No, I am not a Democrat
It is true that I live in California, work for the state, live near the beach in Los Angeles County and attended college and law school here as well and everyone who meets me for the first time assumes that I am a democrat because after all isn’t everyone with my background a democrat. The answer is “No, I am not a democrat.”
I am sure that everyone reading this is wondering how this could possibly be. How can someone who has spent most of her life living, working and being educated in such a staunchly blue state as California not be a democrat. The answer is simple. I was raised by two people who taught me the value of hard work, self-reliance, small government, and Constitutional originalism. These values made sense to me as I grew older and attended college and law school. Don’t get me wrong, the educational system in California certainly tried its best to convert me into being a democrat but their arguments never made much sense to me so I stood my ground even though many of my friends and teachers disagreed. While I was in college, I often had arguments with professors about my belief system when I was barely old enough to know what I was talking about but I never backed down.
Let’s take the notion of self-reliance. My mother was from Appalachia in Eastern Kentucky and my father was from a very small town in south-eastern Missouri. Both came from dirt poor backgrounds. My father began working to help support his family when he was 13 years old. Both of my parents were taught that self-reliance is the only way to survive on your own terms. We never rely on the government for the things we need. We work hard and we earn them ourselves. We rely on family. That way only we have the right to determine how to live our lives. They learned and then taught us that government has no place in our private lives but if we take from it, it takes from us—our right to privacy. Anyone in Appalachia will tell you that is the truth.
The two most important values I learned from my parents was the need for smaller more efficient government and Constitutional originalism. The purpose of government is to represent the people and to provide for their defense. It was never intended that the government get involved in every aspect of our lives and yet government has grown into such a large and unwieldy bureaucracy that it is inefficient and costly to run. The arguments for and against a strong federal government have been going on since the Federalist Papers were printed over 200 years ago. However, none of the parties involved in the founding of our nation could have envisioned the federal government we are now saddled with nor could they have dreamed that the Constitution they wrote would be deemed a living document that can be perverted at the whim of the current generation of interpreters. From my point-of-view and that of my parents and the generations that preceded them, the Constitution should be interpreted as it was written not as we wish it was today. It is not a living document but a document that was written at a time and place that can only be changed by amendment and not by the Court’s latest re-invention.
It is the belief in these fundamental values that causes me to be a conservative and thus to vote Republican. I am not a racist or a xenophobe. I am not anti-immigrant or a right-wing zealot. I am not any of the things that liberals and left wingers like to portray Republicans and conservatives to be. In fact, I believe that everyone, regardless of race, creed, religion, or national origin should have the same opportunities that I have had so long as they follow the rules. I should add that my father joined the navy at 17 years of age and managed to go from dirt poor to just poor and I paid my own way through school by working and taking out loans. Nothing was given to me. I earned everything I have by hard work and determination. It is the conservative way so “No, I am not a Democrat.”