Saturday, June 3, 2017
I've talked before about where I stand along the political ideology spectrum. I have very close relationships with my brothers, but we have widely disparate political views. I’m the oldest of four sons, Brother #4, the youngest, is a conservative Republican (married to a conservative Republican), Brother #2 is a very liberal Democrat. I am somewhere in between, as is my smart, beautiful wife. Sadly, we lost Brother #3 many years ago, but I'm confident he'd be in the middle with me; but, I don't stay long in any one spot. I listen and learn--and then, where and when it makes sense, I change my mind—it’s the grownup, reasoned thing to do. I like to say that I lean neither left nor right, rather I stand upright in favor of truth, reason, and logic (just to give my brothers a hard time). In spite of my malleability I do have some deeply entrenched biases (and I’m perfectly aware of how they influence my opinions), and I’ve tried to stay as objective as possible over my long life time. For the sake of clarity (mine and my readers), I'll follow this with a series of posts offering my perhaps unique views on some of the controversial topics--those creating the divide, that vast chasm between right and left.
I don't know what my political affiliation is. I'm neither Republican, nor Democrat; I don't belong to the Tea Party, the Libertarian Party or any kind of Green Party--I have very little in common with any of them. I'm neither conservative nor liberal. What I do know for sure is that I love my country--I'm a patriot; and, as a patriot I have certain firm beliefs about my patriotic responsibilities. For example, I enlisted in the military and served over 10 years, first in the Air Force then the Air National Guard. During that time our country was at war, a controversial war, a war based on....what? The Domino Theory they called it. It wasn't a direct threat to our home or our freedom; but, the theory was that if we did not stop communism in SE Asia, free nations around the Pacific would fall like dominoes--until the scourge was coming ashore here in America. Well, we didn't stop communism in Vietnam--and it spread all the way to Laos---and then stopped. We never did have to fight any communists in Baton Rouge or Port Sulphur. So, the Commanders-in-Chief who led us during the Vietnam conflict, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon (2 Republicans, 2 Democrats), were they liars or traitors, or just mistaken? Even today, nearly 40 years later, in spite of the fact that 58,000 young men (mostly) died (including two good friends), I would never dream of calling any of my Presidents liars or traitors. In fact I truly believe that anyone who does is a coward and a traitor. You may think that's harsh, but after careful consideration over a lifetime--it's my opinion and I know it's right (even righteous, to borrow a thought from Dan Madison). All that is accomplished by the name calling is to widen the divide between groups of would-be, wanna-be patriots. Real patriotism is deeper than that. The problems our nation faces (not as bad as the conservatives suggest--not as good as the liberals want you to think) require a concerted effort by all of us, working together. But, that's not going to happen because neither side can see beyond their narrow little view and their notion that they can prove they're right by proving the other side is wrong. Wrong.