Wading back into the lakes of fire known as race and politics….

I am a Libertarian. Not just my voting pattern – I am a dues-paying member of the Libertarian Party. The easiest way to describe Libertarianism is to say we are fiscally/economically conservative and socially liberal. It’s not always that cut & dried, but it’s the simplest way to describe for those that are married to the idea that the only ideologies available are Republican / conservative and Democrat / liberal.

Being economically conservative means belief in the free market, minimal government regulation, and lower tax rates. (Specific to Libertarians, “lower tax rates” means restoring the original Constitution, where taxing income was illegal, and going to a national sales/consumption tax and repealing the 16th Amendment.) Like I said, it’s not all completely cut & dried. The financial industry has proven it can’t be trusted if left unregulated, so some intervention is required. However, we have gone too far the other way with excessive regulation that needs some reform.

Having this ideology is 100% opposite to just about everything the Obama administration has done in this area. I can’t think of a time when I agreed with him on any economic policy – especially the Affordable Care Act, which has kept my take-home pay in the same area that it was in 2009.

Now, couple this with the fact that every single day, there is some article, blog, social media meme or news report that says that there is ONE and ONLY reason for criticizing anything about Obama, and that is racism. If you voice ANYTHING other than 100% support, you can only feel that way because Obama is black. It is not possible to have any other motivation for criticism or disagreement.

I have had it. I am sick to death of being called a racist. And that’s what many are doing. By continuing to voice/post/share these items that state ALL opposition to Obama is because of his color, and with me opposing his economic policies, you are calling me a racist. And that makes no sense. Why would I marry a black woman if I was a racist Why would I have spent big chunks of my single life living with black men (including one who was the best man at my wedding) if I were a racist? Why would I attend a church that has whites, blacks and Latinos worshiping together if I were a racist?

My wife & I were talking about this last night. She said she knows that obviously I’m not racist, but she wonders why she very rarely hears me say anything positive about Obama. My response is that I’m always talking about policy and decisions, and not about the person. I have never had anything bad to say about Obama the man. I have never called him a name or insulted him, unless you count me poking fun at him for his devotion to Chicago’s sports teams. I haven’t called him an idiot like Republicans have done, or called him stupid like liberals did to President Bush.

I know there is still plenty of racism out there. Only a stupid idiot would deny that. The only way we are going to get rid of it is by working together. To continue promoting this assumption that either you are 100% in favor of everything Barack Obama says and does or you are a racist is NOT helping to bridge the racial divide. It is only widening it. Racism is evil. Should we really be assuming people are evil before we have evidence?

“I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.” This was the Apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Rome (Romans 15:14, NIV).

Do you see the difference? Paul assumed the Roman Christians were good people. Today, we assume the worst of people, often without any evidence. Everyone is a sinner, of course. But how about assuming people are good until they show us otherwise?

Let’s try that approach for a while.

Stop calling me a racist.