Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You say tax cuts, I say government programs.

A couple of months ago, I decided to take out my senior yearbook from high school, and look through it. Why? I have no earthly idea. But I did, and it was kind of interesting. I had forgotten how many things I was involved in, how many people actually signed my yearbook, and was kind of surprised that I didn't remember more names and faces.

However, the strangest aspect about my tip-toe through the teen years had to be the comments themselves. I cannot tell you how many different people wrote "Don't worry, you'll be a Republican someday." Or something akin to it, usually accompanied by a smiley cartoon face with a stuck-out tongue.

Let it be known that I was ridiculously outspoken in high school. And earnest! Earnestly out-spoken, out-spokenly earnest; that was me. I suppose this isn't altogether surprising considering that I'm an Aries, and I was one of only a few "out" democrats. Well, I wasn't a democrat yet; I wasn't of legal voting age. But you know what I mean  - I had scandalously democratic tendencies for a mostly conservative high school. I would dive, fearlessly, into political debates, determined to convince the multitudes of conservative children that medicare was helpful, welfare wasn't a waste of tax dollars, and women had the right to make decisions about their bodies.

Needless to say, I was always outnumbered. But damnit, I was born with the gift of a loud booming voice, and I wouldn't be my father's daughter if I didn't use it for the powers of good. I remember distinctly a conversation with my best friend and my Honors Economics teacher, a professed Libertarian, about taxes:

Teacher: "So okay, Ms. Liberal, let me ask you this: you're okay with the government taking a large piece of your hard-earned money to feed, clothe, and house other people? Even criminals and drug-addicts?"
Me: "Yes I am."
T: "Why?"
Megan: "Without taxes, we wouldn't have paved roads or garbage services. We wouldn't have education, Mr. Starnes. Your paycheck is paid for with taxes. Taxes help the government take care of its' people. There are socio-economic issues that more than likely went into those criminals and drug-addicts becoming criminals and drug-addicts."
T: "Wow. I don't like the government taking my money. I guess I'm just a selfish person."
Me: "I guess you are."

Discussions like this would stop the class for at least 20 minutes at a time, which was never a bad thing. But it's these kind of debates I'd get into all the time.

So I guess it's no wonder that the people who signed my yearbook would tease my earnest liberalness. But you know, it's been ten years. TEN YEARS. And I'm still a proud liberal. I won't say a proud democrat - the party system in our country is a little too ridiculous for me to grasp.

It also reminded me of a kind of idiom someone once told me:

"If you're not a liberal when you're young, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative when you're older, you have no brain."

I hate that expression. HATE it. Such complete horse shit.

I guess my point in writing this mini-rant, is for me to say that as I continue through life, edging further and further away from my "youth," I have yet to see or experience anything that has made me even consider becoming a conservative. I'm not stupid, I'm not wasteful. I just see things differently than you. And probably always will.

In hindsight, I'm really glad that I didn't go to my ten year reunion.


Phoenix said...

You forgot to mention, for all those who don't know you personally and need a little perspective, that you went to high school in one of the most conservative counties in all of California.

And being heartless towards others doesn't equal having a brain. Ugh.