Anyone who reads my musings regularly, or has taken the time to dig through my archives, knows me pretty well. True, I don’t divulge everything about myself here, but my manner of thinking is an open book - more or less. I don’t ever really have an axe to grind; I am not one to take things personally. I try very hard not to offend anyone, but I don’t sugarcoat my views in order to appease either. If you disagree with me, I won’t internalize it.
Regular visitors here also know that I am, in equal parts, fascinated as well as frustrated by the body politic. My major is not just journalism with some odd minor, but rather the dual major (thus eliminating the required odd minor) of government-journalism. Although the course load is significantly heavier, I figured that after more than 25 years of chipping away at the game of higher education, it would be appropriate to spend a little more time to set myself apart and get a background such that I would know what I’m writing about.
It is therefore somewhat ironic that I only venture into political commentary every once in a while in my blog. It isn’t that I don’t have anything to say - I almost always do. It has more to do with what this blog was originally set up to do and why it is named what it is. It is an account of my world through the process of introspection. It’s my way of thinking out-loud. It is therapeutic and relaxing. It takes me away from the rat race while at the same time enables me to see the greater picture with better perspective. It paradoxically focuses my attention by distraction.
However, there are times when my professional specialization and introspection intersect… or perhaps collide. My last two pieces are examples. Actually, the second and perhaps more provocative piece was a rebuttal, but one based on the observation of human nature as it applies to politics. It was as introspective as it was political and could be viewed either way. Although I was as clear as I could possibly be about what I think of the competency (or lack thereof) of the Bush administration, I do not take the administration’s policies as a personal affront. Likewise, my criticism of the president is not a personal attack and should not be viewed as such.
But for some, it still is. I understand that many people get very attached to or vested in a policy based on their ideology or experience or loyalties. I get that. Although I try not to get caught up in the hype, I am not exempt. I am always on my guard. Once an institutional consensus forms, it is very difficult to oppose. It has much to do with why the press as a whole did not report the “other” side during the run-up to the war. If the mainstream media - the agenda setters like the New York Times, the Washington Post and others had been more vigilant, perhaps this fiasco could have been averted.
And it is a fiasco - the evidence is overwhelming. If anyone reading this disagrees - it is your right. After all this is still America. If you are offended by the stating of my opinion based on the facts as I see them, well, that is also your right. However, it is not my job to assuage anyone’s feelings - but know also that it is not my intent to offend. I don’t even insist that you believe me. Honestly, I don’t care. This is America and I submit that disagreeing with the administration is more patriotic - much more - than keeping quiet just to be nice.