I guess most folks probably think I'm a liberal.

I'm not.

But I like a mix of ideas -- liberal and conservative -- in public life.

I don't like being closed minded about anything.

What I am is an old-fashioned conservative who believes in the old-fashioned values.

I believe that people should take care of each other.

If our neighbor has troubles, we should pitch in and help.

I believe jobs should pay a living wage to every worker.

I believe in being kind to everyone -- regardless of whether they look or act like me.

I believe we shouldn't be so quick to judge others.

I think I learned that in Sunday school.

I believe you should worship -- or not -- as you choose.

And I won't try to impose my beliefs on you.

I believe in freedom.

I believe we have too many laws.

I believe in second -- and sometimes even third -- chances.

I believe you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

I believe in the rights of the individual over those of the state.

I believe in equal justice -- rich or poor, white and any other color -- under the law.

I believe that war should be a last resort.

I believe we should provide a good, solid education for every person in this country.

I believe in welcoming strangers.

I believe in a community united against bullying.

I believe in good health care for everyone.

I believe when someone climbs the ladder, they should reach back and help others climb it too.

I believe in taking care of the poor, the young and the old.

I believe in smiling at everyone I meet.

Do I always live up to my beliefs?

No, I'm human.

But I believe these are -- or used to be -- conservative values.

If they're now liberal values, well, I guess that makes me a liberal.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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