I'm very conservative in many things. I have a lot of ultra-conservative friends. But the older I get, I find my eyebrows wrinkling and my inner child saying "Huh?" when I hear/read comments on current events.
For instance: "the President is on vacation when..."
My uber conservative friends who show nothing but disdain and disrespect for our current President were complaining on social media yesterday how the President, even though he gave a press conference and met with his aides, was on vacation after the beheading of an American journalist. I'm really not sure what they expected him to do. He's already made a decision on what our country's position will be (airstrikes and weapons deals only), has talked with the family, is getting briefed daily (at least), and received multiple phone calls from allies all over the world about the situation. We're already bombing and will continue to do so. I'm not sure what more canceling the family's vacation right before school starts would accomplish.
On the other hand, liberals are actually complaining about him playing golf instead of heading to Ferguson, MO. They want him to handle the unrest there. Personally, if I were the secret service, I'd be dead set against taking him there. What could be worse than trying to protect the President (or your own skin) in the midst of an angry, belligerent mob who throws urine and bombs on people after spray painting "the only good cop is a dead cop" on walls? Um, no. That's not exactly the crowd you want to usher the President into, especially not one who has received more death threats than any other sitting President.
Or fundraising. The whole ice bucket challenge thing has bombarded my Facebook feeds all summer long. The first time I saw it was raising money for a fire station, then for a drug rehab facility, then a group of people stating their charity, then ALS, then it seemed people started doing it just because everyone else was without realizing there was a REASON behind the insanity, and then the media started showing it and talking about the fundraising aspects of it, then people who did it without knowing how it worked realized "Oops! We're supposed to be giving money to this group if we do this" and then the backlash of "ooohh you can't give to that group because they support this or that" started, with the follow-up knee-jerk reaction "I didn't know. I don't support this group or this viewpoint or sand turtles or ..." (Okay, no one has mentioned sand turtles, but you get the picture.) Besides the hilarity of all the knee jerk reactions to an hilariously insane way to raise money, is the bizarre reality that people will attempt to alienate groups (almost always medical research groups) that are actually doing some very good things? Do I support stem cell research? Not in most forms. But the reality is, I do use information and either I, a family member, or close friends, have been benefited from groups that do (the Miami project, Christopher Reeves Foundation, Susan G. Koman, etc). Almost any medical foundation that is working to eradicate life-altering situations support stem cell research. While I don't agree with their positions on everything, they do offer real life advice and support on things that impact my day-to-day life, and that is something all these Christian groups who are pointing their fingers and shrilly screaming "They kill babies" are NOT doing. They say they are pro-life, but they are doing very little, if anything, to make the life people ARE living more bearable. I've yet to hear of any pro-life groups offering grants for adapted vans or providing wheelchairs or ramps or on-going medical services for people whose lives are impacted for the better by many of these organizations. And if it were their child, parent, or spouse, who had the potential to have a better or healed life because a frozen stem cell was not thrown away but was instead used in a science experiment that could change their life forever, would they accept it? The sacrifice is/was already made. It was made when a couple decided to try scientific methods and froze embryos at a chance to have a child. Those extra embryos (they always created them in batches as it often takes multiple attempts) only last so many years, and then are thrown away. It's a sad, sordid mess where there aren't a lot of black or white positions, but mainly grey. And people who point figures and "take the high road" aren't having to travel the roads full of potholes and heartache that impact the very ones trying to get off those roads in the first place.
and my last rant (for today) is the arming of local police. I have many good friends from high school, from churches, and from my extended family who are police officers. I've witnessed the bruises, cuts and black eyes they get from interrupting a fight, a domestic dispute, or a gang fight. I do read the newspaper and watch the local news. While we only see/hear of a minor meth lab exploding during a raid and think of drugs and its dealers, the reality is, there was a father, a son, a brother, a church member, a youth worker, who was in that uniform knocking on the door that night. Had that lab exploded a little more to the left or the right, they would be in a burn unit or dead instead of helping their child with homework, taking care of their widowed, arthritic-bound Mom, or teaching a teen Sunday school class this weekend. And that "routine" traffic stop where he pulled someone over to tell them their brake lights had a short in them? (never knowing the woman had a mental illness and was reaching for her gun to shoot the cop as the voices were telling her but stopped short because she thought he looked familiar and upon seeing his badge realized he was related to a pastor...true story) Maybe I'm selfish, but if having riot gear gives my family and friends an extra layer of protection when facing a mob of anarchists, I want them to have it. If having a military rifle, a helicopter, and an army tank will provide them a little more insight, protection, and safety during that drug raid, I want them to have it. After all, the drug dealers have them and are not afraid of using them. And while I don't have family or friends who are school resource officers, I do have a lot of friends and family members who teach in the public schools. And on the high school level, student violence is BAD, and sometimes is drug related. I have no problem with teachers or school resource officers being armed. Are there officers who overstep their bounds and need training in conflict resolution? Of course. But denying safety to every policeman or officer because of a few crazies is like saying because a few mentally ill people are a threat to society then all of them should be locked up. It simply doesn't make sense.
And if that makes me a "blazing liberal", so be it. It's what I think and how I feel.