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Christopher Wilde
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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sorry For All the Politics

By Christopher Wilde

Sometimes it seems I'm writing too much about politics.  Growing up there was a period when politics was a boring topic that adults spoke like a second language.  I was affected by many people on both sides who remembered the Kennedy era with pride, and many more that remembered Nixon with shame.  I remember Jimmy Carter's inauguration, the teacher rolling the over size T.V. with the gigantic video machine into the classroom and telling us that this would be something we would want to tell our kids about.  I watched him walk in the parade and take the oath of office. I've never told my kids about it; I think I would more readily tell them about Billy Beer.

Then there was Ronald Reagan who was memorably swept into office ending a national hostage crisis.  To a young boy a hostage crisis is a strange thing.  No one wants to explain to a child the seriousness of what a hostage is going through, but everyone wears the pain on their faces.

At the time I remember the crisis ending in conjunction with Ronald Reagan.  What I took into my teenage years from the faces and hearts of adults was that Ronald Reagan brought a collective sigh of relief.  Then came George Bush Sr. who was--ho hum.

I didn't fully appreciate those periods until the time came to cast my first vote.  I had a sense of responsibility about it, and though I tried my best to be smart about my votes.  The reality is that at eighteen you can know a great deal of history, current events, and the voting records of candidates and still have no clue how a politician's actions translates into the day to day reality of life around the the world.

One night in my my mid teens I was being driven through Washington D.C. by my older cousin.  He pointed to the Capital Building with it's brightly lit dome; so beautiful when viewed poking through the tree tops.

     "Limelight of the universe," he said, and there was something slightly regretful in his voice.

I remember filing that thought away, having it come back to me again and again over the years.  Every time it comes back into my mind I ask myself, why me?

Why not those kids with the bloated bellies I saw on T.V.  Why not those Russian kids from whose nation we were so fearful?  Today I think, why not people in South America who want to be a part so badly, why not the kids in Iraq, Iran, or anywhere in the world.

Over the years to answer that question I've read John Locke for his inspiration to our Founding Father's.  I've read many more including Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine.  I've read enough source documents from our founding fathers to fill more than a few volumes the size of David McCullough's, John Adams

What I learned was that as American's we are fortunate.  No, not just fortunate, down right lucky.  We are lucky that there was a piece of land here, lucky that it was discovered when European's had superior military might, lucky that philosophy and politics had evolved to a point where kings could throw off Church, and men could dream about throwing off Kings.  Where it not for the rise of a merchant class long before these shores were settled by Europeans this nation would not have been possible.

I am deeply impressed by the contributions of our founding father's who came together with very diverse motives, personal interests and political ideas and managed to hammer out something that is still holding together.

They didn't even manage it on the first try.  All hell could have broken loose but our nation states got back together and worked it out specifically using the knowledge from their failures to try and ensure a more perfect union.

One thing I don't do is try and own these men.  I don't try and pretend that their sacrifices are any greater than I can or should be prepared to make.  I don't ever fool myself into thinking that I'm more special, more blessed, more deserving than any other human being on the planet.  I'm so very lucky.  Even when it doesn't feel like it in the depths of my own personal pains, depressions, or losses comparatively I'm lucky. I pray for and rightly wish to bestow upon the souls and bodies of all humanity that luck.

 

I honestly don't like writing about politics, more often than not it's still a boring topic that adults speak like a second language.  All of my life politics has just been a power swap from one party to the next.  In my heart I am an independent.  I want a president, who can bring people together and who represents my own independent spirit.

John McCain has that, he scares the hell out of a lot of Republicans.  They know he might vote with them, but he could just as easily vote against them. I also see that quality in Barack Obama.  I hope to choose my President from one or the other.  For the first time I will relish going to the polls.  My selection will be based on which two of those candidates will help to solve America's internal problems, and help individuals around the world to have the same standards of good fortune American's enjoy. 

The fight between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is a fight between an independent and a political dynasty that wants back into the limelight so bad she'll do anything.  In due course this time will pass, but for right now there is nothing boring about politics. We are so very lucky!

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