"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." Ralph Waldo Emerson
The first political issue that I remember being interested in was affirmative action. I had watched a TV6 editorial that argued that affirmative action was itself wrongful discrimination, I agreed, and affirmative action became the subject of a paper I had to write for my sixth grade English class. Thereafter, politics and debate became something I enjoyed immensely.
I majored in economics and political science in college and then attended law school. I did volunteer work, for college credit, on George W. Bush’s first campaign for President. I was more of a libertarian than a republican, but I was clearly not likely to vote for a Democrat unless they ran on a gay marriage or legalize marijuana platform, which at that time Democrats shied away from. My views were pretty unwavering from middle school through law school. Individual responsibility, free markets, equality of opportunity not equality of outcome, and consistent application of laws and principles were cornerstones of my own political and economic philosophy.
Then I graduated from law school, entered the “real world” and slowly but surely began to question many of the things I believed so strongly before. I struggled, made it through some rough spots in my life, and questioned rugged individualism. It’s not that I threw out my prior beliefs. It’s just that I began to question how far you take a principle. When I was in college I was puzzled by one of my economics professors, who was exceptionally bright and very fiscally conservative and who told me that he thought social security was good policy because, “You don’t want people dying in the street.” I thought social security was one step away from communism. I didn’t understand how he could justify what I viewed as an inconsistency in his personal political and economic philosophy.
I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 because he is an African-American. My first child was not born until 2011, but I remember thinking and telling people, “I don’t want my kids to grow-up in a country were only white guys can be President.” I still don’t think affirmative action in the form of quotas is good policy. However, I am less certain that race should never be a consideration because “white privilege” exists and very few things in life are actually “merit based” anyway. Life’s not perfect, so I can handle a little inconsistency if it makes our society better off.
It’s looking like Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for President in 2016. If not Hillary Clinton, I would put money on it that the nominee will still be a woman. I think Democrats know if they nominate a woman, they’ll win. If Republicans want to prevent that, they should also nominate a woman. That would take the thunder out of voting for Hillary Clinton for many people, like me, because either way a woman would win. I am not particularly excited about Hillary Clinton, but I want a female to be elected President in 2016. It’s time. It’s long over due. My mother always told me, “You can be whatever you want to be” and I believed her. My first daughter is about to be born any day now, and I’d like her to believe she can be whatever she wants to be.
That’s My Argument.
© Brandon J. Evans December 2014