Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Remote Control

{This is actually from my personal blog, but since it's relevant here (...and a slow news week) I figured I'd post it on C&P too}

I have heard super-libs, hyper-cons, and unruly anarchists weigh in on the issue of Obama's student address, but so far I still feel like my thoughts have yet to be expressed fully.

I am a reformed hyper conservative, a thoroughly and thankfully brainwashed Christian, and a 26-year-old who's currently going though a nasty break up with my political status.

We just don't fit anymore, we've each changed so much and now we're growing apart. He doesn't know yet that I'm planning to leave, but I bet he can sense it. It's kind of the elephant in the room. (*Que rimshot)

That being said, at this point I consider myself an Independent. I am now among the proverbial chicken necks, turkey gizzards and pig snouts of this great country's political outcasts. We have nothing in common except for the fact that we now are all discounted. Unified only by our lack of unity.

So when I get a call from my still VERY RIGHT WINGED grandfather, telling me that Glenn told him Barack is going to be indoctrinating my kid, this is what I pictured...

In orderly classrooms, all across the nation our children are quietly studying their arithmetic when suddenly all of the television sets begin to flicker on in unison. The children snap to attention as the president hypnotically locks eye with the hope of tomorrow. (by the way in this fantasy, the TV's are all in black and white and the reception is dramatically grainy, very circa 1960)

Now I am reasonable, and I know it won't happen this way.

....becuase maybe it'll happen THIS way...

And I can't depend on some Hooters waitress to run into my kid's classroom and bash the screens up. Nor should I. That's not part of her job description.

I do, however, have to decide how Independent-leaning-Republican-ish I am these days. Do I pull my son out of school for the sake of making a statement? I know the president is not going to say anything bad or probably even vaguely liberal at this point. Not to mention the 24 year old teaching his classes is certainly brainwashing him better than I, or the president, can these days, and I've yet to stop her, right?

I'm becoming so lukewarm. And perhaps, I deserve to be spat out like the discount baloney I am.

Being extreme was exhilarating, even if I was arguing extremely stupid issues. I knew where I stood, what I thought, what my talking points were. Now though, now, everything is just grey....I've officially been over processed, and am now a spineless (although there are still chips of spine somewhere in me) political meat paste. how boring.


  1. Isn't Discount Baloney the house band at council meetings?

  2. William J. 'Bill' McCalpinSeptember 8, 2009 at 10:33 PM

    I was very impressed when I saw the video of you 'interviewing' your son. He quite correctly differentiated between respecting what opinions the president holds and the office of the presidency itself. That says a world about you and dad, too.

    As for being "spineless...political meat paste", you are definitely being too hard on yourself. The fact is that every citizen who is worth anything thinks for him or herself. Political parties should be made up of people who voluntarily come together to promote certain issues, not robots who do whatever the bosses say. What is happening to the Republican Party is good for it - counting on certain groups to support them no matter what the Party says or does is just as bad for both the Party and those groups as the well-known case of African-Americans being taken for granted by the Democrats because they usually vote 90% Democratic.

    In short, it shouldn't be what the Party says, it should be what we say, when we freely come together. I personally experienced this 25+ years ago when the first waves of new Republicans came storming into the Party, shoving everyone who was already there out of the way, using methods that were unethical to say the least. In the short run that led to Republican victories, but in the long run, the litmus tests and suppression of free speech and intolerance for any but a narrow view have led us to exactly where we are today - a Party that is losing its grip everywhere...because people are always able to vote with their feet.

    As the famous line in Casablanca goes..."Welcome to the fight; this time I know we're going to win."


  3. "Political parties should be made up of people who voluntarily come together to promote certain issues, not robots who do whatever the bosses say."

    Bill I could not agree more. Tell that to you're friends, will ya?


  4. My comment on the original post at PMAS:

    "I knew where I stood, what I thought, what my talking points were. Now though, now, everything is just grey....I've officially been over processed... "

    I found my transition from talking points to independent analysis/opinion to be an uncomfortable and somewhat lonely one. I do think it is worth the cost.

    Lack of dramatic talking points doesn't mean mean the independent is overprocessed and bland; the independent does his own meatgrinding and so is keenly aware of the ingredients of the food he consumes. It may be worth pointing out that the bright color of storebought ground beef is artificial, marketing, a trick.

    Butler put it this way:
    "The public buys its opinions as it buys its meat, or takes in its milk, on the principle that it is cheaper to do this than to keep a cow. So it is, but the milk is more likely to be watered." Note Books, 1912.

  5. Bill -

    "Political parties should be made up of people who voluntarily come together to promote certain issues, not robots who do whatever the bosses say."

    I agree, and would go a bit further. Parties would be superfluous to the political process if voters would come together on the issues and then fall back into informed neutrality.

    The actual prime directive of a political party is self-perpetuation. The secondary directive is maintenance and increase of its own power/privilege. Perhaps third on the list is advancement of issues deemed important by the members.

  6. I vomit in my mouth every time I see "Bill" on a blog. He writes long, can't debate (unless you call defensive knee-jerk discourse), and thinks he knows EVERYTHING. Read above... He thinks his opinion is more important that the post.

    Bill, you're a jack of all trades, and a master of nothing. Thanks for helping to give us the waste of space known as John Murphy.

  7. William J. 'Bill' McCalpinSeptember 9, 2009 at 3:41 PM

    bloggermouse, I couldn't agree more. In the Federalist Papers (#10), James Madison argued forcefully against "factions" and how factions damaged democracy. The courts have consistently believed that this was a reference to partisan politics - e.g., "Parties ranked high on the list of evils that the Constitution was designed to check" (Justice John Paul Stevens - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_No._10).

    In both parties, the party rules encourage special interest groups to "hijack" the party's agenda, so we have the funny situation of the current Democratic Party being to the "left" of most Americans and the current Republican Party being to the "right" of most Americans. And whichever party wanders farther from the political center gets punished in elections...yet the parties seemingly can't help themselves ;-)


  8. William J. 'Bill' McCalpinSeptember 9, 2009 at 3:48 PM

    "Tell that to you're friends, will ya?"

    LOL...actually, you might as well tell them yourself, since I don't see or talk to my so-called "friends" any more often than you do, despite all the shrill assertions of the anonymi...;-)


  9. Bill *thanks* for your *informative* lecture on the Federalist Papers. My graduate program didn't offer advance studies in American History. *What would I do without you?* You are so smart, so learned, so wise...thanks again for John Murphy, he's a real keeper!

    Excuse me, I have to vomit (again) in my mouth.