I was inspired by this opinion piece today on Michele Bachmann. I hesitate to get political here because I strongly believe that each side of the aisle has something of merit to add to the conversation. And I live bipartisan politics every day in my marriage. I’m a fairly liberal Republican-turned Independent-turned Democrat while my husband is a fairly conservative Republican. In fact, I am one of only 2 Democrats on my husband’s side of the family, and he has a big family. My parents are Republican, too. So I’m surrounded by conservatives much of the time. However, most (not all) of the conservatives I know don’t “get” Michele Bachmann, either. They’re more interested in the ramifications of a liberal fiscal policy than in the socially conservative agenda that Bachmann seems to be offering. This leaves me wondering who is driving her apparent, popular political appeal and what they hope to achieve. For someone who claims to want limited government and to uphold First Amendment rights, she certainly seems to want to expand government control and limit individual rights when it comes to marriage, divorce, abortion, and pornography (who gets to define what that is? Libraries will be wanting to know that, too) among other things.
I’m not calling out people who support her. I clearly remember many of my conservative friends and family thinking I was crazy to support Obama, and I resented the implication that I was being naïve. I just want to know why they support her and how they see her brand of socially conservative politics, which relies heavily on theology, as the answer to issues like jobs and debt and international relations and environmental concerns. I fully understand that many conservatives–and liberals and moderates, too–believe the country is heading in the wrong direction. But I don’t understand how someone like Bachmann can put it back on track. I’m all ears if anyone cares to weigh in. And I’m serious about that. Listening to each other is the only way to find middle ground.