So here’s a bold statement that will likely come as no surprise (or scandal) to many who read this blog regularly:
It doesn’t quite matter that much who wins today’s presidential election.
I don’t mean this in the cliche sense of “they’re all corrupt” or in the (Big “L”) Libertarian sense that there’s no real difference between the parties nor their standard-bearers’ preferred policies.
I mean it, rather, to emphasize that tonight (or tomorrow, or next week, or whenever…) after the votes have been cast and counted, a new Administration is determined, or the current one continues for another term, it still comes down to you and me.
It’s been a crazy year for me. I returned from yet another deployment, started a new assignment at the Pentagon (but still I maintain the monicker “ColoradoPatriot”…as I will forever be a child of the High Country) where I daily see what can seem to be the futility of one man’s efforts against the Leviathan, and moved in with a partner whom I love more than anything in my life. I also passed a certain birthday milestone and am staring retirement in the eyes. These sorts of big life events will cause a man to pause and take things into account.
I’ve never been a “hero” guy. There are plenty of great men, great thinkers, and great leaders to hold in esteem and admire for sure. But if we’ve learned anything over the past four years, it’s that men are made with feet of clay. Now, I never bought into “Hope and Change” in the first place. I hardly imagine that even our usual GP trolls and water-carriers actually believed all that even as they said the words themselves. So it comes as no surprise that four years on the oceans have not receded, we’re not any more adored in the world, and that the magic of Obama’s celestial origins hasn’t descended onto earth to save us all. Heck, did anybody even believe he meant it when he said he wanted to do something as simple shrink the deficits? That said, it’s been striking over the past year to see just how petulant and small this man who so captured the imagination of so many Americans has become. Big Bird, really?
It’s also interesting how brutal politics can be against a man as good as Governor Romney. Having read The Real Romney, I can attest that the caricature presented by the Obama camp and his media pals is not even close. But even he doesn’t deserve adoration. To Governor Romney’s credit, he riffs on then-Senator Obama’s declaration about having been the genesis of a newly-healing world and compares his personal charter simply to trying to help out American families instead. Romney knows it, and I’ll say it right here: He’s no savior.
So where does that leave us?
It leaves us with ourselves and each other.
I’ve grown tired of arguing about men and parties and who does or doesn’t have the right motivations and who wants to put people out on the street (is that anybody’s goal, really?), and who wants (WANTS, really?) to ‘destroy’ our economy. Ugh. I kind of sympathize with those who say that in America we’re fortunate to get a chance every four years to choose our oppressors.
So as of tomorrow I’m turning over a new leaf. Will you join me?
I’m going to endeavor—whomever wins this election—to refrain from arguing about people and parties. I’m going to try to stick to principles and theories. Sure, there will be policies, new laws and legislation…new mandates, new decrees from On High at the Supreme Court. But I think that I’m going to approach every single one of them from this perspective:
How does that affect individual liberties?
These arguments of mine will likely be met by partisans and pols who will argue that “the other guy” is trying to do this or that. But I know what I mean by individual liberty, and I know when it’s being hindered. In this, I’m going to become an ideologue. That’s right, I’m not going to take sides based on ‘my guy’ and ‘their guy’, or the Republicans vs. the Democrats….arguing with me will likely become a bore (don’t say it…) because you can argue your point (and recite your party-line talking-points) till you’re blue in the face. My reply will simply be: Does it enhance or detract from individual liberty?
There will likely be policies and topics that I’ll have to think through (primary among them our anti-terrorism policies). I may even, all told, be left with some glaring inconsistencies. But they’ll be acknowledged and highlighted for what they are. And I’ll have put plenty of thought into them.
Thought, that is, about idealism. In a way, I’m trying to transcend the arguments of the terrestrial world, you could say. I’m not sure how it’ll end up, but I’m looking forward to it and learning more about myself and about the world around me as it happens.
Naturally, I’m really hoping for a Romney win tonight, and I’m very optimistic about it. If we don’t know tonight, I’m hoping to wake up tomorrow with a new president-elect. That said, though, I also turn a new leaf in the morning and discuss topics like Obamacare, gay marriage, bailouts, our China policy, Benghazi, and everything else from a decidedly non-political perspective.
I may fall flat on my face, but at least I won’t get red-in-the-face blustering about how ‘their guy’ is ‘effing everything up. And I can guarantee you, I’ll never defend ‘our guy’ against fair charges when he goes against my ideals. And I’ll chronicle it here as best I can.
THIS, my friends, is what I mean by “A New Independence Movement”
-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HHQ)