By Kerry Patton
As a registered conservative, I am not outraged over the decision to have Willie Nelson play at the RNC. Nor am I outraged that funds for his portion of the event will be donated to veterans’ groups. I am appalled at reactions from some of my fellow conservatives.
First and foremost, we are all individuals and no matter which political party we align with, we should feel at ease when expressing ourselves—name calling is for children—it’s time we grow up.
I do not smoke marijuana nor do I take any illegal drugs. I am all for fighting against those who push harsh drugs on our children who are ill equipped to make the right decision whether or not to use drugs. I am a big fan of the movie The Boondock Saints.
Of note, I do use the word harsh in the aforementioned paragraph. That means, I vehemently despise narcotics like heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, etc. While the majority of harsh drugs use natural resources for their production, many synthetic and unnatural additives are incorporated to achieve the final product. Marijuana is not a harsh drug. It is natural, proven safer than alcohol, and less addictive than tobacco. But who am I to say it should be legal or not—I don’t smoke the “wacky tobaccy.”
One day, our grandchildren and great grandchildren will likely look back at the debate about marijuana legalization and laugh because they will believe we were fools arguing back and forth about such a stupid topic—by that time, every state will have likely caught up to the majority of states who have already legalized or decriminalized the herb on some level. Future Americans will be no different than those of us who look back at the prohibition period and realize it was a really stupid period in our nation’s history.
Just writing this makes me feel incredibly vulnerable knowing how many fellow conservatives will attack me. Well, I am not part of the machine and I have some pretty tough skin. But since many will likely go on the war path throwing outdated RINO-machine based verbal darts at me, let me add another bit of common sense about two more stupid yet heatedly debated topics.
I am a male who was not blessed by God to be able to actually carry another human life. I have no clue what that experience must be like for a woman—especially a woman who was raped or molested by a stranger or a family member. I know how I personally feel about abortion and I do not like it one bit. But then again, I am not a woman nor do I live in a distressed environment which could actually jeopardize my own life or the life of a child. Who the hell am I to say whether abortion should be legal or not? Who the hell are the majority of people who never had to make such a decision? Before anyone makes a claim that I am a liberal in disguise, let me add a couple more points about the whole pro-life debate.
According to my Catholic faith, I am not pro-life one bit even though I do not personally believe in abortion. Remember, I will not judge those who go through or perform the procedure. I am not pro-life based on my religious beliefs, not because of my stance on abortion but because I fully support the death penalty. Shoot, I support it so much I wish each execution of prisoners was actually televised as I believe public viewing of such an event can actually reduce violent crimes or possibly improve our horrific legal system (formerly referred to as a "Justice" system). I can’t be fooled either. Many so called pro-life conservative bandwagon types actually support the death penalty. Wouldn’t this make most of us “pro-life hypocrites?”
Lastly, as a Bible thumping, gun owning, red-white- and blue, combat disabled veteran who served the United States in multiple capacities, I will never say a human should be deprived of their rights to love another human being. I am not gay nor am I bisexual. I can not comprehend how a gay man can find another man sexually appealing, but I sure as hell can relate to lesbians who find women sexually appealing. My wife is hot! But that is not the point.
If a gay couple wants to marry then so be it. Again, like the marijuana debate, I believe future Americans will one day laugh about the gay marriage debate as many states are allowing the ritual today. Eventually this will lead America to become a nation that authorizes it. Whether we like it or not, this is how I see the future.
I realize that I am definitely not part of the conservative machine. And I thank my blessings that I am not. I am an independent thinker, a registered conservative who adamantly opposes the whole social welfare state America is turning into. I cannot stand big government. I am really more libertarian than anything else and one who believes none of the three topics should even be debated these days as America has way too many other important issues at stake—like securing this great nation from Islamists, communists, and attorneys turned politicians.
So for every conservative who is opposed to award-winning country music legend Willie Nelson playing at the upcoming RNC because of his stance on legalizing marijuana, never forget these lyrics from his song "Time Changes Everything":
There was a time when I thought of no other
We sang our own love refrain
Our hearts beat as one, as we had our fun
But time changes everything.
(Commentary by Kerry Patton/August 2, 2012)