Saturday, July 21, 2007

General Ization and the Battle of Red vs Blue States

How long does it take to read this? You can do it in 3 minutes or less! (Kid warning - this may not make sense to some kids)

I'm getting more and more readers, but I had one disgruntled reader unsubscribe because I got "political". I think I may have made some comment suggesting George Bush was not quite qualified for a Nobel Peace Prize. Is he? It was assumed from that comment that I'm a pinko communist radical liberal. I thought I was being funny. I find it interesting that if someone assumes my political views diverge from theirs that they would simply rather not listen to what I have to say. Can't we just get along?

One of the beautiful things about human nature is that we can be similar in many ways while enjoying infinite individuality. We have a billion points of perspective on this planet and I would rather share them than group up based on our commonalities.

This got me thinking about a few other comments I've heard lately.

Someone recently said to me that they knew I was a liberal. Oh? How do you know that without knowing me? "Because you are an environmentalist". To which I replied, "And you being a conservative Republican are therefore anti-environment". To which they became flustered and changed the subject. Shouldn't everyone be pro-environment? Why is that a bad word?

Someone also asked me how I can stand to be in a "Red State" here in Florida, suggesting the political viewpoints of all people living in the sunshine state must, by default be right-leaning because Tim Russert used the red crayon to signify that the majority of voters (52%-47%) voted for George Bush in 2004. The "Blue" voters may have been in the minority, but I choose to think of state colors as shades of purple. We have a Republican governor - Charlie Christ, who has taken a strong stance and an active one at that to protect not only the Everglades, but the environment in general. Everglades restoration has been bi-partisan for the most part.

I'd also like to think that we have not digressed to thinking of our political parties as our teams. A friend said to me the other day that they were Republican. Always have been, always will be. (I've never heard a Democrat say that...) Their parents are Republican and their kids will be too. Millard Fillmore's kids probably said the same thing about the Whig Party. Parties should be dynamic and ever evolving. Issues should be discussed and debated with civility (and the occasional fisticuffs on the House floor) and yet people still people root for their party as if it were a sports team.

I have no political team. Political parties serve to support candidates. Politicians serve the people. Somehow we have turned the whole thing around and the people now serve the parties.

I tried to explain this to someone (and I'm being coy so as not to call out my boss), that I am not a conservative nor a liberal. I'm not a Democrat or a Republican. I don't take a stand based on what a party stands for. I listen to the argument, make my decision and chose a candidate based on who best fits my beliefs. It's far more principled than letting a candidate tell me what to believe. I'd have to say I'm moderate, leading the aforementioned "someone" to call me a flip flopper with no convictions. Not having extreme points of view, be they left or right is seen as a negative. I can't win.

If someone wishes not to read this, that is their prerogative. This is my fun way at looking at my world around me, learning a bit, teaching a bit and hopefully laughing a whole lot more.

I'll climb down off my soapbox and step up to the spotting scope. Tomorrow...Ghost Orchids!

1 comment:

  1. I hate politics, but enjoy your blog. Today's political rant left me reading about 1 sentence from each paragraph and that allowed me to enjoy it.
    Less politics now...let's hear about the wild pigs!
    L'il sister