Wednesday, July 18, 2012
How I Became a Political Junkie
I’ve only been interested in politics for 20 years, but I can't remember this country being so polarized. My family is not a bit interested in politics, so the subject doesn't come up during family gatherings.
My start began as my wife and I were cruising inside the city limits of Houston (my wife will tell you I was lost as usual) when we stumbled into a gathering around the San Houston Park in downtown Houston, Texas. We walked a little further when a couple of persons handed us Clinton/Gore signs and enthusiastically invited us to stay for the rally. We did, and we enjoyed our first political speech; I was really impressed with the young governor from Arkansas. It was a rare time in my life because I can't remember whether I voted for Bush or Governor Dukakis in 1988 but I know that I've always liked President George H.W. Bush, then again I might have been starting to lean toward the Democrats before 1992. Six days later I voted for Bill Clinton and never looked back.
After the 1992 election, I found out how much politics meant to some of my coworkers. I've heard a little of the Clinton put downs before the election, but I ignored it, for some reason. After the election, it became a daily ritual which didn't really affect me until someone asked why I didn't participate in what they thought were true statements. I told them that I had voted for Bill Clinton, so that put me in their cross hairs. I quickly found out that I was outnumbered, so that meant that I had a little margin for error. I've always loved economics, taxes, and anything to do with math, so all I had to do was work on foreign policy, if I was going to stand a chance with the Clinton haters.
I was put on a spot one morning in January of 1998 ,after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke out. I remembered going into the break room where a lot of my buddies expected me to apologize for Bill Clinton. My answer came naturally, I remember saying that Monica was the same age as one of my daughters and Bill Clinton was my age and Lewinsky's boss, so it was wrong. I didn't use the consensual sex excuse, but instead I said it was reprehensible and he should be punished. When the Republicans decided to impeach him, I said it was not a high crime and misdemeanor offense, but since their minds were already made up; I thought censure would have been appropriate. Then one of my loudmouth friends walked up to me and said I was an apologist, and I replied “the only difference between man is opportunity." I'm not someone's fool because I always believed that Bill Clinton was a womanizer, but that didn't have a thing to do with being president. I stood my ground for eight years without much help, but it didn't have to be that way because I saw a lot of my fellow coworkers the day Bill Clinton came to Victoria in 2008. I told them I could've used their help, but they said from their perspective, I had it well in hand.
Two years ago, I decided to stay out of the “and you're another one" Sean Hannity type face- offs with my VA opponents and tried to force them to have a serious discussion on the issues. Periodically, I slipped back to my old habits, but I have come to realize that I'm playing on their home turf, when I do that. I'll let someone else fight those who believe Obama is not an American or that Hillary is employing someone from the Muslim Brotherhood as Michelle Bachmann is spouting.
Today, the Obama campaign is controlling the agenda because of Romney’s refusal to submit at least 10 years of tax returns, and it will haunt him until he does. The issue of the day will then turn to taxes again, and the Republicans will emphasize the debt. The Democrats will emphasize income inequality and the merry- go and- round keeps spinning. All we are doing is recycling the same issues without solutions. That's got to come to a head because in January, the budget cuts on defense spending are real because of the sequester deal both parties made. I can't believe a former vice president, who went out with a 13% approval was invited back to the house to rally the troops against the defense budget cuts.
I still wish the VA would go back to a version of their old format, which will allow me to answer my detractors. I don't expect that to happen anytime soon, if ever, and so I've laid out the topics of my blogs as if I was getting paid to do this...:- ..Friday's blog will be about the role of government and the myths of government spending. Republicans might not want to read my blog on the last two weeks of October up until the election because it's going to be 100% pro President Obama, but that shouldn't surprise my Republican friends.
I know some of you have told me that your political interest came naturally because of your family’s interest and other’s have a penchant for local politics but not for national politics. I also know a lot of readers don’t like politics at all. Feel free to share.
Note the YouTube video of Clinton’s speech is 32 minutes long and the Clinton speech is at the 11.42 mark