Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Letter of Introduction

September 29, 2011

Dear Reader,

Greetings and Salutations. Here in these letters you will find my opinions on United States politics. I try to keep it simple. I post when I feel the need to write something to someone. I encourage comments and civil discourse and in general despise stupidity.

A bipoliticalist, simply put, it is a person who's views align with different aspects of both political parties (Democrat and Republican obviously). My favorite definition is actually from the non-scholarly, but sometimes accurate Urban Dictionary and is the one I choose to use:

Bi-political - Somebody who sees the upsides and downsides to both the Republican and Democratic parties. Not necessarily a person who falls in the middle of the spectrum, rather one who has views that align and conflict with both major US political parties.

It has nothing to do with either sexual orientations or apathetic dismissal of making a decision on issues. In my mind its a logical stance. You should be both supportive and critical of your politicians and representatives. You should encourage them to support the issues that are important to you and oppose those that you disagree with. This is the basis for my opinions and political stance.

The parties are arbitrarily divided. They divide themselves based on issues and ideologies, supporters, religion, and sources of money and influence. There are "radicals" within each party and "moderates".
Even within the major parties there is division. Often the moderates in both agree on many things that their own radical colleagues don't agree to. It's much more complicated then that of course, but that's the gist of it.

A bipolitical supporter might easily be dismissed as a moderate or a bipartisan advocate. This is inaccurate. I might passionately support an issue championed by one party, even their radical elements, while being at odds with more moderate viewpoints of that party, and vice-verse for the other party. I can't mold myself to fit the existing arbitrary party divisions, so I choose. The parties might arbitrarily divide themselves, but I don't have to do that to myself.

So do I just pick and choose what I like? Supporting random issues like a floundering fish or a political buffet table? Giving support only when it is convenient or easy? No. I support those things that are deeply important to me. Those that I find to be valuable and important in a very personal way. The problem is they may not flow neatly across a party line or into pre-existing groups. It is naive to think the parties serve everyone. No party or representative will align perfectly with their supporters, but many people decide to throw their support behind someone who is "good enough".

For example, I don't believe people should vote based solely on what party the politician is in. I don't just check all the "R's" on the ballot and leave. This requires more work on my part to do my patriotic duty. I have to critically examine each option I am given. I look at all the canidates, their personal life, their public records, their claims and goals. I have to make the tough decision about who I think is going to be the most ethical and upright canidate, who shares my views, and who I would trust to represent me.

I think in some ways it might be easier to be a radical or a fanatic. Basing their vote and support off of very narrow and specific views and then choosing to ignore the rest. Or worse, being easily swayed by simple propaganda and buzz-words and not thinking things through at all. While I understand perfectly the strategic advantage of throwing support behind one powerful group or another in order to gain an advantage. To pass some of the laws you agree with, while just accepting the ones you don't. I feel being a good citizen requires more than this. If you think things are "politics like usual," or "all the parties/politicians are the same corrupt assholes," or "who can fight against all that money and media influence," you are wrong.

I would rather support a good candidate who I think deserves a position of responsibility, who will use it properly, even if we don't agree on some issues, then give my vote to someone I suspect is acting in greedy or corupt ways. I believe there are those who deserve a chance. If we don't at least try to cut through the miss-information and media games, then we are doing ourselves a disservice. I have no respect for people who vote and act blindly, without thinking, and support a party or politician without any consideration. It is ultimately the American people who put their politicians in place and if there are problems, it is our job as overseers of the elected to make sure they hear our complaints or remove them.

I choose to both criticize and support groups, people, and ideologies from both major parties. I don't think bipoliticals will ever be a powerful political force (we are mostly just dismissed as fringe voters), but I can act in a personally ethical way and express my opinions, support people who I agree with, and vote in a way I don't regret.

So, welcome to the Bipoliticalist Letters. I intend to express my opinion freely. I will talk candidly about the major political parties, ideologies, politicians, media personalities, issues, and anything else that I feel passionately about that fits this political theme. I make no promise to be nice, but I will try to be interesting and most likely satirical on occasion. I have no doubt I will find things to express, we are after all heading into the presidential election of 2012 soon, and it looks to be a doozey. I apologize in advance.


The Bipoliticalist Letter Writer

p.s. This is rather long. I'll try to keep them shorter. Maybe.

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