Last month, I was a guest on Hot 97 FM to discuss race relations and law enforcement with other invited guests.
When the rest of the people in the discussion found out that I was a registered Republican, they were floored. My way of thinking, my views and the fact that I went on this show is not consistent with the GOP brand, but my aim in life has always been to promote unity, diversity, acceptance, reason and the rule of law.
For most of my life, I was a registered Democrat. That is until I wasn’t. For the past few years, I have been flying the Republican banner. Though I still for the most part represent the GOP, that too will soon change.
I like to consider myself a reasonable individual. If you are honest with yourself, and also a reasonable individual, you should agree that nothing in life is black or white. Neither of the two major parties in the United States completely represent any of us. That being said, we should be voting strictly on issues, and not so much along party lines.
I happen to be a gun owner, and I am extremely pro-gun. However, my friends over on the Liberal camp are very much against guns and gun ownership. There is one person who always says to me, “Angel, Lil Jimmy’s right to live trumps your alleged constitutional right to own a gun.” My reply to that is that Lil Jimmy will never get his hands on my gun. All of my weapons are securely stored. My friend happens to believe that guns kill people, while I believe that bad and irresponsible people kill people, not the guns. I have laid my gun on my desk many times, and not once did it jump up and attempt to shoot me.
Sarcasm aside, as a reasonable person, I acknowledge that guns make it a hell of a lot easier for people to kill other people. Furthermore, living in NYC, I recognize and acknowledge that in a large metropolis, where people are crowded into trains and buses, where you have a mixed bag of people (some of which may not have all of their marbles), carrying a concealed gun here presents a greater danger than it would in the open fields of Montana.
On the other hand, my friends over on the Conservative camp are, for the most part, anti-gay. I happen to be pro-gay rights. I have had debates and disagreements with some individuals who condemn gays as an abomination. Some of them have even gone as far as use derogatory terms when speaking about gay people. I do not agree, nor do I support this.
Recently, I penned an article on Latino Rebels directed at someone whom I have always supported, Dr. Ben Carson. On national television, Dr. Carson made a ridiculous prison statement and saying that homosexuality is a “choice.” I was shocked and appalled that a man of such great medical intelligence could have such a foolish view on this topic. He has since then apologized, but the fact remains that he said it, and if you said it the first time—odds are that you believe it.
Those are two perfect examples where I disagree with both major political parties in America. Last week, I was visiting NY Board of Election website, and I was extremely close to clicking on the option which says, “I do not want to belong to a political party.” The reason that I have not done this yet is because doing so would prevent me from taking part in primaries. However, I am still heavily considering this as my next move.
What are those of us who have grown up with an “open liberal mind” supposed to do when the current party we belong to can be so close-minded on these major social issues? For example, as a Latino man, I cannot and do not support this push to deport honest, hard-working undocumented immigrants. How could I? That would be one of the most hypocritical things that I could do. And last time I checked, the current President who is responsible for the agencies who have achieved record deportations is a Democrat.
If not for welfare programs when I was growing up, I would not be where I am today. How could I with a clear conscience support removing those very same programs from people who are in the exact situation I was once in? How can I back a party which seeks to regulate a woman’s body? I don’t applaud, nor do I promote abortion, but I’ll be damned if I tell a woman that she has to keep a baby.
Then, on the other hand, what options do we have when the party we grew up with stands against our right to defend our home, property and our lives? Living in NYC and being a gun owner is a terrifying thing. I hope that I never, ever in my life have to fire my weapon in the defense of my home or family. In a place like NYC, I would be crucified. The news stories would read, “Psychotic Gun Toting Nutjob Shoots Innocent Hungry Intruder.”
I have no desire to fire my weapon at a living being, but it really bothers me that I would have to hesitate or think twice in defending our lives out of fear that I would be wrongfully incarcerated. I also happen to believe in order and process. Though I am not “anti-immigrant,” I am very much against anyone being able to cross into our lands without being vetted and accounted for. I stand behind a secure border and full accountability for all individuals entering and leaving this country.
All this being said, neither of the two parties is really in line with that which I personally want. The Democrats are too far left, and the Republicans are too far right. Whatever happened to balance, reason and working together?
This is why I don’t want to belong to a political party. Why can’t we simply vote on the issues?
Angel Rodriguez is the publisher of NYCTalking.com, a page that “covers current affairs, business reviews, fashion advice, opinion and commentary, along with random musings from time to time.” Angel is a Bronx boricua, poet, rapper and a U.S. Air Force vet. You can follow him on Twitter @AngelRMedia.