I was recently spanked and I deserved it, I can sometimes forget my manners. Politics and religion brings out the very worst in even the best of us and I am far from the best as I recently proved. Though I apologized to the person I offended, I have been thinking about my terribleness since then and mentally kicking myself. I admit I am opinionated, highly opinionated if truth were told, but it has only been recently that I have found myself also being partisan or at least more partisan than is my wont when it comes to party politics.
Maybe it is time I clear the air. Not to defend myself but to put things on the table, allow things to be known about what I really think. In fact how I have always thought.
In 1975, when I turned 18 I registered to vote. I registered as an Independent. I have always considered myself a Progressive rather than a Democrat or a Liberal; I am certainly not a Socialist. There are many things within the Democratic platform over the years I have vehemently disagreed with and spoken out against. There are clearly things over the past few years especially within the Republican platform I have taken issue with, spoken out against sometimes insultingly so. With this in mind I thought I would kick myself a few times and go searching for why I am such an azzhat these days, what has caused me to become such stickler, you know so partisan in my views that I offend my friends with my intensity.
One thing I considered is I have changed, I know this is true. I have gotten older, but I feared I had truly changed and was incapable of hearing or seeing beyond my own personal views and considerations. The other thing I considered is our political environment and parties had changed so much there was no room for debate or civility any longer. I feared my ability to be respectful and loving was falling by the wayside when certain issues that squeezed my heart caused my humor and normal pragmatism to take a very quick walk to the darkside.
So, with that in mind I thought I would do a bit of research. Look at the parties, their platforms and the changes to them since 1900. What happened? What were the key hiccups? Where did they trade, what did they trade and ultimately who did they sell their souls to? Ultimately I can tell you what I believe and why I believe it, I can tell you what I want and why. I do not care what party offers it to me; I will pull the lever for the person who best represents my values. We are stuck with exactly what our Founding Fathers warned us against, a two party system that represents nothing and nobody but a small number of very wealthy corporations and their leaders. That at least is what I believe.
All of us, we align with a Party that somewhat, sorta, maybe kinda represents some of our ideals. Not all of our ideals mind you, just some of them. Whether these are the Social Ideals or the Economic Ideals, doesn’t really matter they are just the ones we think are the important Ideals. We identify the Party that says they will fix what we believe is broken –
Once we identify with them we simply pin them with our hopes, align our ideals with them. In some cases we stop looking at the problems, we stop listening to what the candidates are saying or looking at the voting records of those elected to office under those party banners. Those are our guys and gals and by damned they can do no wrong! No matter what they do, no matter what crime they commit, no matter what moral lines they cross we will pull the lever and put them in office again and again. Hell, in some cases we will lionize them, make them national heroes (Ted Kennedy).
We have affectively created an oligarchy. We have affectively handed over the people’s power and failed in our duty to future generations.
Over the next few weeks in between beating the tar out of all those running for public office as they open mouth and insert foot, I am going to run a new series as a result of my research into the changes in both parties since 1900. The intent is to look at the official Platforms of the Parties, as well as, keynote speeches of the Presidents during this time. I hope you will join me on my journey.
I won’t promise not to offend in the future. I suspect I will, though I will try to keep in mind there are those I care for on the all sides of political spectrum. My vehemence, my passion comes only from my great love of nation and my great fear for our future. Feel free to spank me, when I go too far.