Southern Politics

There are many personal frustrations that I have to deal with on a regular basis.  One such aggravation is my inability to comprehend politics.  This in turn leads me to make simplistic, black and white judgments’ on those who participate in this cryptic way of life.

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The main problem I believe, are the labels constantly being thrown at me. I know there are dyed in the wool liberals and conservatives; what I am not sure of is if they are the majority.  The simple fact that independent voters are growing in number would point out that most are moderates.  It is interesting to note that Rush Limbaugh has a strong dislike for those who do not consider themselves too far left, or right, in the political arena.  Perhaps it is the moderates who think for themselves and Rush and other pundits on the political scene don’t like that.

I am conservative in some areas when it comes to politics.  Then I can be quite liberal in others.  I am pro-life.  I also know that if any change in the number of abortions is to ever happen, it will not come about because the law is rescinded.  Change comes from the bottom up.  It is foolish to think that cultural transformation will come about by some law.  Yet some of my friends, because I believe this, insist that I am pro-choice and not pro-life.  There is no middle ground for discussion on this issue and I for the most part have stopped trying.

Dyed in the wool conservatives make my soul itch, the same goes for liberals.  To be too far on the left or the right can be a limitation when it comes to communicating.  Some it would appear consider it communication when people scream at each other over the back yard fence. I don’t believe it is.  In the end it is just another form of tribalism.   Glenn Beck, a man that I have some respect for, can say some pretty off-the-wall things.  One of them is that “liberals are evil.”  I have heard the same harsh rejection of conservatives from pundits on the left; it is very wearisome.

What I do look upon as evil, is when partisanship becomes an end in itself.  Wherein, politicians will knowingly work against a policy that is good for the country, simply because it will weaken their own party’s power base. They forget they are servants working for the good of the people.  Instead it gets into power plays and in the end everyone loses.

It was in ’92 when I was visiting my dad and step-mom in St. Louis, when I changed I believe for the worse.  It was the first time that I became aware of the negative advertising that was going on during voting season.  To say I felt contaminated by what I saw and heard is an understatement.  Every hour I soaked in 15 minutes of toxic waste as each candidate destroyed the good name of the other.  No wonder so many people lose interest when it comes to voting.  Both candidates smeared each other so expertly, that it  gives the impression that it does not matter who gets voted in.  It was that year that I became an independent voter.  To hell with belonging to any one party; neither deserves my loyalty.

As an aside, I doubt I would be able to be a politician without falling into the above traps.  I see no way to change the situation. Or if there is a way to change it, I have a feeling things would only get worse.  While I still struggle to understand politics and those who walk that path, I can find no other form of government better than the one we have in the USA, in spite of the corruption that it seems rife with.  Not sure that says much for human nature, does it?

Mark Dohle

Mark Dohle

I am 62 years old and have lived in the Atlanta area since 1971.  I am Catholic and my faith is important to me, yet as I age the mystery continues to deepen, so I read broadly and try to keep things somewhat open ended. I work with the aged and the dying. I was in the Navy for four years and I guess I am life of center when it comes to politics, but not too far left. Actually, I am kind of a political moron.

I am the third of  11 children; ten still alive, one died in in 1958, three days after birth.