Last week, Christine talked with me about her community. She also elaborated on the beliefs that have made her political ideology different from the average American Conservative ideology.
Having lived in Washington state for 12 years, Christine has met many of her friends through political gatherings and activism. “I met some from different causes, one was a big land rights group. We fought back on land rights issues and I got to have some friends there. Then we fought to stop the migration coming into Washington and I got some friends there. I was with Act for America, and then some of my friends are through my husband […] through his work.”
Her husband, who is from Germany, regularly makes calls to his family back home where his sister and daughter are experiencing the effects of the migrant crisis. They feel their culture and environment are rapidly changing to the point where daily life is something hardly recognizable; they feel unsafe, and both the economy and local towns are experiencing negative effects. “They’re not allowed to criticize anything going on,” she says, “[and] he does not want that to happen here.”
Meanwhile, she has a young child participating in the Running Start program at their local college, enrolled in STEM classes. Outside of school, her child participates in activities where they are in the company of others their age. Christine has also met people, many of whom are considered liberal, through her child’s activities, but they rarely discuss politics. But she says she likes them all the same.
Outside of family and friends, Christine discussed in more detail the influence that history has had on her perspective of the world. “It wasn’t until I really got into history and saw these patterns constantly repeating themselves that you could just predict what’s going to happen next […] It’s so much easier to predict it and try to prevent it than to try and fix movements when it’s already kind of too late and they’ve already destroyed a portion of the country.” History repeats itself, she says, and if you talk to the people who lived through it, you’ll start to see the patterns for yourself.
When I asked if she held any beliefs that different from what would be considered the average American Conservative ideology, Christine said, “I was pretty much in my core always Conservative. Except for the fact I was pro-choice, I was always Conservative. I’m still pro-choice with limits – not third term.”
A second example of her beliefs deviating from the ideology of the Republican party is religion in schools; Christine says she disagrees with the Republicans who want to bring religion back into public schools, saying that church and state should be kept separate. She clarifies, “I don’t want to see a kid who wants to read a Bible on his lunchtime treated badly. I think he has every bit of right to bring his Bible and read his Bible if he wants. [But] I don’t think the school has a right to have initiation.”
For many political issues, Christine tends to side with states’ rights. “I’m a Classical Liberal so I want less government. I want the states to have more control over what’s done in their state. […] I don’t want it all to be one giant corrupt government telling all the other states what they have to do.” She says there are a few issues, though, that she believes would be better serviced by the Federal government. For her, she says abortion is “one of the few things I deviate from states’ rights on. I kind of think that there should be a Federal thing in place. Why should a girl have to drive to the state border?”
Christine mentioned a list of political goals that she hopes can be realized in the future; she calls it the “hierarchy of threats.” First and foremost, she says, America should stay more independent rather than globalist, and this means that its borders should be more secure and that it becomes less restricted by the UN. Secondly, she says that voting problems need to be fixed. Third, she says the court system should be balanced and less biased; the Supreme Court is becoming more balanced with the latest nomination, she says. Additionally, Christine hopes that corruption will be exposed on both sides of American politics, as well as in the realm of science. There are environmental issues that she says have been clouded by biased science.
Finally, when I asked about her community, the first thing Christine mentioned was attending Synagogue with her family as a child. She didn’t elaborate much as she seemed to not consider it to be a large part of her upbringing. She herself doesn’t side with a particular religious ideology, though she would describe herself to be spiritual. Her mother, she said, was always on a journey, having experienced numerous religions throughout her lifetime, and her father was non-religious.
Today, Christine describes her community as people who do not have filters. “They like open debate. No-one completely agrees with each other; we’re not cookie cutters,” she says. She likes that their discussions are open and that it’s easy to talk with them about anything. “My community are pretty like-minded. Only ‘cause I don’t want to fight at the end of the day. There’s enough fighting on Facebook. When I get home, I want to be with friends who can laugh about things.”
In the end, Christine says, “usually what I always do when I’m in a mixed group is find common ground. And there are things that I do believe we all agree on. Not ‘meet me in a different way’. But there are plenty of things. We all want to breathe clean air; clean water; the earth nice. I think everybody’s there.”