Friday, July 01, 2005

Partisanship is a Good Thing!

It occurs to me that, if it weren't for partisan politics, I would probably not be interested.

When I was growing up in the 70's, and just starting to become politically and socially aware, the general consensus among my peers was that politicians were all the same. Never mind the very obvious differences between the politically effective but amoral Nixon and the smart and genteel Jimmy Carter[1] (who was less polically effective). Vietnam had made the US government "the enemy". I and my peers had a strong feeling of malaise, that we really couldn't make a difference and that it wasn't worth getting involved with the "evil" government in any case. The Reagan era and Iran-Contra did little to dispel those feelings for me.

Then an interesting thing happened; Clinton was elected[2]. And everything changed; the extreme right mobilized and found that they had teeth, and went after Clinton (who, you must admit, was probably not the most liberal democratic president we've ever had) with amazing and, to my mind, way over-the-top attacks. It seemed as though interfering with Clinton and his presidency was the most important thing in the world, for no other reason that because he was a popular democrat (and the calls from the right for liberals to stop interfering with the Bush presidency seem really ironic).

Personally, this galvanized me, and continues to do so. Moderate Republicans, who might be interested in doing their jobs, rather than just attempting to gain and hold onto power, are swept aside and attacked (Jeffords, McCain, Hegel, etc.) by the controllers of their own party. They are so damned awful, in fact, that they keep me involved in politics where in normal circumstances I'd be off gazing into my own navel and watching those pretty girls go by.

Thank you Messrs. Gingrich, Frist, Hatch, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Lott, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity, etc., for keeping me interested! ;)

[1] Nowadays poor R.M. Nixon is dead, but Jimmy Carter continues to try to make a difference in the world through his Carter Center (and I am a contributor).

[2] Why is it that democratic presidents have to be Southerners these days? It doesn't seem fair; Northern voters will vote for whoever is competent and has "The Right Stuff", but Southerners won't seem to vote for non-Southerners.

1 comment:

Locustlawn said...

I dunno, I'm about over the so-called consevatives, I looked in the Dictionary about conservative, said meaning less, ...I just don't see it, they are asking for "more laws to restrict more people"...That in itself sounds more restrictive,..than live and let live. Makes me more political, which I never was. I was one of "Live and let live". But when people try to rule others lives I seem to perk up, and come out of my BiPolar