Getting Involved

I wish I would have snagged Waggoner’s quotable from his IM away message yesterday. It went something along the lines of “All you liberals who didn’t get what you wanted out of the election need to quit whining and stop being as narrow-minded as you accuse conservatives of being.” He also expressed an intolerance for people who only get involved in politics once every four years.

I can appreciate where he’s coming from, truly. We liberals are being a touch… what’s the word? Defeatist? Melodramatic? That’s not quite what I’m looking for. We’re assuming the worst and planning for our nation to go to hell in a handbasket within the next four years. As the more tolerant of the two major political parties, generally, we owe it to ourselves (perhaps against our better judgement) to be open-minded about Dubya’s second term. Everything might not entirely go to shit, and I hope to God that we’ll get out of Iraq within the remainder of this administration.

(How long did Vietnam last again? Nearly 20 years, I believe. I’m sure we’ll be out by then.)

As for Brian’s second statement: as a person who hasn’t been politically active until recently, that sentiment really bothered me. One would hope that a vital election such as this would spur those of us who weren’t involved to become more involved; one would also hope that the politically-minded would be glad that more citizens were interested in the workings of their government, and would welcome them to the fold, be they Democrat, Republican, or Independent. Instead, I get the same kind of reception that new Indians fans got in the mid-90’s: Where were you before this got interesting? Go home!

I personally think that, if Michael Moore and John Kerry and even (gulp) the Evangelical Christians can get people this involved in this election, at least some of those people are going to remain politically and socially active—myself included. I was quite the cynic during most of college, but social injustices began to catch my attention. I was still skeptical about the validity of the political process up until this election. Now, though, I realize that, even though the system isn’t perfect, it’s all we’ve got.

I used to say that those who didn’t vote couldn’t complain about the president; and I took that to heart and remained complacent about politics. That was before 9/11, though, and before Bush invaded Iraq completely unprovoked as part of a War On Terror. Now, I no longer consider myself complacent. Now, I will vote whenever I feel strongly about an issue. Now, I give myself permission to rant about our leader, having voted for his opponent.

Now I’m pissed. Righteously so.

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