KingMidget's Ramblings

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Picking A Side In The Political Wars

(Note: This post will be likely be filled with generalizations. I’m not sure yet because I haven’t actually written it. But if there are generalizations here, it is a short cut. No, I don’t think all Democrats think and act in lockstep. Nor do I think Republicans do the same. What I hope to do in this post is reflect on the general movements of both parties and explain why I am siding with the party I am.)

In recent years, I’ve tried to be balanced around here in my attacks, criticisms, and thoughts on the political wars going on in this country these days. Both parties have jumped the shark, as far as I’m concerned and that has led to our nation also jumping the shark. We no longer have leaders in this country. Leaders willing to make the hard decisions and lead over the noisemakers of their base. No, instead, in both parties, the “leaders” are merely followers, allowing the masses to misdirect them away from what this nation sorely needs. There is no more cooperation. No compromise. We just have endless war and division that grows ever more as the days and weeks go by.

I was a lifelong Democrat. Coming of age in the Reagan years, I was opposed to virtually everything he did and registered as a Democrat when I turned 18 during his Administration. I remained a Democrat until four or five years ago. I never really questioned my allegiance to the Democratic Party during that time because the party seemed to be more in tune with what I believed needed to be done, while the Republican Party of Reagan and Gingrich, Cheney and Bush, et al, did not speak to my dreams and vision of the America I wanted to live in.

Admittedly, I have rarely voted for a Republican. Why? Because they simply do not speak to me.

But something changed a few years ago. The single biggest issue was the advent of identity politics and how it has overtaken the Democratic Party. How it has turned us from a society seeking to be color blind, gender blind, blind to all of our differences. No, instead, we now focus on those differences to the exclusion of virtually anything else. So too, the harshness of the #MeToo movement and its insistence that people be punished for wrongs from years and decades ago, its insistence that women are always to be believed and men are never to be trusted, turned me off.

Honestly, I feel like as a middle-aged white male, I am not wanted in today’s Democratic Party. As somebody tweeted at the height of the #MeToo movement “all men are rapists.” Add to that my skin color and my age, and I begin to feel like I have no rights, no opportunity to speak what I believe and what I feel without being attacked. Simply because I am a white male.

So … I left the Democratic Party. Because it had left me.

Unfortunately, the GOP has nothing to offer me as well. So, while I am no longer a member of the Democratic Party, I continue to vote for Democrats. Why?

The events of the last week or so provide the best example of why. But before I get there.

I don’t support forgiving all student debt. I don’t support free college for all. I don’t support defunding the police. I don’t support open borders. There are a lot of things modern Democrats, at least the noisemakers among them, support that I simply have no interest in.

But … the difference between Democrats and the GOP is rather simple. On the one hand, you have ideas that are intended to assist people, to provide them with opportunities, to try to achieve fairness, to open doors instead of closing them. On the other, you have ideas that are meant to instill a single view on all. Laws that are meant to control and limit.

Florida is going after Disney for, of all things, having the gall to object to legislation. For exercising free speech — a right granted to Disney by a conservative court that thought corporations should have a right to free speech.

In state after state, the GOP is taking every step it can to make it more difficult to vote instead of easier.

For almost 15 years now, the GOP in Congress has done absolutely nothing to govern. Nothing to address issues that face this country. Nothing to seek compromise. Nothing at all. Except confirm the hard-core right-wing judges nominated by GOP Presidents. No credible immigration proposal has come from the GOP members of Congress. When the GOP controls either house, they use that control to shut down debate, discussion, and votes on essentially every piece of legislation that is meant to address our nation’s issues. They famously have become the party of “no” to anything and everything. And they don’t shy from any of this. They wear proudly the mantle of NO! Many leaders of the GOP in Congress have never actually authored legislation that has become law.

And with the news out about Roe v. Wade and its possible destruction by today’s Supreme Court, red states are ratcheting up their hard core views. Louisiana is considering legislation that would essentially outlaw IUDs. Other red states are considering banning morning after pills. While other red states are trying to come up with ways to punish residents who leave the state to have an abortion in a state that allows them. And I’m sure they have legislation outlawing same sex marriage just waiting for the right moment.

This is just the tip of the iceberg you know. They also refuse to accept that our children should be taught our history. All of it. And not just the glorious bits. I don’t necessarily agree with critical race theory — the elements of it that suggest that race informs every single act and decision that takes place in this country. But, there are elements of it, the teaching of our real history and not just the sanitized history of the exceptionalism of America that are critical to raising citizens who can think for themselves and learn from the mistakes of the past. I would much rather have the citizens of this country know the truth of our history instead of the “eyes closed” history the GOP wants to feed to our children.

What’s the difference? Democrats want opportunity and fairness — health care, education, good paying jobs, equality of opportunity, an acknowledgement of privacy and people’s rights to make their own personal decisions about their own lives. While the GOP, more and more, is demanding that the only thing that is permissible, the only beliefs that are allowed, the only actions that can be legal … are the ones they agree with. Democrats are the party of opportunity and equality (even if they are struggling to get that message right these days) while the GOP is the party of control and limitation and fear. Democrats are the party of community while the GOP is the party of sink or swim, all on your own.

I know which side I’m on. Which side are you on?

25 responses to “Picking A Side In The Political Wars

  1. TamrahJo May 7, 2022 at 6:28 am

    As a middle-aged, white female, high school graduate, working class, taxpayer with no inherited generational resources other than community of other working class taxpayers?

    I’m left with ‘no side’ to pick – of any major 2 or third parties. I am, overall, seen as one or more things out of the following list, ‘ignorant/uneducated/unfaithful/useless/the problem/victim/powerless/in need of saving’ if one is to gauge by campaign bullet points of ANY campaign from ANY politician, and faithful followers of ANY party, find fault with me/my decisions for my life, etc., on one front or another –

    In my family? many times, over the past 5 generations, branches of my family tree, full of working class, and sometimes, college educated folks, have been busted back to “Start over” by policies implemented by both major parties.

    From Andrew Johnson to Donald Trump, more hits are taken than benefits received – over and over and over – doesn’t matter who sits in the oval office or who house control of House/Senate.

    Thus, overall, I knew in my childhood, there was really, ever, only one side to pick.
    Me and Mine.
    And thus, I registered as Independent when 18 –
    And now am referred to as “Unaffiliated”

    to me? Any who seek to destroy me/mine, is who I fight against, and thus, in the end?

    To me, all things are simple, as far as ‘picking a side’ – 😀

    • kingmidget May 7, 2022 at 6:55 am

      I agree with what you say, but at the moment, the GOP has gone so extreme, it’s impossible to continue to say “both sides.”

      • TamrahJo May 7, 2022 at 7:05 am

        As far as I’m concerned, when referring to the DNC & RNC – that’s actually 6 parties Extreme Left, Progressive Left, Moderate Left, Moderate Right, Conservative Right, Extreme Right – thus, like the spaghetti sauce aisle at grocery store, too many to choose from and none just what I want, so easier to make my own sauce at home – LOL

      • kingmidget May 7, 2022 at 7:46 am

        I agree with your description. The problem, at least at the national level (and in many states) is that the extreme left and extreme right have come to dominate things.

      • TamrahJo May 7, 2022 at 7:58 am

        I need look back no further than less than 2 years ago – Early summer of 2020, to demonstrate what ‘life in America’ looks like when good folks just blindly follow whatever ‘their side’ is saying –

        Dependent upon who was out and about, no matter what sign was posted, what the outdoor landscape looked like, LOCALLY, within a very, very small community, I was deemed, either a ‘sheeple’ or ‘selfish’ – over and over –

        All depended upon whether I was wearing a mask or not – From the very start of COVID-19, I opined to many, the fact that the Spanish Flu was put through rigorous testing in the 1950s in lab settings, and they discovered that sucker could permeate through unglazed porcelain (or creamic – Read that way back in 2007, when I was researching the pros/cons of whether to ‘protect from everything’ or simply focus on building up your own internal strong defense (during the whole great social shame/blame’ movement for ‘mothers who CARE! use Antibacterial cleaning products’ and the growing incidents of antibitoic resistant infections)

        Thus, to me? Over and over, humans dare, through herd mentality, to ostrasize anyone who doesn’t ‘agree with their side’ – and well – okey dokey then – I”m not a true hermit, I desire human connection too – but not at the price of putting up with fanaticism from those around me, that leads to behavior that is not befitting that of an ‘advanced and civilized society’ to my mind –
        I just can’t – cuz, 24/7, I have to live with myself – 😀

      • kingmidget May 7, 2022 at 8:04 am

        Yes. I keep waiting for the tragedy that might overcome our division. 9/11 didn’t do it. The Great Recession didn’t do it. And the pandemic didn’t. I guess none of those events were existential enough. If you’re not with me, you’re stupid. If you don’t do what I do, you’re selfish. If you don’t think like me, leave. It’s all very frustrating.

      • TamrahJo May 7, 2022 at 8:19 am

        Yup, for me? I’m sinking back into my past ways of being, that I HAD to do, after my stroke, just to survive, physically, HAD to do during abusive relationships, to survive, mentally/emotionally – – I’m withdrawing my full engagement/interaction – which means, overall, to me?
        Loss of ‘benefits’ to many around me, who rather depend upon my basic personality of all in/all out way of being, as being some kind of never-ending pool of resources & loyalty –

        Nope, no one gets all of me, anymore – I show up, listen to their request – if I can do, I do. If I can’t do/not to their satisfaction? Bye-bye – I’m not needed here –

        To me, tribalism depends often, upon blind loyalty, blind love, etc. No matter the topic, I’m not a fan of tribalism, us vs. them duality style of thinking – overall – it just seems, over a lifetime of being a history, history of religions, cultures and philosophical eras, the rise and fall of civilizations? Tribalism/Duality thinking, in one form or another, led all in the ‘system’ to not walk, but race towards the cliff to jump off of –

        For me? It’s just easier to save my all in/all out for Mother Nature/Her creations – There is an HONESTY to the feedback loop – signs to be seen where the ‘now’ conditions truly lie –

        I’m currently reading the first book of Thomas Merton’s collected journal writings, before he ever became a monk, social activist or world acclaimed poet. It’s interesting –

        I announced to any one, who asked how I was, how happy I was to find a complete set of his published journals, at price I could afford, from a used book dealer.

        I came across his name/quotes from him, the first time, long ago, when I was researching food & nutrition…

        I don’t know, for sure, what reading his early works and reading the metamorphis of him from student to monk to social activist will be – but I DO know this! Quotes from him show up on ‘different sides’ of many issues, throughout eras of American recent history, with each side claiming his quote, ”proves their side’ of the argument – interestingly? Most sides have to do with the feeding & care of the human body, mind and soul, and the systems that either add to that quest, or detract from it, best as I’ve long interpreted, for myself, his various quotes.

        I’m hoping that when I discover the quotes, in the context of his life at the time, I may gain a richer understanding, overall –

        Until then? meh – we shall see – Mother Nature is the only one I truly depend upon and have faith in – She can take me out anytime she wishes – LOL

      • kingmidget May 7, 2022 at 8:36 am

        Yes tribalism, nationalism, all of the isms … bah!

        For me, it is the single interest focus of special interest groups. There is no one interest that is greater than the others and all interests need to be considered in addressing problems. But instead, the special interest groups demand that the focus be directly solely at their single interest. Which just creates more tribalism.

        I remember when our tribe was American. Now it’s everything but that.

      • TamrahJo May 7, 2022 at 8:53 am

        It occurs to me, (and may be faulty thinking…) that when the majority of folks within any system can work some, play some, have family & friends, enjoy today while planning for tomorrow, divisiveness isn’t that great – and yet, The more folks who realize, no matter what they do, they are on the precipice or walking towards it, maybe only one crisis/emergency away? Then most go into ‘self-survival’ and well – the worse/more capricious/controlling/inconsistencies/degradation within the system itself? THE MORE folks who are feeling ‘shoved into survival mode” – thus, the more divisiveness, etc.

        There have been, for a long, long time, vulnerabilities to be seen/known within any advanced, centralized, system – who it benefits (ratio wise) and who it doesn’t – I’m ‘informed’ the Fall of Roman Empire took place slowly, but surely, over a 450 year period -funny – we haven’t officially even been FORMED as a nation for that long – guess modern world/tech has just speeded up the process/feedback loop – 😀

      • TamrahJo May 7, 2022 at 7:13 am

        Also, I hear your take, but in my mind? DNC has been going extreme for years and I’ve seen it play out in conversations with longtime friends who are staunch DNC folks – too, as well as the extreme positions taken by many in my circle who are staunch RNC – thus, more and more? I have no tribe, really, I’m willing to align closely with – across the board – their loss of a vote, not my problem – and if that means ranked voting options have to become the norm? right now? I don’t see that as a bad thing – overall – but I haven’t fully researched the opposition to ranked voting/the risks of such a system, either, so I may just be fooling myself with “hope” for a better morrow –

      • kingmidget May 7, 2022 at 7:47 am

        I feel the same. Neither party really represents me anymore.

  2. Anonymole May 7, 2022 at 11:48 am

    Part of the cycle. Now that Covid has killed off many of the old, white, racist, sexist conservatives, the balance will swing the other way. Yay Covid, keep it coming! No, Alabama, Mississippi, etc. you don’t need to wear masks. Covid is all a hoax.

  3. John W. Howell May 9, 2022 at 8:15 am

    Well, you did say there were going to be generalizations, so I guess I can’t pick that bone. Right now, all the political crap needs to take a back seat to the pressing issues facing the American people. In my mind, these are inflation, Russia, and US security. But unfortunately, these issues tend to fade from view with the noise around political infighting.

  4. fgsjr2015 May 13, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    Even before the November 2020 election, I seriously doubted that a Joe Biden presidency would be permitted to, assuming he genuinely wanted to, make a notably practical improvement in poor and low-income Americans’ quality of life. In fact, I strongly suspect that any American president who would seriously try implementing truly humane, progressive policies — notably, a significant reduction in military spending, a genuine anti-war effort, universal single-payer healthcare, writing-off student deb, increasing the minimum wage while reigning in Wall Street — would likely be assassinated, sooner rather than later.

    No wonder the DNC refuses to allow a Bernie Sanders presidential candidacy, regardless of what Democratic Party members/voters want. For example, every county in West Virginia voted for the truly progressive Bernie Sanders in 2016, yet the Democratic National Committee declared them as wins for Hillary Clinton; Clinton’s neo-liberalism, unlike Sanders’ fiscal progressiveness, was already known for not rubbing against big money, business and power grains.

    Fiscal conservative ideology/politics, big business interests and most of the corporate mainstream news-media resist sufficiently progressive ideas from actually being implemented. Also, Republican representatives are likely manipulating the Democratic Party hierarchy into making the latter’s fiscal politics/policies even more conservative. They all seem to favor big money interests over people.

    Meanwhile, powerful business interests can debilitate high-level elected officials through implicit or explicit threats to transfer or eliminate jobs and capital investment, thus economic stability, if corporate ‘requests’ are not accommodated. It’s a political crippling that’s worsened by a blaring news-media that’s permitted to be naturally critical of incumbent governments, especially in regards to job and capital transfers and economic weakening.

    Thus, I believe that Canadian prime ministers, and American presidents, are mostly symbolically ‘in charge’, beneath the most power-entrenched and saturated national/corporate interests and institutions. Those elected heads ‘lead’ a virtual corpocracy, i.e. “a society dominated by politically and economically large corporations”.

    • kingmidget May 13, 2022 at 8:12 pm

      Interesting, Sanders won more delegates in WV in 2016 than Clinton. Do you have any actual evidence that he was “robbed” of something there.

      • fgsjr2015 May 18, 2022 at 6:54 pm

        I don’t think he was robbed of the Democratic Party candidacy, but to me it still is a form of electoral-vote-result fraudulence.

        The fraudulence itself — albeit it may be turning into standard/common practice and therefore a new ‘ethical’ — was also caught on camera. I believe there’s also a Michael Moore documentary (Fahrenheit 11/9?) that gets into more detail, including camera footage.

      • kingmidget May 18, 2022 at 6:56 pm

        I wish I could make sense of this. But I cannot. What is the “fraudulence” you believe existed?

  5. fgsjr2015 May 22, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    The DNC declaring that Hillary Clinton got the most votes in those ridings when in fact Bernie Sanders did. I recall that Clinton actually was near the bottom of the list in vote numbers there. It’s not surprising that you didn’t hear it reported as such in the mainstream news-media. … Are you okay with that?

    • kingmidget May 22, 2022 at 7:30 pm

      Do you have any links or evidence of any of this? What I see everywhere I search was that Sanders was proclaimed the winner of the 2016 WV Democratic primary and got more delegates as a result.

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