This is a case of self-delusion, pure and simple. I know that all politicians lie or distort facts or fawn to potential voters. But, for some reason, I have a feeling that Democrats are less-blatant. Perhaps, this is just a case of “you can fool some of the people, some of the time”. Or, maybe, I’m one of those proverbial fools that is born every minutes...
Recent reports on the political conventions has caused some introspection. My political conviction probably falls into the “wavering” category. As this is not listed on any poll, my opinion falls through the cracks. I tend to like some positions of each party and loath others. Perhaps, that places me in the category of “undecided”, even if I have decided opinions. A favorable wind can blow me in any one of many directions.
I arrived at my political non-persuasion by devious, non-linear means. As already mentioned, I grew up in an affluent town (albeit without affluence). I attended private school (similar to Bush and Romney), but mine was a church-affiliated one. We did chores and learned “to serve, not to be served”, which might have instilled some of my--what some would call--socialist leanings. My next stop was a liberal (at the “very” end of the scale) liberal arts college (the word repeated on purpose), but enrolled in ROTC. I was fortunate enough to be of draft age during the Vietnam War, which provided me with a first-hand look at the most-significant event of the second half of the 20th century, clear understanding of the workings of a large bureaucracy, and taught me principles (right ones and wrong ones) of leadership and management. Along the way, I have seen much of the world (both sides of the Iron Curtain), read a great deal of history, and paid attention to current events (as well as one can from the media). I worked for global corporations and made a good deal of money. I cannot criticize all aspects of capitalism, because I have enjoyed its fruits and continue to do so.
I recall a time when the middle class--with its lower, mid, and upper segments merging into a mass--was the bedrock of the United States. I recall a time when factories produced stuff...and caused acid rain to fall on my head. Factories, which had produced the tools to win World War II were re-tooled to produced cars, refrigerators, and televisions for a new-born consumer society. Anyone missing those years can watch Mad Men to get a flavor. Then something happened. American companies sought cheaper production in foreign countries. Sadly, American consumers were complicit: they hungered for more than stuff, they wanted “cheap”.
Having worked for a company, which had production facilities in high-wage countries, I learned that few consumers are willing to subsidize higher wages of fellow citizens. Why is Walmart so successful (besides screwing American taxpayers)? Private equity companies have become ridiculously wealthy, while destroying the middle class. Blame goes to politicians, who made the playing field uneven, and citizens who fell for the lure of cheap goods.
My one conclusion is: If I ruled the world, things would be a whole lot different. But, I do not, so all I can do is sit back and take pot shots at those that do and those that let things happen to them.
One cannot help thinking about politics in the time of electoral struggle. ..
I do not recall discussing politics in my family, but I do recall my mother being active in party work. She must have been a Republican, because I remember “I like Ike” stickers and buttons. Unlike with religion (we were dragged to an Episcopal church each Sunday), I was not brainwashed about politics. Religion and politics: two weighty subjects, but only one is feed to children from an early age.
I did like Ike, even if I had no idea of a reason. Later, Kennedy appealed to me, but I knew little about his true character (that came much later with reading history). I recall leaning to Johnson more than Nixon, who I came to dislike (along with his partner in crime, Kissinger). After that, upon moving to Europe, I paid little attention to presidential politics. Names changed, but little impact was had on my life.
Without its evolution to the party of evil and no, I would probably have more sympathies with the Republican Party than the Donkies. Then again, I would prefer to cherry pick, because I am surely what one would tag liberal conservative (which sounds rather schizophrenic, doesn’t it?). There is something to be said about less, rather than more, government, although “just enough” would be best. (Good luck achieving that with humans involved!). I would tend to be isolationist, rather than imperialistic or interventionist, which would put the military-industrial complex out of business (about which Ike had warned).
I am certain that my mother would scream, if she hasn’t rolled over in her grave, upon learning what has become of the party for which she toiled. I consider doing this each time my eyes fail to avoid a headline about current political news about the party Ike chose to lead...
The regular reader of this nonsense will probably think that he or she has nailed my political orientation. You've surely guessed incorrectly. If I told you my sign (you'll have to wait until June to learn about the "real" me in the monthly Astrology feature), it would be easier to figure this out (although not necessarily understand it).
I would label myself "liberal-conservative"--the schizophrenic of political leanings. On some issues, I am extremely liberal, while on others, I can sympathize with some of the worst (not all!) of Fox News contributors. I believe in being reasonable, which people on the extreme of either outlook seem incapable of being.
In dining, I hate buffets; in politics, I prefer to see what's on offer and choose what appeals to my intellect, needs, and desires. Because these choices are shared by and affect a wider group, I am not always in line with the majority. I have great difficulty selecting a single party or single individual.
I bet you didn't see that one coming...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.