Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mistrusting Single-Issue Politics

I monitor a list that discusses disability in the media, and, of course, there's much talk this season of the national elections in the USA. Most disability activists support Democratic party candidates. But I always fear single-issue politics. I don't know exactly what I feel about all situations involving abortion, end-of-life, or the death penalty. I only know what I feel about single incidents involving abortion, end-of-life, and the death penalty, and I doubt I would base my vote for president, for example, on whether a candidate supported or disagreed with open access to abortion under all circumstances.

Among my friends is a woman who father was a politician. We discussed the fact that Clinton won the New Hampshire primary after showing a less-controlled side of her personality. I think my friend believed me a conservative, one more apt to support a Republican or a centrist Democratic like Hillary Clinton. My friend said Clinton simply turned on the southern charm. I wrote ...
I don't think Hillary is southern, although she spent most of her adult life in Arkansas. She is a native of the Chicago area and went to Wellesley. But I wouldn't doubt she was trolling for a compliment, and she may have been an ttempting-Southern. I can do that. I can turn on a Southern accent. But all it has ever earned me is the suspicion my IQ hovers around 87 and my dog sleeps under the porch.

  • Actually, I'm ... well, I don't know what I am, at least as defined by the present political atmosphere. Maybe I am ... pining for Robert LaFollette, Teddy Roosevelt, and even Huey Long (without the ethical foibles and arrogance-of-power mindset).
  • I am one generation removed from Woody Guthrie and Tom Joab. I believe as much as power can corrupt that money corrupts. And I believe that concentration of wealth (including that held by multi-national corporations) might lead to the destruction of the American Dream.
  • I believe we should scrap the IRS and rely on some sort of "money transfer tax" so that we can tap into the underground and criminal economy and so that it costs more for the rich to indulge in ostentatious consumption.
  • I am greatly disappointed in the presidency of Jimmy Carter, and I wish Ronald Reagan had accomplished the presidency without being converted from the ideals of FDR by the money of General Electric.
  • I am sorry no one took Eisenhower's Farewell Address seriously.
  • I am something of an isolationist, considering the growth of the world economy.
  • I believe we should bring military units stationed in Europe and Asia home. Those areas are rich enough to defend themselves.
  • I believe in "Don't Tread on Me," but I know Saddam did not and Osama did, but we have leadership so incompetent they cannot devise a simple, efficient means of chopping off his head.
  • I believe, as it would have been in Vietnam, we could simply have flooded Iraq, Iran, and any other fundamentalist Islamo-fascist state with American consumer goods and converted them to democratic ideals.
  • The trillions spent in the attempt to defeat the NVA and the dissidents in Irag could have built every one of them a house, bought them a Ford, and given them a job building power stations and highways. (Which in no way denigrates the service of the dead, the wounded, of those who served honorably.)
  • I believe in the sanctity of the Gettysburg Address and the Bill of Rights.
  • And I believe that dogs are small psychiatrists in fur coats.


sc morgan said...

I enjoyed your credo, Gary. And, really, I didn't think you were a conservative (as in neo-con conservative) who'd vote Republican on single-issue politics. I think you come closer to the Libertarian party, actually. But, like many of us, you have a hard time finding a pigeonhole to fly into. And perhaps that's better. Politicians take heed: we don't all conveniently fit into distinct categories.

Ruth D~ said...

I've never been a single-issue voter either, though the teachers' union likes to push its members down a cattle chute. So now I'm not a member. I don't think the way we run our elections-- the political charade that precedes them-- is conducive to getting a candidate that will stand strong on hie/her principles. The dance for votes makes me sick.

Where does your psychiatrist, I mean dog, sleep?