Sunday, July 8, 2012

All's fair in love and war ... but not in politics!

I do not watch "The View." As a Catholic, it makes my stomach roll and my ears bleed to listen to Joy Behar bash the religion of my choice every chance she gets. She sits there and calls people profane names, makes vile judgements, and tosses out threats. Someone needs to smack the shit out of her. Just the mention of her name or an image of her face (excuse the puke-worthy image to the right) makes my skin crawl and my uvula twitch.  Her vitriol has not only turned me off to the show, but off to the entire ABC network for the most part. Seriously. In the past five years, I've only watched two shows on the network -- "V" and "The River." And they were DVRed so I could skip through all the commercials and network promos.

So, it was an oddity when I flipped the TV to the show on the morning of Friday, May 11th. I had just seen a post on Twitter saying that E.L. James, author of "Fifty Shades of Grey" for those of you who've been living under a rock, was about to be interviewed on the show. And, having been absolutely smitten with Christian Grey since April 20, 2012, I had to tune in. After the DVR got over its "Are you serious? You want me to tune into this channel?!?" shock and changed from the Disney Channel, James wasn't on yet and I ended up catching the tail end of an interview with Eva Longoria before the show went to a commercial break.

It is at this point that I should reveal the purpose for this blog. At the end of her interview, Longoria was answering a question about her involvement with the Obama 2012 campaign and she made a comment about how she had many "Republican friends and fans," that they were nice, well-meaning people, but that "as a Latina woman," she felt she had to support Obama.

And that made me wonder. Why is it that liberals -- be them celebrities like Longoria or your relatively unknown, struggling book authors -- are free to express political opinions but their conservative counterparts are not?

Now, I used to be a raging liberal -- supporter of Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 and campaigner for Al Gore in 2000. I spent many Saturday mornings in front of the now-defunct Palmetto State Medical Center on Laurens Road in Greenville, South Carolina escorting women into the clinic and to block them and their cars from the pro-lifers next door who were led by the notorious Ruth Trippi.

As the years have gone by and I've experienced things and had to deal with two problem pregnancies (both of which were monitored closely through ultrasounds at each visit and which landed me on bed rest with preterm labor problems), I have had a change of heart in many aspects of my life thus causing my pendulum to swing from the far left to right of center. I have become conservative, agreeing with the Tea Party in many areas, but remained a liberal, HSUS/ N.O.W.-esque voter in others.

With this change, I have learned to shy away from talking about my political opinions. The rhetoric and mud-slinging are annoying. I tire of liberals calling me a Rush Limbaugh Republican and conservatives calling me a Nancy Pelosi Democrat. I am neither. I think both parties have good things for which they stand ... but that they both are neck deep in complete bullshit, too. Being more jaded with the current two-party system, I've gone into the booth and voted for candidates instead of punching a straight party ticket since 2004. I do my homework and vote for the best person for the job, not just some faceless candidate who happens to have a (D) or (R) by their name.

Close friends and family know this about me. They also know that I am a struggling first-time author who is trying to find a niche and a way to be discovered by the public. "Don't dare post political things on your Facebook, Twitter, or your website!" I have been warned. "You don't want to be blacklisted for not being a staunch liberal!" "You'll never get noticed if you admit to holding any conservative values!"

Now, I do agree with them to a certain degree. I left my former publishing company, Fantasy Island Book Publishing, after becoming sickened by the owner's vulgar and hateful political rants, as well as his personal attacks against people who dared disagree with him in his views or the way he ran the company. Many of the authors still with the company are raging liberals and freely post their views for the world to see. But, I have taken the advice given by people I trust and stayed neutral. But when I really think about it, I have to wonder  why? Why should I have to remain silent? Should I really fear speaking my mind?

I am an unknown author so what do I have to lose by stepping out from behind my self-made wall and admitting here and now that I will be supporting Mitt Romney in the election this November? Nothing. And even if I were famous, why should I fear that support? Why can't I enjoy the same freedom of speech as my more liberal counterparts?  Why can't I be given the same respect for that choice? After all, isn't that part of the liberal mantra? Freedom to choose something without a backlash? Without fear?

I will be voting for Mitt Romney for many reasons, none of which have to do with President Obama's race (something people love to throw out at those who aren't supporting him), his religion (I could care less about his faith of choice), or his birthplace.  From the tax hike that is the Affordable Care Act and the problems that will come with it to the failure to revamp our economy, I tire of this administration. I tire of the constant "Blame Bush" rhetoric and the constant bypassing of Congress. I tire of the class warfare. (Trust me, I am NOT rich. My family pretty much lives paycheck to paycheck.) And don't get me started on the protection of Eric Holder after the Fast and Furious debacle!

These are just a few of the reasons for my rocking the red this year and I am more than happy to discuss them should you be curious.
In ending, I don't want live in fear of offending people, of harming my book because I happen to be more Elisabeth Hasselbeck than Joy Behar. I sincerely hope to one day have fans on both sides of the aisle, who are open to other views and ideas without being offensive or close-minded.  Because that is what life is about -- variety. How boring would it be if we all agreed 100%?  And my independent political views, however crazy they might be, have nothing to do with my book or what happens between their covers. As a matter of fact, my ARMS OF SERENDIPITY series is devoid of any political views.  There are none espoused in book one, HARBINGER IN THE MIST. Book two, FLIGHT OF THE GRIGORI, is currently being edited and is silent on politics as well. 

So, let the race to November begin, but let's not lose sight of the fact that in the end, we're all on the same team here. Berating each other, name calling, and outright hostility gets us nowhere. Perhaps someone should tell Behar that.