Thursday, February 7, 2013

GOP, Democrat, Liberal or Conservative

Liberalism v Conservatism

I recently saw the new movie about Lincoln and found it very revealing. I’m certain that the movie was not accurate in every detail but I do think they got a few things right.

I had always heard that the South was fully in the Democratic camp until some time in the 60's. I have also heard that today’s GOP is yesterday’s Democratic South. Here is an article that talks about the change.

“The Democratic dominance of the South originated in many white Southerners' animosity towards the Republican Party's stance in favor of political rights for blacks during Reconstruction and Republican economic policies such as the high tariff and the support for continuing the gold standard, both of which were seen as benefiting Northern industrial interests at the expense of the agrarian South in the 19th century. It was maintained by the Democratic Party's willingness to back Jim Crow laws and racial segregation

Interesting that now the south, including my state of Oklahoma, is pretty dang Red and strongly religious.

Last night our local atheist group was interviewed on the ABC news affiliate station. The  anchor also gave equal time to a local minister. It was amazing on Facebook after the newscast. People were asking questions and getting the other side…a side most in Oklahoma have never heard. Interestingly and not surprising, several new members were added to our Meetup group. They did not know that such a group exists. We now have more than 1200 members and usually 20 or more events each month. We have brunch, lectures, downtown, uptown and midtown lunch meetups. We are an active bunch! We have a teen group and lots of activities for families.

Some months back I was walking in my neighborhood. It was late October and just before the election. I noticed that there were several political signs for Democratic candidates. I was surprised that anyone would have the nerve to put up an Obama sign in Oklahoma City or anywhere in the state. I met a woman that day, older, perhaps late 70’s, with whom I had an interesting conversation. She told me she remembered a time when Oklahoma was firmly in the Blue camp.

So how does it happen? Well, it happens because we change when we ask questions and really look for answers. Do I think that is why Oklahoma is a Republican state? NO! I doubt very many Okies care what the parties stand for, they just know that the religious should be republicans.  In the mind of most Republicans it is clear; Democrats are liberals and Republicans are conservative…based mostly on religious issues: Abortion, Gay Rights, Evolution and a belief in god. They also think that all atheist have to be Democrats.  Not true. There are among those I count as friends and fellow atheists who are Republican voters.

What seems to be a straight forward issue is quite complicated. Some time ago I asked
 So what am I? I am a registered voter and I support the Democratic party but I am also conservative on many issues, particularly those of economics. I do think we should pay our bills and balance our budget. However, I support equal rights for all and social justice for all.

I’m done now...just a morning ramble of thoughts. 

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