Monday, February 21, 2005

I think it is a crisis

I am having a political identity crisis at the moment, and I just can’t seem to snap out of it. Somehow, I managed to fall into that lazy habit of allowing others to define my politics, and it has become so convoluted that I have ended up being the one most confused.

I used to have a pretty good understanding that the big picture is generally a little blurry because it is always in transition. Most of the issues I have been extremely upset about were things that I felt would affect my ability to earn a living, would affect the agreements that I was working under at the time (such as sick leave), would affect the quality of education available to my kids, or would affect the quality of life of our military veterans and those currently serving. All of these things have prompted me to write letters to my Congress People or vote for or against certain candidates or issues.

I can honestly say that I feel the cumulative effect of all my efforts in the area of political activism has been identical to pissing into a stiff wind. No matter how many letters I write or how much money I donate, nothing really seems to change. The only time that matters very much is when I think it should. Otherwise, my life is great, has always been great, and should always be great.

The realization that I am being played like a cheap violin (along with everyone else) finally dropped into place as I watched Howard Dean and Richard Perle exchange thoughts and comments during their Portland debate (on CSPAN). Both of these guys have something to offer to the discourse that deserves to be listened to… as do most of the people willing to speak out in search of a way forward.

Don’t get me wrong… there are still a lot of people I will have trouble looking at or listening to, but I am going to go back to making that decision on my own like I used to. I can’t really be a good partisan when there are so few (in any party) that command respect because they have a common sense approach to problem solving.

Above all, I will no longer jump away from the issues I feel are defining for our chosen way of life because these are the issues I can affect by my daily actions and attitudes toward those within my physical reach.

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