For the next couple of months, along with my usual Longmont related articles, I may dabble from time to time on the national issues. In all reality, if you look back through the last couple of years, I’ve already done this in regards to the Iraq War, Electoral College reform, Immigration, predicting elections, energy conservation, sports, and music.
But I prefer to mainly focus on Longmont and the surrounding area. Why? Because there’s plenty of voices out there already talking about all of those other issues, most have done it longer and better, and it’s their main career. To put it bluntly, I’d rather be a bigger fish in a small pond than a little fish in a big ocean. But the main reason has always been what I’ve always considered the lack of enough local coverage, which leads to less interest of people to their community.
But sometimes you have to throw in with the bigger fish.
I don’t carry water for any political party or ideology. I sometimes get told what I am, but mostly I’m not even sure what that is, and the labels aren’t that important anyway. But I know what I’m not. And as time goes by, and events unfold, I’m convinced even more of not only what I’m not, but never want to be.
One of the best compliments I receive is when people can’t figure out whether I’m coming from the left or the right. I was described once as a Conservative blogger, then I was once told I was not a Conservative, another time told I was a Libertarian, (throw in the left wing and right wing wacko comments as well) and once my dad said he couldn’t tell what I was. But I asked a friend of mine that I have respect for his intellect and honesty what he thought (I’m pretty sure he leans left, but I don’t ask). He said he’s not quite sure, but he was pretty sure I wasn’t on the left.
After the events of the last couple of weeks, and especially the party conventions, there’s not much doubt about that now.
Not because of soaring rhetoric or buying any lines and feeling lifted by speeches. But seeing in one side, the left side, despicable behavior that is not representative of this country and the great people in it.
This is not a generalizing slam on Democrats, something the left is very good at doing to their enemies. This is for the fringe element that makes all Democrats look bad. I know too many from that party that are decent, a large majority of my extended family are of this party, and some fairly well connected. They know who I’m talking about, and it’s not them.
I’m talking about the ones who have reportedly attacked cub scouts, the elderly, and delegates trying to get to the Republican convention in St. Paul. I’m talking about the ones who drop sacks of cement, and bags of urine on buses from freeway overpasses. I’m talking about the ones who, after their candidate got to speak and make his case without a single interruption, wouldn’t think twice about trying several times to disrupt the Republican Presidential nominee John McCain from addressing his own convention. I’m talking about the overt sexism towards the Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.
I’m talking about a group, who now claims to own the Democratic Party, who now can’t even be controlled by their Presidential nominee, Barack Obama. I’m talking about a group who knows they can’t win fairly if it requires an equal opportunity of both sides to discuss the issues. Their tactics are to smear and disrupt under any means necessary because they know on the issues they are not on the same page as most of America. That America, they look down on. From their leaders all the way down to their mouthpieces – often picked up by a more than willing partner in the media.
So they attack, daily, often with bigotry and misogyny. Sometimes they eat their own, but save the worst of their bitterness for the right. They are not representative of this country, but they think they are. And if you don’t think like them, you’re ignorant. Just ask them. As a friend recently put it, “If they are not stopped at the character assassination level now, what’s to stop the lynch mobs in the future?”
They claim to be for the “little guy”, but are using unheard of amounts of money to spread their message. It’s not a message of hope as they claim; it’s a message of power, at any cost. Tell the “little guy” why this party and its candidate are amassing and spending nearly $400 million for this power.
Recently when I was talking to my son, I surprised him when I said I think the majority of people are good, not bad, not evil. But I also think there are many that are misguided and scared. This is part of this group’s problem, but it’s also a perceived victimization, some larger wrong done to them. But in reality, nothing was probably done to them personally or anyone they know. No rights have been taken from them (surely not Freedom of Speech), no ones taking their house (unless they stopped making payments), and no ones eating at their benefits (except for their own bad decisions or poor planning).
When they can’t accept the blame themselves, they blame “daddy”. “Daddy” comes in many forms. Sometimes it embodies an actual person (Bush) or ideology (Conservatism or the “vast right-wing conspiracy”). They have no qualms and make no apologies in reference to their political bigotry. I don’t assume for a second that this bigotry knows to stop at race or sex. In my life, I can say that the worst bigotry and hatred I’ve faced has come from one direction. And it’s not from the right.
In a perfect world, the opposing sides would get to make their case as best they can, and the voters decide what they want. Quotes like “Here’s what I stand for, vote for me if you agree. If not, vote for the other guy.” But when these distracters (I’m not going to give them the compliment of calling them protestors) clearly try to block the message from getting to you, the voter, you should first ask why, and then you should get angry.
Since I believe most people (Democrat and Republican) are decent people, I’m going to assume they were outraged by the pathetic behavior in the last few days towards Sarah Palin and the Republican convention. If not, than they aren’t decent people and aren’t worth the time of day. There’s no understanding them, and they don’t warrant the gift of association. Do so at your own and your party’s risk.
This is not a call to vote one way or the other; I couldn’t care less how someone’s registered or how they vote. Similar to religion, I don’t ask. I speak and write to try to get people to think, not to try to get people to agree with me. I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt that someone can think for themselves – this is contrary to the above mentioned group, and why they should be turned away by thinking, independent minds of all political stripes.
(Image from Robert Stolarik/NY Times)