I was raised in a family that was a bit...well...radical. To the far right I mean. I have often said that my parents were John Birchers, just to give people a reference point, but I am not sure my parents were card-carrying society members. My mother changed her Canadian citizenship in order to campaign and work for Barry Goldwater and she still has Christmas cards and an inaugural ball invitation from Nixon proudly displayed on her wall. My father believes that the recent majority of Democrats in the House and Senate signifies the end of the world. Personally I never believed that the Democrats would have the balls to be as focused and driven as they are proving to be. I am cautiously encouraged (Update: I am no longer cautious nor encouraged).
I was the youngest of six kids and I swear I must have been the product of a secret affair between my mother and some communist-artist-postman. All my brothers and sisters turned out to be right-leaning like our parents but for some reason I chose to tilt towards the left from early childhood. Maybe it was the time when, as a little girl, I was watching TV and it was announced that Martin Luther King had been assassinated. My mother happened to be standing behind me and said with a sneer, "Good riddance you communist bastard." I have never forgotten that. I understood the concept of disagreeing with someone but couldn't quite grasp the concept of celebrating their death. My mother called me Pollyanna because I just wanted everyone to get along. I still do.
Anyway, I grew up to be apolitical. In an atmosphere where challenging the status quo or asking provocative questions got me shouted down and ridiculed, I checked out. I voted once or twice years ago, but always Republican because that was all I knew. I also believed two things that are not true:
- I did not have the time to research all of the people and all of the issues in order to be an informed voter
- My vote didn't count
Meanwhile there's no escape from the barrage of media and commercials that push middle America ever closer to the cliff of over consumption and the quicksand of revolving credit card debt. After the tragedy of 911 what does Bush tell the country to do? Spend money. Go buy something. That will fix everything.
I recently quit my corporate job and went into business for myself. I also just turned 50. I started reading everything I could get my hands on, picking up books in airports by Molly Ivins (so sad that she's no longer around to kick butt and take names) and Jim Hightower. I was glued to FireDogLake's live blogging of the Libby trial and awed by the insight and intelligence of the people who commented during the process. I learned so much. Now I have a Feedreader and subscribe to RSS feeds from Truthdig, Huffington Post and many others. The truth is, you can get your arms around all this information and after a short period of time, things begin to fall into place.
You are never too old to get started or get involved. And my Democratic vote counted this past November.
So this blog is about my ongoing discovery, questions, research and opinions about politics. I hope to start a dialog with fellow travelers along this road and share information to help us all be better informed and take back our power as citizens. And if we differ in our views, at the end of the day, let's just all get along anyway, shall we?