Whenever hugely eventful history takes place, I delay writing about it in “BIRD” for a few hours, if not a few days, because there’s that abundance thing on the Internet: everywhere, coverage in great details about the eventful history that’s taken place, and me wondering why my journal would, if ever, be read about whatever it is or was. I realize I’m underestimating humanity here, but, rather, on the other hand, I’m acknowledging my own limitations.
I voted for Ronald Reagan for the Presidency, on his first and second campaigns for that Office. I even voted for the first President George Bush, but it was after that that I opted to vote as a Democrat, although I have to really, really work at voting that way.
The years that Reagan was in the Presidency, nearly everyone I knew and worked with, was busy. Working, not being too loudly political, just very busy, being busy. But, then, too, I was working with and among nearly a one-hundred percentile Republican peer environment, and no one that I can recall from those days was even talking about politics except the one, lone Democrat and those who would visit him during those years, looking around them as if they’d walked into some strange and unknown, uneasy land among strange, unknown, eight-feet tall, red, fuzzy things.
I did notice their discomfort then but only realized why the discomfort years later, when I opted to vote as a Democrat and thought back over my years as a voting and among voting Republicans. A random, public person once ebulated to me, at a random, public event, that I should “go work for Governor Brown’s campaign” and I remember being completely startled at the incongruity of the comment, and the person making it. My environment was, for the most part, nearly saturated with Republicans, so no one was talking then about (now, former) Governor Brown (CA), least of all, his campaign for re-election.
There was another Democrat (that made two of them) who I knew and spoke with during those years of Reagan’s Presidency and the general Reagan-CA-eight-to-ten-year-environment, and he lamented Reagan as being “an actor”, someone enacting, pretending the Presidency. It was an eye-opening statement when I first heard it those years ago, something I hadn’t thought of or about before that, that there might really be a hired-hand performer sitting in the White House. But, I thought about it then, and have many times since.
I mention that because I thought back over my life when Reagan was in the White House, and realized how non-political my daily events and thoughts were. I voted for what was safer and most comfortable and in congruity with the people I worked with and knew at that time. It wasn’t until I began voting as a Democrat, that I even knew what political arguments were.
And, about those — political arguments — they’re far worse in and among those who say that they vote as Democrats. I mean, there’s an apparent non-ending scream by the “liberal” voices on the Internet and in our world, even when they make sense. I’m peaked with and about it, truly and really, peaked with the cacophany of naysaying and invective that I read and hear from “liberal” sources, about nearly everyone, including other “liberals.” I write, “liberal” and “liberals” here in parentheticals, because, they’re anything but reserved, moderated well, orderly and purposeful, anything but not tolerant of others, not at all inclusive and the list goes on and on as to why the very term, “liberal,” defies the behavior and general personality by most who call themselves so. Same thing, however, with “conservative” and “conservatives,” indicating further disconnect from the labels.
With Ronald Reagan in office, there wasn’t this disconnect. The labels worked. Not so much an issue about contradictions, as there was about disparities — you were one thing or another, had one position or another, and never the two intermingled, as was more or less exemplified by the fact that among the many hundreds of people I worked with every day for nearly a decade, I can only recall being able to identify two among them as Democrats.
Strangely enough, however — returning to the issue of the two tag lines (“liberal” and “conservative”) — I found to be the most disturbing in this past year the Dean campaigners, ramming and colliding with everyone of other opinion on and all over the Internet, and with Dean himself, lambasting Democrats, and now, even stranger, cozied up to them. What was Dean’s point, again? I can’t remember now. At least, with Republicans, there’s a point, a sense that they’re working together, merging a bit more, following the same vision. With and among nearly all the liberals I read and hear from, it’s all about the negative, but without a hand up, a plan. There’s an abundance of what is wrong, but no idea as to anything else, other than that there should be no conservatives. *Right, now there’s a reasonable plan if I ever heard one.*
So, with Ronald Reagan passing away today — certainly everyone has expected, even anticipated, this day for many years now — I am not so much sad as feeling a sense of relief for his family and caregivers and a sense of history, also a sense of historical wheeling around: Margaret Thatcher issuing a Press Release yesterday, the former and first President Bush on television again, reruns of film footage and reprints of news about Nancy and Ronnie and more, all this day and anticipated to be on most news television for several more days to come. I am also reconsidering what merging means to me, and looking around for where it appears most possible to do so. I’d like to think that there was a point to all this.
And, so, I wish this morning that I could merge easily into one political party. But, I cannot. I cannot support many behaviors and positions by many Democrats, that run contrary to values and reason, even, while I also cannot easily support many positions by many Republicans. What I’m trying to decide, at this point, is which vote will accomplish the greater good, and which will do the most damage, and to follow the first and avoid the latter.
Ronald Reagan, performer or not, as an individual, left our world a while ago, from what I’ve read as to his state of deteriorating health. Under these circumstances, everything we do today and in the days ahead, to honor the man and the life he lived, is for ourselves. He certainly left enough history behind, enough to last many lifetimes to come.
The man said he did his best. I hope so.