photo credit: ilovemypit
Nearly three years ago I publicly wondered where I fit politically. Since then I have solidly concluded that the Republican party is the best fit for me, but now I have found a term for my general political view – I’m a Whole Foods Republican who Michael Petrilli describes as:
independent-minded voters who embrace a progressive lifestyle but not progressive politics. These highly-educated individuals appreciate diversity and would never tell racist or homophobic jokes; they like living in walkable urban environments; they believe in environmental stewardship, community service and a spirit of inclusion. And yes, many shop at Whole Foods . . .
What makes these voters potential Republicans is that, lifestyle choices aside, they view big government with great suspicion. There’s no law that someone who enjoys organic food, rides his bike to work, or wants a diverse school for his kids must also believe that the federal government should take over the health-care system or waste money on thousands of social programs with no evidence of effectiveness. Nor do highly educated people have to agree that a strong national defense is harmful to the cause of peace and international cooperation.
I appreciate diversity and would never tell racist or homophobic jokes (at least I hope not). I would love to live in a walkable community so long as I didn’t have to move from my current neighborhood (if I had to move for some reason I would look for a walkable community). I believe in environmental stewardship even if I oppose the overt political power grabbing of the environmental lobby. I believe in community service and in the need to be inclusive but I could not even identify the nearest Whole Foods location (at least, until I looked it up).
These are some of the very issues that caused me to ask that question and my positions have not changed even if I have found that I can make my political home within the Republican party (which is really what I was questioning back then).
The key is not simply that the Republican party needs to embrace the educated, somewhat progressive, Whole Foods Republicans – people who understand that a “progressive lifestyle” can be achieved without the ill-conceived ideas that are promoted as progressive politics – these Whole Foods Republicans, like myself, must embrace the Republican party and make it their political home because those who embrace the party are the ones who have the chance to shape the party.
If they show that they stand for what the party espouses the Whole Foods Republicans can rid the party of the military adventurism influence and the residual image of homophobia that hamper the implementation of the solid core values that have been a strength to this nation for centuries.