Friday, February 24, 2017

My Apolitical Life

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you guys out there think I'm "political." As things stand at the moment, I could certainly understand that perception; after all, I've been writing some pretty politically charged posts, lately. However, the idea of me being "political" is one of the most outrageous thoughts anyone could have, which is why I never have that thought.

Probably what killed politics for me -- maybe I should say "who" -- was Thomas Jefferson. Seriously, what an ass.

Oh, yeah, a lot of you, probably most of you, are saying right now, "But he was a great man!"

And I just want to say to that: Not so much.
In fact, he was so much not a great man and so ashamed of himself over how he handled his presidency that he didn't want to be remembered for it. At all.

And you're all saying, "But! But! Declaration of Independence!"

Okay, sure, the man could write, but, really, he did his best work when he wrote the Declaration and it was all downhill from there.

Actually, the Declaration is the root of the problem. See, I believed it. As a kid, I mean. Well, I still do. "All men are created equal." ALL humankind are created equal.

I was a really patriotic kid. It was a thing my teachers would comment on to my mom, even, about how much I knew about the Revolutionary time period and the people involved. Yeah, the Revolution was one of those things I got into sometime after dinosaurs. Dinosaurs at four. Astronomy at five (which started out being related to dinosaurs). The Revolution at six. Because, hey, it was 1976, so I started reading books and books and books -- lots of biographies -- about the Revolutionary War and the founding fathers.

So, we have this document, see, that says "all men are created equal," and we fought a war over it to gain independence from a government that treated us unfairly and, then, after winning that war, we doubled down on slavery because of "politics." And I get it. I mean, I understand why Washington and a few of the others decided that the new nation was too fragile at the time to deal with that issue and felt the need to put it off till later, but... BUT!

Thomas Jefferson, the man who WROTE "all men are created equal" would not defend that. Didn't even believe that. He kept his own children as slaves and refused to free his slaves even on his deathbed, while many, if not most, of the other founding fathers had done at least as much as that, but Jefferson refused. He adamantly refused to free his slaves even upon his death despite the urging of many of closest friends and allies. Basically, Jefferson's life and lifestyle didn't match his rhetoric, and the whole thing really soured "politics" for me. I mean, if you couldn't trust Jefferson... Well, who could you trust, right?

Actually, in high school, I became a great admirer of Alexander Hamilton. Not that that was enough to make me like politics.

It's not really politics that are the problem; it's the politicians.

All of that to say: None of this is about "politics." It's not about Republicans and Democrats. It's not about the Right and the Left. It's not even about Conservatives and Liberals. It's about what's right and what's wrong.

And I don't mean what's right and wrong as defined by some (usually false) sense of Christian moralism. I mean what's right as defined by the ideals we (theoretically) ascribe to by being American (which I will define narrowly as someone who is a citizen of the United States of America), the highest of which is, "All men are created equal."

Honestly, we weren't ready for that idea when Jefferson tossed it out there. Obviously, Jefferson wasn't ready for it, either. But he did toss it out there, and we've been fighting to reach that ideal ever since. Fighting for the innate right that each person should get to choose how to live his or her own life without someone else coming along and saying, "No, you can't do that," for no reason other than that that person doesn't choose to live that way.

Look, the USA is NOT a Christian nation. It never was, and it was never intended to be. If you believe that, then you believe a lie. In fact, the whole idea was that this would very definitively NOT BE a Christian nation. That's how the Constitution was set up: to allow people to live and believe as they want to live and believe. It is the fundamental principle that our nation was founded on.

I find it egregious that people like Trump and Bannon want to eradicate decades worth of work toward actually achieving that goal, not a goal of freedom (though it is that, too) but a goal of equality. I find it even more egregious that "Christians" have embraced their philosophy of hate and discrimination.

So, no, this is not about "politics" for me. It's about standing up for what is right and good. It is right and good that all men and women should be treated as if they were created equally, because that is what we say we believe. To my mind, the ones opposing equality (the racists, the misogynists, xenophobes), they're the ones who are unAmerican. Trump doesn't know or believe in American ideals and he wants to take away and kill the one thing that really has made America great. It's up to those of us whole believe in what "America" stands for to oppose him. It's not about politics.


  1. "It's not really politics that are the problem; it's the politicians."

    We can agree on that, Andrew.

  2. This makes me think back to everything I learned in school and how it had a certain...slant to it. Like, oh yeah, the founding fathers owned slaves...but they didn't want to. They actually wanted to free them! But they couldn't because of the south! Now I realize how that's still a terrible thing, but back then, I didn't know any better. And some people never do. You can't even challenge them without them screaming at you for being a traitor.

    1. Jeanne: Yeah, people don't want to look at the actual facts of, well, anything. Like the FACT that many of the founding fathers (and, really, all of the ones whom we think of as the primary ones) weren't Christians but Deists. It's all the equivalent of putting fingers in your ears and saying, "la la la."

  3. I'm proud of all the protesters at town hall meetings and other events. Allegedly they are paid $1500/week. HA! The protesters are fighting that label, too.


    1. Janie: As I have been saying, if I'm supposed to be some kind of paid protester, I want my money!

  4. Enjoyed your post, Andrew, especially the last two paragraphs! If a city wants to protest and become a Sanctuary city, the Fed Govt won't give them any spending money, and if the newspaper doesn't print the news the Trump way, they get abolished from learning the daily secrets. Why does this sound like a spoiled boy insisting on getting his way?

  5. Getting caught up on your blog. I don't have much to add to this or the other political post. I suppose I should but I'm really tired today. So I'll just say I agree with you, and also the pics continue to be great.

  6. I don't remember learning anything about the Constitution in school...nothing that stuck anyway. It was only college and my own studies that made me understand what a strong yet flexible document it is. I think it would help young people a lot if they had a real understanding of their rights.

    1. RG: I didn't have a conventional education so it probably doesn't mean a lot to say we studied it pretty extensively.
      However, the basics ought to be the kind of thing that is covered in Civics classes.