Long ago I gave up concerning myself with what people called me. At various times I have been called a conservative and right wing loser, a stinkin gay lovin religion hatin liberal, a commie dope smokin hippie, and yes, even once or twice I have been labeled a socialist. Move over Barack. I have never been Left enough for some and no where far enough Right for many. I have two brothers and some dead uncles who feel that way.
Okay so fine. The way I look at it is this. If I am not fitting comfortably into anyone's box, I must be doing something right. If I am pissing off both sides at the same time, I must be doing something right. I do not think the answers to our problems or the definition of what and who we are can be defined by one side or the other. Relying on others to set the agenda for me just does not fit my personality. A platform created by leaders who lust after power can lead someone to supporting policy and direction that might not make them feel comfortable. Both sides play to the fears of their constituencies to keep them in power. I am a constituent who freely exercises his line item veto when picking and choosing my stand on things. I feel most workable solutions generally end up near the middle anyway, so why not start out there to begin with.
That has been my philosophy for the last 35 years or so. But I feel a change coming. I feel that as the Right attempts to save itself from itself, it is drifting ever further to the right and the scary fringes that exist there. They have taken the middle line and moved it. Their panic and mob mentality creating a new tipping point between the two sides. The same thing happened to the Left in the 1960s and 1970s.
This is what happens when a party allows minorities within it's ranks to dictate the message. What was once secular based conservatism has now been replaced with some mutated religo-expansionist drivel from a small group within the Republican party. It had to burn itself out. Apparently we are witnessing the beginning of the bonfire. Oh, this election may go their way, but their time in the Sun is coming to a close. Like the Democrats before them, a period of wound licking and self examination is in the works in the near future for the Republican Party. Any doubts I had about the pendulum beginning to swing have now been put to rest.
So now I guess I will have to get used to being called a right wing loser again.
And now a comment on the latest uptick in political stupidity.
Seems Joe Biden did what many thought he would. Good ole Joe. Put his mouth in gear before his speech writers and handlers could nurse his brain into start mode. So he says Barack will be tested, challenged within 6 months of becoming President. The media and the Right have pounced on this and are busily constructing a mountain out of what is not even a molehill. Viewing this as a kink in the armor of the massive and intimidating Obama machine, like flies who rush to any stink of interest, they are gleefully gathering around waiting to pick Joe and Obama clean.
Breaking out the quotes of Joe into soundbites that fit the interpretation they want to make money on or woo voters, I am reminded once again why I hate mainstream media. I expect that the McCain campaign would seize this opportunity. Standard campaigning 101. If they did not make a big deal of it, they are missing a golden opportunity. One handed them for free by the other side.
But the media jumping all over it and selectively editing and then analyzing the comment as if there was no follow up punch line proves to me the "liberal bias" so many people believe runs the networks is bullshit. The media is in the business of selling copy, and exploiting perceived weakness in anyone is a surefire way to do that.
They focus on this:
“Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy," Biden said. "And he’s gonna have to make some really tough -- I don’t know what the decision’s gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you, it’s gonna happen.”
But down play the zinger at the end:
“They're going to want to test him, just like they did young John Kennedy,” he said Saturday night in San Francisco.” They're going to want to test him. And they're going to find out this guy's got steel in his spine.”
Every president is tested by our international "buddies". They will want to know how stiff his backbone is. Every president has their 9/11. Some handle them well, and others like our current president don't. Should McCain become president, he will be tested also. So I have to ask myself this question - Who do I want at the controls? A vindictive man who has proven to fly off the handle at the drop of a hat and will say and do things he must later regret? Or do I want a man who has proven over the last two years to be a focused man of steady and deliberate temperament guiding us through the next big crisis?
In this decision, their respective ages mean nothing. Neither one is wet behind the ears. Both have long ago established the make up of their individual characters. I have to go with the deliberate candidate. The candidate who I feel will put anger away for the sake of this country. I have to vote for the man I think will best handle what is coming at us. There is no doubt in my mind that man is Barack Obama.