I was, many years ago, a fairly active political participant and observer. Forty years later, I have thrown up my hands. “Lindsay, I can never figure you out – are you a liberal or a conservative?” My standard answer? “Yes, I am”. That is my answer because it is true. I think, I analyze, and keep my mouth shut unless and until I have a clear and comfortable handle on the issues. That is not very often. Some people would be surprised, I think, by what I believe, and it will vary by issue. I will take a “liberal” position on some things, pretty “conservative” positions on other things, and by the political tenet that I hold most dear – “the right to be left alone” as made famous by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. The things I have decided are just that. Mostly minor things, insignificant, but things I can put away as decided.
You want me to “re-engage”? Here’s what we can do. Get the money in politics down to a reasonable level. In fact, I liked 1968. Let’s use that, and ok, you can adjust for inflation. No corporate money – directly or indirectly. One man, one vote. You are who you say you are until proven otherwise. Let’s pay the bills, no bullshit about how deficit spending is the only thing that will keep our economy strong. I will pay taxes for what I cost the government and gladly assist those who have problems doing the same, both with charity and my taxes. Let’s do term limits, with a sundown strategy after 20 years. If it hasn’t worked by then, we’ll go back to doing what we know isn’t working now. Lets put the job of drawing the lines for districts in the hands of somebody who doesn’t have a dog in the fight. And I heard this about that the other day, and I think it’s brilliant: A political district can have no more than five linear sides. No squiggling about to include or exclude neighborhoods or politico-ethnic concentrations. Gerrymandering, I believe it is called, and it is just another way for the party in power to preserve their influence after the people have tired of them.
If you’re a politician, and I don’t care what party you are from, don’t tell me you are proud of the job you do as long as we are spending millions on wars and our people, including many veterans are losing their homes because they got sick and can’t pay the bills. The rest of the world seems to have figured it out. We just can’t get past our greed and self interest to let it go. Based on my experience with my parents and other elderly folks I know, we have a pretty good system: it’s called Medicare. It works. Doctors still drive BMW’s, and corporate as well as not for profit hospitals build one after another, sometimes right on top of another. Every one is mucking around in the money pot. Corporate investors, individuals, attorneys, insurance companies, attorneys, manufacturers, and the medical professionals.
One thing I am, and have found that it follows a long family tradition, is that I am a pacifist. I believe in peace. Got my buddy in trouble for naming me as one of his friends, almost cost him his army job, as I understand it. I walked the anti-war picket lines. I had things thrown at me, and got jeered at work. When I thought about joining the military, my dad had a one word answer “NO!” I would challenge you to look at the pictures of the day after at Gettysburg and tell me war makes sense. That is where the family history as conscientious objectors got it’s start. As members of the Christadelphians in Ogle County, IL, my great grandfather and his family took a stand against armed conflict as well as against slavery.