about myself, so you know where I am coming from. I say this both, to give you a sense of what motivates me, but to also stress the fact that I am going to be defending and explaining my reasons to be conservative. They may not be the same as Newt Gingrich’s reasons, for example, and are most likely not John Ashcroft’s reasons either. Nonetheless, we all have arrived at roughly the same conclusions. Yet I can only speak for myself.
I grew up in Compton, California, living there all of my teenage years, until the age of 22. I grew up with my mother and younger sister, and had some random contact with my father(they are divorced). I come from an immigrant family, being the first of my family to be born in the United States. All of my family comes from Mexico, and because of this, I speak Spanish fluently(so please forgive my bad grammar 🙂 ). I entered college at 18 to study engineering. Throughout my studies I became close friends with a fellow student who had already received his bachelors degree in Philosophy. He decided to go back to school to get his degree in engineering as well. Throughout our friendship, he introduced me to the field of Philosophy. This was the starting point on my road to the conservative philosophy. To make a long story short, after dabbling in Philosophy, I moved on to other topics of interest, eventually arriving at politics/economics and, more recently, history.
I began to ask myself what seperates one political party from another. The more I studied the differences, the more I realized I agreed more with the conservative philosophy than the liberal one. I think I had an advantage in this, since I grew up completely unbiased. My family is not very political, although they do(used to 😉 ) generally vote democrat. So I was able to study politics without anyone moving me in one direction or the other. What’s ironic about all of this is that now that I know enough politics to get me in trouble, I have had the opportunity to go back and talk to my old college friend, and discuss the issues at a much higher level than before. It turns out that he is a rock solid liberal, and no matter how many long conversations we had, I was not able to convince him to vote for George W. Bush this year.
As for what makes me a conservative as opposed to liberal. There are many things that all add up to one conclusion. But I would say the heart of my conservatism lies in three things. Abortion, Vouchers, and Capitalism. These are my core issues that keep me in the conservative ideology. I have others, but I wouldn’t classify those as essential. For example, my non-core issues are, I was for the Iraq war, I am against gay marriage, I am a foreign policy hawk, I am a ‘strict constitutionalist’, I dislike the elitism of liberals, I dislike the race baiting of liberals, I dislike their cultural relativism and I dislike their general anti-Christian views. On some of these beliefs I may hold strong views on, some of them I don’t. Some of these beliefs I may know how to defend decently well, others are only stereotypes I have developed over time. However, they all have one thing in common, they are non-core to me. We can discuss each of these if you like, but please note that I do rest most of my beliefs on my three core issues.
Let me say a quick word on areas where I disagree with the conservative philosophy. Although I don’t believe the Republican Party is anti-immigration, I do consider myself to be much more on the left with regard to immigration than some of my conservative allies. I say the more Mexicans the better, for example. I admit it, I am biased. 😉 I also have a problem, although I have not completely made up my mind on it, with capital punishment. Oh yeah, and I am also against constitutionalizing a ban on gay marriage. That’s all I can think of now.
One more thing I’d like to say before I conclude this intro about myself. Although I do have very strong beliefs on these issues, I am not one to have a litmus test on my friends. There are much more important things in life than politics, and I do realize that one can sincerely disagree with me, yet be a very intelligent warm-hearted person.
Again, thanks for the warm welcome and I hope to learn a lot from this blog.