Sunday, November 7, 2010

Why I Love Liberals, But Can't Count Myself As One of Them

One of my best friends from college got married yesterday. Her wedding was across the country, and I really wanted to go. In the end, though, it wasn't in my budget.

Yesterday, I woke up so hungry. Unfortunately, the cupboard was bare except for macaroni and cheese. It did not sound good at all, but as my bank account was quite low I ate the macaroni and cheese anyway.

Part of the reason I have struggled financially is because my paycheck hasn't even seen a cost of living increase in four years, but unfortunately the cost of living has increased without my paycheck's company. The other reason it has been tough for me is because I paid for graduate school out-of-pocket instead of taking out a loan. I work really hard to make financial decisions that are smart in the long run and to live within my means. I don't have a lot of money, but I try to be wise about what I do have.

Fiscally, I am conservative and I wish my government would be the same. It does pain me to see that I only bring home 2/3rds of my small paycheck. My paycheck is slightly higher than it was my first year teaching, but I am bringing home less than I used to because of tax increases, and I think I would be okay with it if the government spent as wisely as I do personally. If only...

However, I also know that I am privileged and that there are people in this country that haven't been given such a fair deal. I choose to work in public education instead of private education even though it means additional challenges because I believe in every child getting a quality education regardless of language, learning ability, or financial situation. As a person, I know that I have a lot and I have a moral responsibility to give a lot. The thing that I appreciate about a lot of people who would describe themselves as more politically progressive or liberal is that they have the attitude that we are all responsible to help people in our society who can't help themselves.

What I wish for people that are fiscally conservative, is that as a whole, we would put our money where our mouth is. There are some who give generously from their personal funds to help others. It's just that there are so many people who have financial common sense and want financial common sense for our country that seem to have no heart for the people suffering from injustice. We should all care about kids that can't afford the medicine they need--even if we have different ideas about how to help them. We should all care about families that can't feed themselves. We should care about senior citizens in tough situations.

That is why at the ballot box I had a hard time. I don't have the heart to vote for someone who believes the human concerns are a non-issue, but I have the common sense to not vote for someone who refuses to live within our means.

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