Monday, March 21, 2011

Politics, Words, Action and... meh...

There was a time when I was really into politics.  I knew the names, listened to the talk shows, watched the news and loved being in the loop.  I’m proud to say I’ve been a caller on several radio shows including Michael Reagan.  I’m conservative for the most part with a few pet issues.  My career has made it possible for me to articulate my points from a unique stance.
Facebook was the beginning of the end of that experience for me.  I realized one day that there is a common thread for anyone passionate about their political stance: anger and frustration.  Whether driven by their religion, experience or social exposure, they’re in a constant state of being enraged and frustrated.
You’d think conservatives would have been happy when Bush was in office.  Obama fans danced in the streets when power swapped to their side.  Both were up in arms when the other side started trashing their man or launching political moves to get their way.  I saw Facebook status pleas telling the world to leave Obama alone, while a click at the bottom of their page takes me to an old post about how Satan (Bush) is the cause of everything from hangnails to deforestation.  No matter which party is at the tiller, my political feeds were a constant stream of anger, frustration and hatred.
Next comes criticism for the political inactivity of what I call the “meh” party.  One day I took a quick mental  survey of the most politically vocal people I know and what they actually do to support their stance.  A very small few actually take any action.  Those who do are passionate, powerful and often positive.  I’ll assume that everyone votes.  I do, and it’s one of the most powerful rights we have.  What’s next?  I became a life member of the NRA because I’m a second amendment guy.  It appears that my $1000 was spent to hire my personal  envelope stuffer and telemarketer to hit me up for more money to be spent on preaching to the choir.
Remember May 1, 2006?  That was the Hispanic walk-out day.  It was a protest against anti-immigration action.  Many local businesses closed and there was a rally at MLK park.  One of the restaurants in Midland that closed its doors that day now has a parking lot packed with the conservative stronghold at every meal.  It seems that anti-illegal immigration folks have a craving for tacos that’s stronger than their core beliefs.   I’ve spoken to some who remember who won  the 2006 super bowl but can’t remember the walk-out.  I don’t know one person, my Hispanic friends included, who were in favor of walking out. 
Life is short.  Pick your battles wisely and do so based on where you have the most impact.  Every moment you spend grinding your teeth over the news is time lost on this planet.  You can’t find the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Obama’s birth certificate or an answer to national debt.  The next time you contemplate slugging your TV, radio or computer when your favorite personality delivers the news of the recent heinous attack from the other side, think about the value in your time.  Bring something positive into the picture instead. 


  1. Congratulations on your blog.

    Some personal observations on the topic;

    Our two party system serves us well, perhaps better than expected. As an example, every time I think I am conservative, the conservatives do something I think is counterproductive. Every time I think I am a liberal the liberals do something I think is counterproductive. In most cases it really doesn’t matter as I know there is a group of conservatives who will stand up and battle the liberals and there is a group of liberals who will battle the conservatives, thus freeing me up to go on with my life, a win, win, win. A perpetual yen and yang, I only need step in to vote on election day.

    If we lived under some dictator/oppressive regime, I would be forced to act in some other manner taking up more of my free time.

  2. Hey, Matt - I like your thoughts and agree with you 100%. As my mama always said, "If you can't say anything nice,...". Well, I often think things that aren't particularly nice about some of the folks currently in power, but I've realized that constantly griping about them only adds to the problem. I prefer to be part of the solution, if you know what I mean. So, I try to approach my objections from a state of compassion, in the spiritual sense of the word, and not to pass on the hateful funnies, just because I can. The fire has enough flame without me adding to it! So, I look forward to your thoughts, on all subjects, and wish you and Nicole well!

  3. Penny, you're the person I was talking about approaching the whole thing as poweful, passionate and positive. Thanks so much for what you do!