Tuesday, June 23, 2015

In Defense of Bobby Jindal

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will be throwing his hat in the ring for President of the United States.  I don’t plan on discussing whether he is qualified or the best candidate or even has a chance, but I would like to discuss some of the criticisms against him.

Piyush to Bobby – Jindal’s parents named him Piyush, but he chooses to go by Bobby (based on a character from the Brady Bunch).  For all I care, he could prefer to be called “Princess Moon Dolphin,” the Native American name my 5 year old came up with.  I have a good friend growing up who prefers Ian (based on the lead singer of Nine Inch Nails) to his birth name.  I have another friend who prefers Tashi (based on his embracing Buddhism).  I have been watching the HBO series, “The Wire,” and most of the corner boys are better known by their nicknames than their given names.  I name is just a name, but I have taken it a step further.  I go by one name with family and another name professionally.

Hinduism to Christianity – Jindal was raised Hindu, but free to explore other religions.  Some people choose not to believe in a higher power at all.  Freedom of religion is what allows individuals to not live under Sharia Law.  He converted to Christianity as a teen and was baptized as Catholic in college.  Good for him.  Whether a person chooses to align with a religion is his business.  I have struggled to introduce my children to religion.  Whether they choose to believe what I believe is their business.  Whether I expose them to belief systems is my business.

Indian Traditions – Family traditions are a great thing.  It would be great if I could recognize more cultural traditions and religious holidays with my family.  I don’t always make the time.  My kids and I can’t speak Hindi.  I am sure there are plenty of immigrants around the world who can no longer speak their mother tongue.  I know plenty of people of German and Italian descent that can no longer speak German or Italian either.

Camo Christmas Card – This thing is awesome.  If you have the opportunity, you should embrace what your community has to offer.  When I moved out to Colorado I had the opportunity to learn how to ski and go hunting for the first time.  I likely would not have had these opportunities growing up in Memphis.  Should all of my Christmas cards, have a backdrop of the muddy Mississippi river?

I do not align with all Republican Conservative values.  I do not align with all Democratic Liberal values. 

I don’t understand much of politics, but I know money is important and you have to chase the dollars.  If you can get the money based on the color of your skin, then get the money.  If you can get the money by aligning with corporations, then get the money.

I also believe you have to represent the interests of those you have been elected to serve.  It has got to be really tough to turn your personal feelings aside and vote or fight for something your constituents want, versus what you actually believe.  It has got to be even tougher if something isn’t good for them.  Governor Hickenlooper has done his best to make marijuana reform work in Colorado.  That is what I expect from my elected officials.

In the United States you have to be Republican or Democrat enough to win your primary, but you can’t be so Republican or Democrat that you alienate the Independents (that 10% of America who really chooses the President).  If our Electoral College system were ever to change, it would be whole new ballgame.

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