Growing up, there was one thing I often heard from friends, family, and teachers that used to drive me nuts, namely because of the sinister undertones associated with it:
You have such potential. One day, you should go into politics.
Let's just say...uhhh...yeah. Not likely to happen. Politics, to me, is the root of all evil. I'm a much better agitator.
There's no way in hell I'd ever pull a Bill Clinton and use the “but I didn't inhale” line, nor would I just play the “party boy turned Born Again” card Bush played. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I once smoked, snorted, and ingested just about anything I could get – and I've been clean for 8 + years, thank you very much.
Who would vote for a guy who almost married a stripper? Somebody who once got caught by a former roommate (Love ya, K.!) in the middle of an “youthful indiscretion” involving handcuffs, an actual Catholic schoolgirl, and a sink that never worked well ever again? What about the slew of undocumented residents (read illegal aliens)?
How about this for political ammunition: the majority of women I've been involved with (58% by recent calculation, on decline since 1999) have had ties to or been directly involved in some form of street gang. It took me years to stop thinking of teardrop tats, gothic lettering, and prison ink as a turn-on.
That's just my personal history. Then there's the matter of hot-button issues, such as abortion.
With abortion, I'm not “pro” anything. Personally, I have moral reservations about abortion as a practice, but I also refuse to take the right of another human being away simply because of those moral reservations. My belief in the right of every person to determine the own course of their lives requires that I be willing to accept the choices of others, regardless of my personal beliefs. Roe v. Wade should be the end-all, be-all.
But then there's the fact that I'd give up on Roe v. Wade in a heartbeat if it meant ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. If you're reading this and you somehow want to jump the gun and accuse me of trying to take rights away from people, I need to point out that this “compromise” position scares the living shit out of most abortion opponents, too.
I'm no legal scholar, but here's the ZenFo logic on this one...
While Roe and subsequent rulings have relied on judicial opinion to address a single civil liberties issue, passage of ERA could possibly lead to the abolishment of laws targeted specifically against women's reproductive rights, a constitutional guarantee of equality for women, and could possibly lead to a new constitutional argument against the denial of equal rights to gays and lesbians. Part of the problem with the Roe decision is the fact that it has always been reliant on the make-up of the Supreme Court. Why not make it independent again, giving more breathing room to a divisive issue, forcing the legal system to stop being issue-based and to refocus on the arguments behind the Roe decision – namely, that pesky concept of individual civil liberties.
With ERA in place, the whole “states should determine abortion's legality” argument becomes a moot point. What if people just let anti-abortion activists simply keep screaming into megaphones and trying to overturn one law, while human rights groups unified behind ERA, launched the biggest campaign for equal rights protection in American history, without ever needing to use the phrase “a woman's right to choose?”
Pull back from the controversial single-issue politicking, and there's nothing left but the pursuit of civil rights. Why keep fighting the same battle when it's so much easier to win the war?
And that's just abortion. Imagine the backlash, then, if I were to talk about real problems, like stopping famine, fighting AIDS and Malaria, and ending the reign of every brutal dictator on the planet, regardless of the barrels of oil a country could produce.
I told a College Republican yesterday that I'd gladly support the continued occupation of Iraq, in exchange for some kind of plan for disengagement beyond the rhetoric, a less hostile approach to international cooperation and the United Nations, and an a master plan for ending the restriction of unalienable human rights using diplomacy and, if need be, military force, throughout the world.
I refuse to tow some simplistic interpretation of a particular issue just to create an easily digestible soundbite.
Donuts have more political value than I do. My problem is that I think way too damned much to ge elected or appointed to anything. Add that to the fact that I readily admit my flaws, and that's one barrel of monkeys big enough to sink any Establishment.
A friend involved politics recently asked if was ever going to do the politician thing. I laughed and told him I'm not interested. I'd hate to say it, but it's a hell of a lot more fun telling the Man to fuck off than the idea of possibly becoming the Man.
Can you imagine what would happen in the U.S. if we quit electing those who speak in talking points and started electing leaders again based on the rationale behind their beliefs? Imagine the chaos that would ensue if politicos actually decided what they believed for themselves, decided to act like freethinking leaders of the free world?
That's all I want. Fuck politicians on both sides of the aisle, and their refusal to do anything productive while in office. The last thing the world needs is another politician.
Besides, I like how the agitator suit is a much better fit. And it matches my eyes ;)