One reason I started this blog is because I’m concerned about the direction our country is headed.

While I’m a registered Republican, I can’t say that I identify with the Republicans of the last eight years. Nor can I say that Democrats are to be ignored on all things simply because they’re Democrats.

I tend to judge people on their actions, not their rhetoric. What do they really do when put to the test? As far as I’m concerned, both Democrats and Republicans are cut from the same cloth these days, two sides of the same coin, simply two different styles of rhetoric with little difference in action at the end of the day.

When I turned 18, I chose to register as a Republican.

Not for the ideology per se, but because in principle the party stood for independence, personal responsibility and the idea that if you work hard you’ll reap the rewards of your hard work. At the time I turned 18, I’d already, with the help of my father, managed my own business for three years, so I’d come to appreciate how true it was that if I worked hard, I could advance myself in life and reap the rewards of my hard work – not only did I manage a business, I graduated with honors and headed off to a top school for college with a comfortable bank account for my needs while advancing my education.

Now in my 40’s, I’ve not only worked hard, but have what many would call a comfortable life. My lifestyle wasn’t just given to me, I’ve earned it by making sacrifices along the way, saving, investing and paying attention.

My husband and I waited to buy our first house, waited until we could afford not only the mortgage payments, but the responsibility that comes with maintenance and upkeep of a home. Of course there were times we were quite tempted to jump in and buy when the housing market seemed limitless, ever increasing in value, with everyone, it seemed, worried if one didn’t buy “now” they’d be forever priced out of owning a home. Despite favorable “teaser” interest rates, we passed and waited; and the wait was worth it since we found the house of our dreams and can afford it. It wasn’t an easy decision to wait and pay rent, but for us it made financial sense, something it seems many Americans have lost sight of these last eight years.

Rather than take a long hard look at how the govenment, banks and consumers all contributed to the housing mess, we focus on the banks – let’s blame the banks and the bankers, it’s their fault. If only they’d had more regulation, more oversight, more rules, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in. It’s easy to do, but that doesn’t make it true.

How many people, now troubled financially by their increasing mortgage payments, actually did the math for the worst case scenario (interest rates rise to maximum cap on the loan) before signing on the dotted line for their ARM or interest-only loan?

I’d guess few to none. We did though and took a pass on the ARM offered because, in the worst case scenario our mortgage payment had the potential to double – yes double – within seven years of the loan start date. That was simply unacceptable, so we took the 30-year fixed even though it appeared to cost us $50 more a month for the payments from day one. I’d much rather pay $50 a month and know I can afford our mortgage for the long-term than try to guess where interest rates will be in the future. I remember the 80’s and I remember 18% interest for a mortgage!

So, while the banks promoted their loans and the government encouraged homeownership for everyone, few are taking a long hard look at the responsibility of the homeowner – and their lack of personal oversight of their financial situation.

What I’m getting at with this very long post is that I’m very much about personal responsibility. I’m not heartless when it comes to those less fortunate; in fact I do think we who are fortunate have a great responsibility to those around us – I don’t think it is a responsibility of the government necessarily, but of families and the community.

I come from a blue collar family, parents who worked hard to provide for us, buy a home, live the American dream; whom pushed us to do better, which me and my sister indeed accomplished – we both went to college and worked hard for where we are now, something my parents are infinitely proud of us doing.

It wasn’t by government mandate we received a college eduction, it was by my parents working hard and setting examples of personal responsibility, holding us accountable for our actions, expecting us to do well in school and to continue our education beyond high school.

These days it seems we hold a fear that if the government doesn’t take the lead no one will.

What I find most disturbing is our march toward socialism, under the use of terms like “progessive;” a term used to imply we’re doing a good thing, making progress, advancing our thinking and policies….progessive policies are socialist policies and few in the media are defining the terms in use for the average American!

Which is why I opened my blog by providing the various definitions of the word “change” – when the politicians speak of “change” we have no definition of their meaning, we’re left to interpret the meaning ourselves and wind up with a mish-mash of understanding across the population. If we want to understand just what they mean by change, we have to examine their stated agenda – tease it apart, look at the long-term goals, and then decide what their “change” means.

In looking at the agenda set forth on the White House website, it’s clear to me that “change” is moving toward a socialist structure for government. I hope that here, in my blog, I can articulate where I see these policies shifting and offer alternative options to consider. I’m no expert on government or politics, but I am my own expert on life – if we fail as Americans to avert the policy changes in the air, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves when we find we’re living under a system never intended by our Founding Fathers.

My blog is neither Democrat or Republican, it’s American. While I’ve identified myself as a registered Republican, I am more a Libertarian these days. I won’t abandon my party though, for I do have hope that we can get the party back on track and move things back in the right direction. For that, I do have hope.

Advertisements