Being A Centrist

Being A Centrist

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Few people know their own political beliefs. Although this sounds strange I truly believe it, considering the varying political opinions that are constantly being thrown at us from the television, the news, the radio, magazines, our families, and even the president. So much influence makes it hard to maintain personal political views; your own opinion can easily be swayed. The media often presents information on current issues that may cause someone to stray from their original, authentic position. In order to reestablish a personal opinion, everything else must be set aside, and all outside influences disregarded. Having done this, and having taken several political quizzes, I was surprised to find myself, according to the political quizzes, considered a centrist- a moderate or middle grounder. Prior to exploring my own political views I considered myself a conservative. Having been influenced by the media and especially by my family I thought of myself as a true conservative in every way. Until recently, I never even bothered to have my own political views; what I heard from family members I accepted as true and learned what I could from the media. Although I still passionately support the Republican Party on many issues, I discovered that with all other influences set aside, I have more moderate, and surprisingly several liberal opinions than I ever would have acknowledged.
Republicans and conservatives are nearly one in the same. A Conservative usually “favor(s) strong military, oppose(s) bureaucracy and high taxes, favor(s) a free-market economy, and endorse(s) strong law enforcement”(http://www.self-gov.org/quiz-score/quiz.php). Before questioning my political views, I was very conservative because my family was conservative, as I said before, and whenever an issue arose I tended to support the right as opposed to the left. However, having explored political parties a little more in-depth, I’ve found there are several issues, socially and economically, which I disagree on that are supported by the Republican Party, such as the death penalty, restrictions on personal actions that are against traditional values, and drilling in The Arctic National Wildlife refuge. Personally, I’m very opposed to death penalty; under no circumstances should a person be executed for a crime he or she has committed. Although jails have supposedly become more comfortable and beneficial, with access to exercise facilities and libraries, I would much rather see a criminal given a life sentence in jail than the death penalty. Coming from a Catholic family, I think I have developed my stance on this issue due to my faith.

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I also disagree with government intervention in personal matters. The government is free to intervene and improve our country economically and socially in certain areas, but deciding what is right and wrong in personal behavior is too much social intervention. For example, I believe the government’s involvement in the Terri Schiavo case was obnoxious. The media attention that this particular case received was completely unnecessary, and the involvement of the federal courts put needless stress on their family. Lastly, I also strongly disagree with the drilling that’s taking place in The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. On this issue I have a more liberal point of view and believe that instead of drilling for more oil, particularly in wildlife refuges, our country should be putting more effort into conserving energy and creating more fuel efficient products. Several issues such as these have caused to me question my stance as a Republican.
The opposite of a conservative is someone who “favors environmental regulations, defends civil liberties and free expression, supports government action
to promote equality, and tolerates diverse lifestyles”(http://www.self-gov.org/quiz-score/quiz.php), also known as a liberal. Some of the information from one of the three political quizzes showed I had some liberal opinions, which surprised me; I viewed the ideal America as a multicultural society versus a melting pot of blurred cultures and ethnicities, I supported increased taxes and government actions on certain environmental crisis’s, and I trusted the government’s ability to solve problems. However there are also several issues that I strongly disagree with Democratic Party’s’ stance on, such as abortion, opposition of privatized social security, and support of gay rights. First, also due to my faith, I am strongly pro-life. I truly believe its murder to have an abortion at any point in a pregnancy, and I have a great deal of trouble supporting a party that acknowledges this as acceptable. I don’t have quite as strong an opinion on privatized social security, however. Yet, I do believe that once social security become a major concern for me I would not prefer my money to be in the hands of the government and would not feel comfortable maintaining full faith in the government Trust Fund. Lastly, I am also strongly opposed to gay marriage, which is another issue that the Democratic Party supports. Thus, I’m clearly not very devoted to either the Republican or Democratic parties.
     Fortunatley, I found that centrism provided a happy medium for me. Centrists are middle grounders, “regarding government control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention and sometimes support individual freedom of choice”(http://www.self-gov.org/quiz-score/quiz.php). As I have proved, I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat because both parties fail to suit my varying opinions. I am also neither Authoritarian or Libertarian; these extreme ideologies concerning authority are too severe to live under, if you are attempting to maintain a prosperous government. Although I do have passionate opinions on several issues, I am far from an extremist. I take pride in having an open mind, because I believe that is the only way to further develop political knowledge and stance. The concept of moderation in the world of politics is nearly as important as a countries law. Moderation keeps the majority of people happy, yet leaves room for reform if necessary. The only way that I could have possibly come to these conclusions is by setting aside all other influence, and taking the political quizzes to find out what I truly believed politically. Not only did I learn useful information about our government but I also learned useful information about myself, and my own political opinions.

Works Cited


“http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/01/26/rice.confirmation.ap/.”
Rice sworn in as secretary of state. Thursday, January 27, 2005. February, 20th, 2004





Welna, David. “http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4467253.” Condoleezza Rice Confirmed as Secretary of State 2-18-04



Slavin Barbara. “http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4467253.”
2-18-04
Rice facing questions at confirmation hearing
Posted 1/17/2005 10:13 PM Updated 1/18/2005 12:36 PM



http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-11-10-gonzales-attorney-general_x.htm
1-15-04
Bush picks Gonzales to replace Ashcroft
Posted 11/10/2004 9:19 PM Updated 11/10/2004 11:39
Contributing: Peronet Despeignes



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