Friday, May 30, 2008
Politics, Bars, & Skateboards
My apologies to the Independent Truck Company for poaching their logo to make a point about politics. If anything though, the product they make is used by as independent a group as there is in this country. So using their logo is a kind of irony. I have always identified with skateboardin punks. As a group I like their KMA attitude. As individuals, well, I treat them as I would any other individual.
I made the mistake recently of visiting some political blogs on both sides of the fence. After the intense political awareness programming I went through as a kid, you would think I would know better. But I cannot deny my roots. I am drawn to political discourse (some call it fighting) like a drunk staggering out into the parking lot to watch a couple of inebriated gnarly dudes pound each other into the dirt.
My problem is I cannot keep my trap shut. An opinion offered deserves to be countered by or supported with my opinion. I am not content to just nod my head and say, "I see. Yeah many people feel that way. I am not sure yet." No, I seem to have an opinion on just about anything and a willingness to expose it publicly. Whether this is a good thing or not, it is what it is. And at 56 years of age, I have no inclination to rein in this sometimes irritating habit of mine.
I was bouncing back and forth from blog to blog. Commenting here and there. And receiving a notably chilly reception from several, let us say, harder core blogs from both sides. One commenter on a conservative blog even attempted the tired brainless go to retorts of using Bleeding heart Liberal, left wing cowards, all those words that have next to no value in a discussion other than to inflame. I am immune to insults like that. I actually laughed each time one was used as I goaded him into using more. Entertainment for me, serious business for him.
I grew up a Republican. But my strong dislike of Ronald Reagan from his California days made me quit the party in 1980. I tried the Democrats. A lively crew who seemed to want the best for all of us, but only after they had determined just what it was that was good for us. I became disillusioned with both parties after deciding that both were more intent on being in charge than actually governing. Getting elected and staying elected number one on their to do list.
So it began, my life as an Independent. And so far I like it. Able to tweak the noses of both when it suits me. Able to agree with either when it suits me. And never feel a pang of regret that I might be stepping outside the parameters of some platform other than my own. Instead of looking to a group to make up my mind, I look to make them convince me to change my mind. And I have been known to do just that. Change my mind.
A note to any of the party faithful out there from either animal group - Never has my opinion (read vote) been more important. If either of you expect to see your horse come in first, you need the support of Independents like me. People not trapped into accepting the directives of a leadership that is completely out of touch with what most of us experience as we toil our way through each day. You want to win, you need to listen to those of us outside your insular walled off world. For once, your rigged system needs the people who refuse to be part of it. I love it.