Sunday, October 22, 2006

Volunteers

I was raised a political junkie – it was my true common bond with my Dad. Somewhere in this blog is the line from a Jackson Browne song: “Daddy’s in the den, shooting up the evening news.” Over the years I in that arena became him – a true news junkie with a specialty in politics.

I am old enough to vaguely remember the Cuban Missile Crisis and a President being assassinated. My first “campaign” was as a fourteen year old wearing a Eugene McCarthy button. That same year I went to sleep one night, having just learned that Martin Luther King was gone; I woke one morning to have my father tell me that Robert F Kennedy had been murdered, murdered on his night of glory and that summer we watched the Chicago Democratic Convention, blood flowing in the streets of that city – family time in the days of one television in the house.

That chapter – the Nixon years ended in 1974 on a muggy August night. I let my tickets to Crosby Stills and Nash go to waste. A presidential resignation: I had too much invested not to stay home and watch the moment. Sweet victory for those who had been battling since 1968. I still remember, the speech ended, the windows were open, and the stereo was cued:

Look whats happening out in the streets
Got a revolution got to revolution


So the years flew by, some politically good and some could have been better, but politics was my interest and this is my country. Then came Gore / Bush: this is not the time to re-visit butterflies: let’s just say it eroded my spirit. Then we added “swift boating” to our dictionaries. Once again, not the time to revisit, but if 2000 eroded my spirit, 2004 just broke it.


Recently my sister told me why not blog about music, other things, and not just personal matters of sexuality so I have toyed with maybe a word on politics, maybe a word on music. Yesterday it all came together for me. Bruce Springsteen recently did a strange thing – released a CD and then some months later re-issued it with some additional tracks. Something seemed morally wrong, but not having purchased the first go round, I did not mind ponying up for the revised version. Then I heard the song he added – a live version of an old Pete Seeger Vietnam era song” “Bring ‘Em Home”. Forty-one years later, the song touches my soul, re-kindles the fires, and reminds me the struggle is neither over nor lost.

As you may have guessed I am a Democrat. I know that is not a popular thing to say: I’m supposed to be an independent, a free-thinker. But I confess to being a “yellow dog democrat”, one who would vote for a yellow dog to support the party. It is not that I am incapable of critical thought. It’s just that when the votes are counted in two weeks one party will control the House and one party will control the Senate. If it is the Democrats, will I love each of the 228 Representatives and 51 Senators in that majority? Of course not, but will I love Democrats controlling the agenda and providing a balance to an administration run amok: Hell Yeah!!!

I live in New York State so my vote will not mean a heck of a lot this year. We will supply a Democratic senator and a Democrat will re-take our state house. My formerly Republican congressional district will return our moderate democrat to her seat yet again.

There is one thing I can do. I can give some meager sums to the party so they can bring this fight home. The Republicans have a much vaunted get out the vote effort; they are not conceding this election. And if they maintain their control, even by the slimmest of margins – well this is a party which upon losing the popular vote six years ago, used the word “mandate.”

So I have clicked on my link and given to the
Democratic Party. My neighboring state, New Jersey, has a battle going on and I will give Menendez his due. Little things, but they add up.

I know a few of you who read this blog, but based on “hits” most of you are strangers. If you enjoy my blog and share my beliefs, then vote in two weeks and if you can help the cause, now’s a good time.



One generation got old
One generation got soul
This generation got no destination to hold
Pick up the cry
Hey now its time for you and me
Got a revolution got to revolution
Come on now were marching to the sea
Got a revolution got to revolution
Who will take it from you
We will and who are we
We are volunteers of america
Jefferson Airplane

5 comments:

Spider said...

If you don't vote you can't complain - and DAMN I love to complain - so I have to vote...

There is NO EXCUSE not to...

Ian said...

In the words of my man Michael Badnarik, the problem with voting for the lesser of two evils is no matter who wins, you're still stuck with evil. I think that you'ld see alot higher turnout if there was a None of The Above option.

While I've been proudly unaffiliated for the last six years I have no problem with partyline voters so long as you understand what it is you're getting into. By choosing to support the party, right or wrong, you have effective elected (pun intended) to subsume your personal position on any number of issues to whatever the party leadership says it should be.

Anonymous said...

I remember being eligible to vote for the first time in November of 1992. I went to the polling station to proudly cast my vote for Clinton-Gore.

It seemed like such an exciting evening. A fresh start with young, competent people at the helm of our government.

Maybe the tide will begin to turn this November. I want to feel some optimisim again.

Paul said...

Yes, I will vote. But I'm not real happy with the choices.

Unfortunately, I believe that the two-party political system in this country results in too many decisions for the wrong reasons.

Are our leaders not elected to represent and serve the people that elected them?

Good comments, all. Nate, a revolution's needed in my mind. We definitely need to get more involvement from more people. Spider, yes I compalin a lot too. Even though I think it does no good since I don't complain to anybody that can make a difference. Ian, isn't it unfortunate that a political party rather than respected individuals lead us? And Brad, I too am ready for a return to optimisim. As quickly as possible.

Anonymous said...

Nate: You have been M.I.A. for 4 days. You ok? -JM