Friday, July 25, 2008

Why I do this

I grew up in a republican household on suburban Long Island in the 1960's and 1970's. My dad worked for the county as a greenskeeper and my mother was self-employed as a paralegal/expeditor and had a lot of interface with local governments. Early on, I had a sense that perception and reality of politics of the republican party were two different entities. My dad was expected to "contribute" to the party as part of his job, volunteer at the republican club, and obviously vote republican. My dad witnessed several times where people made large contributions one day, went from being a subordinate to a higher position the next day. Ironically, my dad made the biggest advances in his career when Eugene Nickerson, a democrat, was elected as county supervisor. The local republican party was as corrupt as any political machine in power too long and left unchecked. You'd think I would be a democrat after this experience, but the values I learned from my parents were conservative and somewhat libertarian. The first presidential election, and in fact any election I voted in was in 1980. I voted for Ronald Reagan on the national level, but locally, I usually voted democrat, because of the corruption, which came to a head some years later when the republicans screwed up to the extent that they left the county in debt and in shambles. Now the democrats have their chance to screw things up there, as who ever is in power for too long, usually gets corrupted by it. Since then I have moved to Iowa, and after the 2004 presidential election, I found myself further disgusted with a party that gives us choices such that we end up choosing "the lesser of the two evils".  Bush had become a spendthrift with the government and really didn't distinguish himself as a fiscal conservative. He also chose people for appointments that were considered loyal to him and the party, rather than who was best for the job. Machine politics at its best. After the 2006 elections, where the democrats gained a majority in the house,  I felt that I had had the last straw. I would never again vote for the "lesser of two evils", nor would I vote party line just because. My discontent with this started with the Dole candidacy in 1996. While a decent man, putting someone forth because it is their turn is a lousy way to do politics. The wrong guy at the wrong time. So here we are in 2008, with our choices being McCain and Obama. I disagree with McCain on immigration, campaign finance reform, taxes, and in general, the role of government. I disagree with Obama on everything, or just about everything. Here we go again, having to choose between an ersatz democrat in republican clothes and a socialist. I have to say I am freaking sick of it. Now, as far as McCain the man, the guy who got his ass kicked for five and half years in Hanoi, I give my props. I respect him as an individual, and I think he has sand, as they say, but we don't agree enough on important issues. Obama is irrelevant as I see him as a cardboard cutout with the "can you here me now" crowd behind him shouting hope and change. He is a socialist in democrat's clothes, and I question his values, and his motives. At this point, I think that most people are deluding themselves in accepting a two party system that pays lip service to them and never gets it right. The two parties have become a self-serving political oligarchy, and all they see us as are sheeple that can be manipulated and led to vote to keep them in power. The british had that attitude 232 years ago and we kicked their ass. I think it's time to kick some ass again. Bona Fides and beliefs to follow...

Thank you for reading my blog. 


ftorre said...

Amen,brother! You cannot have true democracy with a bipartisan government.

Jim Lagnese said...

One of my favorite descriptions of democracy is from Ben Franklin:

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
Ben Franklin

He definitely had a sense of humor.

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