I am a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. I give money to the Nature Conservancy and the NRA. I admire Martin Luther King Jr. and George Patton.
I am peaceful but I am not a pacifist. I'm pro-choice but I don't support animal research. I think the grunt in the foxhole and the anti-war protester both served their country well.
I think there's too much violence on TV but I loved "Die Hard." I think we were wrong in Vietnam but I fly my POW-MIA flag. I think a person has a right to burn his flag if he wants to and I cry when they play the national anthem. My faith is in God but I don't go to church.
I am not a liberal, a conservative, a hippie or a fat cat. I am not a bigot, a bleeding heart or a member of the media or the elite. I cannot be categorized. I cannot be stereotyped. I will not fit in a pigeonhole. I am full of inconsistencies but I am not inconsistent.
All people on welfare are not lazy. All people who own guns are not nuts. All people in gangs are not killers. All cops are not pigs. All Republicans are not heartless. And all Democrats are not Commies.
We are each unique; individuals whose values are molded through every moment of our lives. We are all Americans. We are America.
WILLIAM G. SHANK