The Duggar political machine has always fascinated me. I will admit that I don't agree with any of their political ideals, but at the same time I have great respect for the fact that they so actively participate in our political process. In this day and age people take their right to vote for granted and I find that sad--especially when there's so much work to be done and so many people complaining.
I will also admit that the fact that Jim Bob became a state rep surprises and annoys me on a few levels. I don't have a problem with him running, but it goes against the grain that he was elected. While he may have the experience and point of view of the common working man/small business owner to bring to the table, I sincerely doubt he brought much else. Okay maybe that is my own personal belief that an elected official should have some kind of education beyond the high school diploma, but I can't deny my feelings.
We all know the Duggars views on abortion. From reading their book and hearing them in interviews, it's clear that anti-abortion legislation was Jim Bob's key platform when running. What little research my husband did (he's not a fan AT ALL of this family) shows that abortion is the main issue he showed up to vote for. His appearance record wasn't stellar, but then few reps show up for every vote, so we have to be fair. It just shows what his priorities were as a rep.
We also know that the Duggars have made their money by being successful capitalists. Jim Bob hasn't worked for anyone (TLC notwithstanding) since early in their marriage when he worked for a grocery store. Since then he's owned his own small businesses, some two or three at a time. We can't ignore the Duggars willingness to work hard and accumulate wealth. The last debt they had (hospital bills not included) was the first home Jim Bob bought before they were married. To say that TLC "saved" them financially is a mistake--they were debt free and living happily before TLC came to the door and undoubtedly would have continued to live debt free.
Clearly they have conservative values and beliefs. And when you add all this up you aren't surprised that this family is Republican in their voting. They still have McCain/Palin bumper stickers on their car and the election was over a long time ago. Now why none of this is at all surprising, what is interesting is that they way they live, worship, and share with those similar to them could also be viewed as quite communal. The Duggars are very kind and considerate of others--not to be viewed as a trait contrary to Republicans, I'm one myself, but is interesting that a lifestyle usually equated with "free spirits" or even hippies, is one that the Duggars have inadvertently embraced without probably realizing it.
Michelle has said that each child has their own space and the ability to lock away their personal possessions from their siblings. However we also read in their book and hear in interviews with the kids that they basically share and share alike when it comes to toys, books, and even goodies. The Duggars go beyond sharing within their family. They are virtually selfless when it comes to giving to their friends and members of their church family. When someone needs something the Duggars are the first to give what they have--they also pay for all the food/clothing/gifts that they take with them to El Salvador and buy while they are there for the families they are there to help. Helping others in this way is also not necessarily a non-Republican trait, but when you look at legislation the argument could be made.
I do see a lot of their lifestyle as being near communal. They might not view it that way, but the case could be made. They are also quite clearly living a lifestyle that was made possible by a pure capitalist view. It fascinates me to try to wrap my head around those two seemingly polar opposite stances.
What do you think? Does this give validation to the cult theories? Or are they a simple family who is trying to be a good example?