Since Tony so artfully laid out his path to his political destiny, I thought it would be a good idea, before we get really rolling here, to do the same. Yeah, I’m really just stealing his idea. So lets get to it.
Although not immediately obvious, Hupp is my elder by a few turns of the calendar but I came to politics a little earlier than he did. I was aware of a guy with a funny name getting in a heap of trouble and losing his job in 1973, I was 6. Took me about 5 more years to realize it was the Vice President, Spiro T. Agnew. I remember thinking I felt bad for the dude; to be named so funny and now not have a job. Poor guy. I didn’t really get into the meat of things until I was 9 and watching the Republican National Convention in the summer of 1976. For some reason Gerald Ford was impressive to me. I was happy because I could understand his acceptance speech. That might have been why he lost to that peanut farmer from Georgia. If a 9 year old can understand and agree with your speech, you just might be a one term President.
I remember walking with my mom to the polling place right down the street on election day. She let me come in the booth with her. The automatic curtain mesmerized me. She wouldn’t let me see, nor would she tell me who she voted for. On the way home she said, “you keep that a secret. It’s your right to vote and no ones right to know for whom.” That sentiment has all but evaporated with the advent of social media. Anyway, I stayed up all that night in November watching the election results come in. Went to bed pissed beyond the ability to speak. My dad had trouble holding back his laughter at his dopey, nerdy 9 year old son, upset because Ford got whacked by Jimmy Carter.
Well it didn’t take long for the peanut farmer to jack things up. That opened the door for Ronny RayGun and the best 8 years of my life politically. Be advised, while Tony was old enough to vote in the 1980 election I was only freshman in high-school. Be that as it may, was there ever a better time to be a republican? To be an American? Reagan just made us swell with feelings of pride and greatness. Just missed out on the 84 election, but pressed the button for George H. W. Bush to be the 41st President of the US in 1988.
Voted for Bush 41 again in ’92’ but another damn southerner beat my incumbent. I got into state politics a lot more during this time. Politics became more a selfish thing for me. Party started to matter less. I’m pro-lif, but no pro-life president ever did anything about abortion, didn’t even attempt to have the debate. Sure, it was an election hot button through the 80’s and early 90’s, but once the campaigning ended the hot buttons cooled off. So I stopped using my social values as a litmus test for my vote. The fella that made life easier, cheaper, and more enjoyable at the state and national level got my vote. That still led me to republicans most of the time. But you have to admit, that Arkansas fella enjoyed some serious upturns, economically speaking. I would wager if he hadn’t locked “horns” with Lewinsky, they might have carved him into Rushmore. Voted for Clinton in ’96’, Bush 43 in ’00’ and ’04’ and Obama in ’08’.
I don’t vote by party or ideology. I’m conservative on some things, more liberal on others. I don’t believe either is a dirty word. I’ve always believed in listening to the opposition, but Tony helped me hone that skill debating politics while we were “working”. Don’t tell him I said this but I consider him the smartest person I know, and I used to think I was the smartest person I knew.
I believe the President of the United States deserves respect no matter who he is. That’s why I like Mitt. Not for his take down in the first debate with President Obama, or his 800 take downs in debates with the horde of challengers during the primary, but in the way he did it. He was respectful to the highest degree. I hope he will show us all, in the next two debates, that opposing ideas don’t have to be discussed with hate and contempt. Respect works well. It’s smart.
So don’t come at me with nonsense, disrespect, hatred, etc… Give me facts, data, examples. Lets talk. If you hate listening to the opposition, whoever that may be for you, then don’t bother me. I have no time for ignorance, and not learning about and listening to your opposition and not being open to facts even if they fly in the face of your stance, is the hight of ignorance.