Monday, March 29, 2010

Consider This


I have a confession to make - one that may (or may not) shock some people who know me.

I have been a registered Republican since I first registered to vote more than twenty years ago. Yes, it's true.

I need to change that.

Let me explain first, though. My conservatism has never come from any religious convictions (not even when I actually had religious convictions). And as far as human rights go, I've always been a liberal. Fiscally is where my conservatism has manifested. Why should my family's hard-earned money be forcefully taken from us to support charity cases? That's been my long-held view.

And then I had Finn. And I was initiated into the world of State-funded supports in the form of therapies available to children like Finn through the Regional Center. At first I felt really bad about taking advantage of what was offered to us through Regional Center. I mean, we're certainly not poor (though we're certainly not rich either). But friend after friend pointed out to me that "You guys have paid into the system for all these years; why shouldn't you benefit from it now that you need it?" And I slowly developed a different perspective about it.

I would like to pose some questions to anyone reading this who might be a political conservative, openly against government-funded welfare programs. Do you see my family as a leach on your tax dollars? What would you do in our shoes, if you had a child with special needs?

Let me take it a little further.

I challenge anyone who is vocally pro-life, who might sport an "Abortion Stops a Beating Heart" bumper sticker, to ask yourself: would I keep a baby I (or my wife) was carrying who received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome (or some other life-altering diagnosis)? And if I did, would I not take advantage of all the therapies and supports available to that child and my family funded by tax dollars?

Because the truth is, if you're going to call yourself Pro-Life, you have to follow it through all the way. If you're going to demand that people stop having abortions, then you need to be absolutely willing to live by your own principles and keep any baby that lands in your womb - even if it's not the baby you dreamed of. And you have to be willing to support government-funded programs that assist those babies and their families in order that those babies might grow up to be functioning, contributing members of society. Tax-paying citizens just like yourself.

I and my family thank you for your acceptance of Finn, and for the use of your tax dollars to optimize the quality of his life. Rest assured that our tax dollars will be here for you when you or someone you love needs them.

10 comments:

lynsloo2001 said...

I've been reading here for almost a year, have never commented. I have to comment today, because I am moved by how plainly you put the benefits of programs paid for by tax dollars.

And how we all, someway, somehow,at some time benefit from them. In big and small ways.

diane rene said...

** standing and applauding **

Stephanie said...

The way I look at it one of the most basic and beautiful things that make us human is the act of taking care of those vulnurable members of society, whether that means the elderly, the impoverished, the sick, or those with special needs. However, this is a far cry from taking care of someone who's too lazy to get off their arse and work. I wouldn't want to live in a society that is so cold and calloused as to not take care of those who truly need it.

Anna Alexandrova said...

Yey, a political post!

Totally, Lisa! It is an honor and a privilege to have my tax $ help Finn. Just the thought delights me. But even if it didn't, the benefits to me from living in a society that takes seriously people like Finn and helps them develop their full potential are enormous.

Cheryl said...

I am a registered Republican. I have supported tea parties. I have written to my congressional representatives and asked them in no uncertain terms to vote NO on the so-called health care reform bill, cap and tax, bail-outs, takeovers and government consolidation of power and control. I have the great adacity to admire Sarah Palin.
I pay my taxes, and with an open heart, completely support funds to help people like your beautiful Finn, and my two beautiful grandbabies who were born at 25 weeks gestation and required months of hospitalization, intensive care and continuing therapy. My young son and his wife certainly could never have afforded the wonderful care their babies received without government benefits.
As you stated, you have paid into the system and now it is your time to turn to the system for needed assistance. You are most certainly entitled.
All of the folks (most of them Republicans)I call friends and love are giving, generous, hard-working people who pay their taxes and willingly give when needed, above and far beyond what is required by law.
I am Pro-Life as far as applies to my own life and my own choices, but also believe a woman's right to chose should be between her and her God...or whomever she carries her conscience to in her moments of uncertainty.
A person's choice of worship, or non-worship, again should be personal choice.

ALL OF THE ABOVE is in place and working NOW in our country, and has been for years; instituted by both Democrats and Republicans alike over the course of the development of our nation.
Therein lies the difference and why I, and so many others, am so frightened by the current legislative course of our government: too much, too fast, without any regard to the economic and social repercussions. Unfortunately, such change is in grave danger of undermining the very economy, and the social structure, that allows and suports the excellent benefits programs that help Finn, my micro-preemie grand babies and most of the rest of us at some point when we have done all we can on our own...

Eternal Lizdom said...

Amen!

As someone who is liberal and a registered Deomocrat, I've long held that the conservative pro-lifers really need to step up and take their pro-life stance further. If you are willing to protect the life of the unborn, you should be just as vigilant about protecting other lives- death penalty and war come to mind and how opposite so many pro-lifers become in their opinions.

And you make such a good point- if you are going to be pro-life, you have to support the program that are in place to support that life you fought for! And that goes beyond "special needs" programs. Children born into poverty, being plucked from abusive homes, living in areas without a strong educational system, living in unsafe neighborhoods... Being pro life is also about providing the best possible life opportunities!

Lindarue said...

Lisa, being a conservative Republican, there are many, many programs I am glad to have my tax dollars go toward. DS, autism, children with learning challenges, anything and everything to make these children thrive with the help of my tax dollars and educated and caring people working under these programs. Let's keep the libraries and the music and art programs in schools. But please, there are so many other programs - really unnecessary and enabling of bad behaviors to continue - encouraging "leeching", that I would never vote Democrat. The Republican party isn't against the type of programs Finn benefits from at all. Neither is any sane person I know.

Talley Images said...

I agree... if you are pro-life, than you need to support your own child - I do wonder how many of the 92% of babies with DS aborted say they are pro-life... I also think that if you are anti-abortion, then you need to be supporting adoption in some way, and from personal experience, I find that most arent... sad

Cwilks said...

Hi Lisa,

I have been a liberal democrat as a college student, a republican as a tax-payer, and now a libertarian. I fully believe that people should receive necessary services, I just do not believe the government should control the system. Imagine that you receive a sum of your tax dollars to pay for the services you want. And imagine how more efficient the services would be, because you are paying for them. The workers are not entitled to a job, they earn the job by providing services that people want and are effective. The government would not be deciding which services are best for people who have needs, but we would for ourselves. When you read Atlas Shrugged, it kind of follows this logic. Unfortunately, there are not enough people who think this way and we are becoming more and more reliant on the government to provide services such as health care, with little or no say.

That's my two cents, for what it is worth.

Cwilks said...

Hi Lisa,

I have been a liberal democrat as a college student, a republican as a tax-payer, and now a libertarian. I fully believe that people should receive necessary services, I just do not believe the government should control the system. Imagine that you receive a sum of your tax dollars to pay for the services you want. And imagine how more efficient the services would be, because you are paying for them. The workers are not entitled to a job, they earn the job by providing services that people want and are effective. The government would not be deciding which services are best for people who have needs, but we would for ourselves. When you read Atlas Shrugged, it kind of follows this logic. Unfortunately, there are not enough people who think this way and we are becoming more and more reliant on the government to provide services such as health care, with little or no say.

That's my two cents, for what it is worth.