I suppose it's official now -- I'm a 'left-leaner' in the political landscape. At least Michael thinks so, and adds that I'm on his regular blog-reading list, and I am much appreciative of the mention.
I have never been a member of any of the political party systems active in America today, and in fact, the first time I was old enough to vote in a presidential election, I voted for John Anderson. (Yeah, who??) I think I still have a button from his campaign. It wasn't because I agreed with much of his very conservative GOP history, it was more of a vote against the other two candidates.
Over the years, I have rather sadly learned that there is much truth to the fact that the majority of voters cast votes based on who they are against rather than who they are for. These days, I sometimes vote for a Democrat candidate and sometimes a GOP candidate. I try and learn about who the candidate is, what they propose or claim they might do if elected and so my votes seldom if ever hew to a single party.
What does trouble me is that the last decade or so has seen the worth of an Independent voter (and thinker) has been marginalized as merely fodder for one party or the other. Folks seem to perceive their vote and their voice as less than a minor influence.
Here in Hamblen County, we have a Democrat state representative, John Litz, and a GOP state senator, Steve Southerland. If you counted monetary efforts, however, the GOP rules. As for news sources - a single company owns the press and radio - which means a singular viewpoint is the only offering. So be it. If the residents wanted to change it, they would have to battle for it, and they seem not interested in doing so.
Briefly, from the summer of 2001 to the summer of 2005, I hosted a daily live talk-radio show in Hamblen County, until that station was sold (and is now part of the single-owner world). At times I know I came across as a Liberal, sometimes as a Conservative. But I know what ultimately led to the demise of the show was simply that I offered a free and open forum for discussion. Such a forum was viewed as a dangerous thing. Most listeners responded to the show as some sort of Rorschach ink-blot: what they perceived had more to do with them than with what was aired on my show.
Readers here know my penchant for writing endlessly about movies, so that's gotta make me a Liberal Lefty. I even own DVDs with subtitles. so I may even be some kinda Socialist.
Later this month, this blog will start it's third year of existence. And in that time, I expected to see many other blogs from across the counties of the 1st District appear. That really hasn't happened. I know there are some in this county who have MySpace pages, but a daily blog? I see none. And I have only seen a handful appear in any of the other counties. Yet, from Knoxville/Chattanooga and to the west, they are constantly appearing and they are most vocal. The optimist in me thinks the lack of eastern blogs is is more indicative of a lack of internet access than any other cause. The pessimist says folks here in ET play it very close to the vest and seldom speak out publicly, due to lack of ever doing much of it.
For a variety of reasons, I have always held that everyone is entitled to my opinion. And God bless the internets for allowing me to write and publish on a worldwide basis without the need for corporate support or advertising dollars. Yeah, I do this for free. (which may make me more of an idiot than a lefty or a conservative).
As I say in my profile for this blog, you have to come back more than once to read here to learn what I'm about. There are some political thoughts I have been most adamant about, however, and these are just some of them:
-- The current administration in the Oval Office has made one hell of a mess of domestic and foreign issues. For them, the ends justify all means. I often doubt if the nation can resolve the mess in less than a decade.
-- Lobbyists and business and wealth are weighted with greater importance than the individual, and the end result of that is an ever-decreasing sense of individual worth. That could cripple this nation in endless ways and make a mockery of the sacrifices of many.
-- The object of three branches of the federal government are meant to challenge each other, in hopes that the better policy prevails. Phrases like "unitary executive" are counter to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
-- Rabid partisanship is doing more harm to the nation than any other force, deflecting criticism as anti-American is a sign of tremendous and debilitating weakness.
I read blogs to learn about many things other than politics and will write here on many topics other than politics. My goals here have been to improve my own writing skills, to share other sites which exhibit the same, and to sometimes challenge myself and you, dear reader. Often I enjoy offering an idea or a link that just provides amusement and entertainment. It's a big ol' internet and it grows in size every day.
Your views may differ from mine and you are free to express such in the comments here, as long as you don't get nasty just to get nasty. Pointless bullying is and always has been a game of children who are victims of self-loathing.
OK, time to get off this particular topic. as their are some other topics to provide as the day progresses.
Thanks for reading and having a Cup of Joe.