On Being Political

I find, among other interesting surprises of late, that I’m becoming more political as I age.

Is this a product of an awakening? An artifact of my slow journey from the physical-focus of youth to the intellectual-passions fueled by more trips around the sun? Or is it a weariness over the idiots driving the buses in this country and a boiling of desire to participate in change? Dunno. Don’t know that it matters that I know why, only that I recognize it and let it take whatever course it’s trying to run.

I live in the middle of what is perhaps one of the most pessimistic places for a liberal. As evidence, I present our recent downtown Halloween parade, an annual event of quirky floats and excuses to walk aimless on car-less downtown streets while waving at strangers. Of particular note here were two floats representing the county’s political parties. The first to saunter through was the Republican party, fronted by a large banner held level and taut by two well-trained, height-matched volunteers, followed by a large slogan-infested pickup pulling an even larger hay trailer draped with red-white-and-blue decorations, and closed by 30+ elephant-adorned Repubs…all marching in a mostly organized fashion. No surprise there. Ten minutes later I glimpse the start of the banner for the Dems…a wrinkled, smallish, banner held by two people who obviously hadn’t practiced and thus held the banner far from level, far from taut, and followed by…no car, no float, and perhaps 8 or so haphazardly parading loyal Dems, a few of them dressed in association with the Dems, but mostly looking a bit uncomfortable walking behind The Donkey. Such is the balance of power in my county.

Yet, I voted last week, fulfilling my spirit of democracy while knowingly casting a phantom vote. In all areas, the Repubs outvoted the Dems by no less than three-to-one and in most cases more than four-to-one. And that’s with a recognized near-record low Republican voter turnout! Hope springs eternal?

And while I’m not tuning in to the current pundits for diverse political opinions (I am still on media blackout for mainstream newspapers and TV reporting…and loving it), I’m finding interesting sources of what feels like more truthful news (yes, I realize that’s an oxymoron in this country). One in particular is a podcast marriage between the tech opiner John C. Dvorak and Adam Curry, nee of MTV, called appropriately “No Agenda” which describes the show aptly. Each week they discuss the odd fringes of the American Political Process and anything else they find interesting. Worth a listen.

As I write this and try to think of a clever ending, I realize I don’t have one, which is appropriate since I also don’t have a clue where this new-found interest in being political will lead, or if it will lead anywhere at all. Not that that matters or has stopped me before…