Socially Liberal, but Fiscally Conservative

If I had a dime for every time someone has said to me: “I’m socially liberal, but fiscally conservative”, I would almost qualify for the 1% club. I know the person who makes that statement thinks it proves they are enlightened and responsible, but I find it somewhat insulting.

A big part of the problem is labels. Labels we are marked with it seems, increasingly define us. All one must say is that they are a Republican, Democrat. Tea Party type, Libertarian, or Green Party, and we think we know everything we need to know about them. If they are Republican, they are for guns, God, and limited government. If they are Democrats, they are for gays, giveaways, and the environment. This stereotypical labeling prevents people from finding middle ground as both sides retreat to their highly partisan corners.

Typically, the conversations that cause non-Liberals to claim they are socially liberal have to do with sensitive issues such as gay marriage rights. The non-Liberal wants to make it clear they are not bigoted, but as tolerant as the next guy. At the same time though, they want to make it clear they are not real liberals because they are don’t believe in wasting money.

That’s the point at which I get a little peeved. After all, I was a Colonel in the Air Force. I grew up in a family that never owed any money; my parents paid cash for everything. I know how to maintain a budget, I believe in not spending more than I have, and I learned a long time ago to take care of my belongings. I don’t believe it is anymore appropriate for conservatives to claim fiscal restraint than it is for them to claim patriotism and religion as their own. After all, since World War II, Democratic presidencies have created more than twice the number of jobs than Republican presidencies. As for deficits, they have been more than twice as large under Republican presidencies, contributing early $4 trillion more to the national debt than their Democratic counterparts. Growth has also excelled under Democratic presidencies with business investment growth 165% higher and GDP growth 52% higher than under Republican presidencies. Finally, the need for social welfare programs has been higher under Republican presidencies with unemployment 23% higher than under Democratic ones.

I know, I know, don’t confuse us with the facts. It is so much easier just to listen to the talking heads spewing forth rhetoric that incites fear and hate. The problem is, that those who do not remember the past are destined to repeat it. If we ever want to move beyond extreme partisanship and failed policies of the past we must know the truth, look beyond labels, and be willing to make the tough calls. We must model this behavior ourselves and demand it from our leaders.


Senator Melvin Can’t Rewrite the Facts

First, I’d like to laud Ms. Grimes for her editorial for holding our elected officials to task.  She may have a bully pulpit as the editor of the Explorer, but she is also a private citizen.  She was not only entitled to, but as each of us is, was responsible to share her viewpoints where she felt our politicians were not properly representing us.


In Senator Melvin’s response to Ms. Grimes, he said she was wrong to infer that he is “not working to represent, support, and make lives better for ALL the people” in his district.  When it comes to representing me, Senator Melvin falls incredibly short.  I live in SaddleBrooke, where he is well know for not wanting to hear from, or respond to, Democrats.  Keep in mind this is the legislator that said he could tell where the Republicans live because they are the ones flying flags out front.

Senator Melvin once again claims that he helped restore/protect funding for education.  This is absolutely false.  Arizona has had the highest cuts in per pupil funding in the Nation since 2008.  Not sure how this gets spinned into “restored funding.”He discusses the need for legislators to say “NO” to bad ideas.  Don’t suppose he is referring to his bad idea to store all the Nation’s nuclear waste in Arizona.  Not only did he propose this action, but he got the legislature to pass his resolution to the Federal government requesting Arizona’s selection as the dumpsite.

As for his assertion that “the majority of his district wants more liberty so that they can live their lives free from oppressive levels of government”, I suspect he is only referring to those liberties he deems important.  On June 29, 2013, following the Supreme Court decision on the unconstitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, Senator Melvin tweeted:  “The Left is making a frontal assault on traditional marriage & families, mainline churches, Boy Scouts & all conservative entities.”  I surmise from this that he does not support my right to marry my partner of 11 years.  So much for his belief in liberty and his constituent’s freedom to be free from oppressive levels of government.  Personally, I can’t imagine anything much more oppressive than legislating who someone can marry.

Senator Melvin is entitled to his opinions, but he is not entitled to rewrite the facts.  He is a Tea Party Republican who will do whatever is necessary to toe the party line…even if it isn’t in the best interest of the people of his district.  Thank you Ms. Grimes for sticking up for the little guy!