Right versus relationship

Pop quiz: what’s my favorite color? (or if you are in India, what’s my favourite colour?)

Here are a few hints. I grew up and have spent the vast majority of my life in the geographic area of Northern Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland. The college I went to is known as “the hippie school” because there are a lot of modern-day hippies that attend, and it recycles 100% (or close to it) of its trash. My parents were both peace-loving hippies of the late ’60s/early ’70s. I am a fan of FDR, Truman and Clinton, and I was glad to see Obama won (not only at all, but) a second term in office. I believe the arts is vital to a good healthy person and culture, and of course I am a poet. I believe gay marriage should be legal in all 50 states and that women have the right to choose.

Okay, so what’s the answer? If you said blue, you’re wrong.

Hm. Okay, here are a few more hints. I believe big government is bad, and regulation as a rule suppresses rather than protects. I believe Obamacare could be the straw that ultimately breaks this country’s back, and that we should be weary of federal programs in general. I am a fan of Lincoln, TR and Reagan, and when I was in high school I was a member of a group called TARS (Teen-Age RepublicanS). I believe capitalism is the best option for a strong economy, and that a “fair deal” is a disastrous deal. I am a fan of Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.

Photo c. 1913 and courtesy Bain News Service and US Library of Congress.
If Theodore Roosevelt were President today he would most likely be a donkey Democrat.

Okay, try again. Red? Sorry, wrong again.

Seems like I am living in a gray area, doesn’t it. Perhaps that’s the reason behind my name. I’m not so black and white, or should I say blue and red.

I am disheartened by the people I know getting so caught up in right and wrong. Their political identity is not based on individual beliefs but party affiliations. Republicans are evil. Democrats are idiots. Democrats say rich people have no moral obligation and Republicans say poor people have no drive. I am guilty of it too. I complain about liberals with my conservative friends and complain about conservatives with my liberal friends. But also, I don’t usually complain.

The Bubonic Plague is back. It has taken the form of a moral virus called righteousness. How dare they think that? We are right! It is ruining an entire nation, killing off the need for relationship. I heard someone say once, “would you rather be right, or be in relationship?” I have taken that and drilled it into my children every day. Sometimes we need to let 2+2=5.

Robert Bros Circus at Welshpool,
 or “Making Fun of the Republicans”

I live in India now, in a school that acts as a community. Its entire mission is based on the premise of tolerance and relationship. It isn’t always successful, and lately seems to be in somewhat of an identity crisis, but all people and organizations go through this. I would rather feel compassion for its current struggles than make the school wrong for it. I would rather sympathize than point fingers.

I wish American politics could do the same. the bickering that goes on in Congress is repulsive. Compromise can be ugly, I get that, but at least it is action.  I can’t express enough how many friends I have who I disagree with politically. But being in relationship is more important than being right.

I am not as happy about Obama winning a second term as I wanted to be. He has not turned out to be the President I had wanted to see. He is imperfect. But what President isn’t? It may be unfair for the Republican Party to be known as the “NO!” party, because the Democratic Party has had its turn in the past — but then invent a new identity.

Keeping the Democrats on a short leash

And if Romney had won, that doesn’t mean the country would have been blanketed with a Morman agenda, it doesn’t mean  Pro-Life advocates would have overturned Roe V Wade, it doesn’t mean women would have been “kept in a binder,” and it doesn’t mean birth control methods would have been made illegal.

And even if all those things were put into motion, which I seriously doubt, that’s what checks and balances is for. That’s why it is a three-branch system. “Wrong” agendas can always be made right, and “right” agendas can always turn south. I love my country, I love my friends — I do not “unfriend” them on FB because we disagree, I just agree to disagree. I do not hate. I do not get angry at the opposition because to me there is no opposition. I see and get and understand both sides of the aisle. I am a mix of both.

That may be why my favorite color is and has always been purple. Maybe it’s the new gray!

Joshua Gray

Washington DC native poet that now lives in Kentucky.

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