Friday, August 6

Full disclosure

Just a note because, looking back over the history of this blog, I can see how someone might get the impression that I am a die-hard liberal Democrat.

I'm not.

I am a registered Democrat, but only because I lived for 20 years in Chicago, where (if you're not a Democrat) your vote doesn't really count. Municipal and Congressional elections in Chicago were decided by the Democratic primary; nobody cared who the Republicans ran, because they didn't have a chance.

I am not involved in politics. My business -- and my concern -- is with truth. Real truth, not the kind of half-assed hedging one gets from a Bushite State of the Union reference to uranium.

I believe that the Right and the Left, in this country, have both been blinded by ideology; I believe that they both indulge in a type of magical thinking, a superstitious belief that Things Are Simple, and that Answers Are Easy.

Caine's Law: Everything is more complicated than you think it is.

1st corollary: Anyone who tells you things are simple is trying to sell you something.

For me, that's a truth that cuts across the whole political spectrum. I lean Democratic these days because I truly believe that Kerry and Edwards are more interested in asking the right questions than pretending they have all the answers. I think there's an intellectual honesty that says: This is a problem. I think I might have an answer. Let's try it and see if it works. If it doesn't, we can try something else.

That's where the Republicans are losing my vote. They never seem to be willing to try something else. They're more interested in justifying their mistakes than in actually fixing the problems.

That would be an easy way for them to win my support: Admit they were wrong, and tell me how they're going to fix it.

"Stay the Course" is hypocritical and disastrous, whether we're talking tax cuts, energy policy, or the war in Iraq.

That's truth. As close to it as I can come, anyway.


Anonymous said...

As for what I thought you believed, I was somewhat surprised when you turned out to be as liberal as you are. Which just goes to show that thinking people are not often crammed into cubby holes of stereotype.

(I have found, in many cases, that Caine's viewpoints are incredibly apt. That's part of why _Blade of Tyshalle_ is one of my favorite books. (The rest is the sense that you meant every word and we should trust in your ability to pull it off.) I am in the midst of packing thousands of books; I said, "Caine's dad isn't the only one who needs that macro.")

- Eryn_

HAWKi102 said...

I agree that if something isn't working you gotta CHANGE it or it's never going to work. That's about as basic as can it get.

For example I play golf just about every day and Rule Number One for me is if I'm swinging a certain way and the ball isn't going straight I have to CHANGE something in my swing to get it going straight. I can't keep on swinging the exact same way and expect different results. That the definition of insanity.

Bush plays is he thinking.

Oh btw I'm a republican but I don't agree with Bush. Not anymore.

MWS said...


I find Caine's viewpoints apt too; he's not political, either. He just tries to be honest with himself.

And, yeah: I did mean every word in BLADE. Not just what Duncan says, or Hari, or Kris. Every word.

I'm not a liberal. I'm not even a libertarian. I'm an existentialist pagan Taoist . . . which is not exactly a party affiliation.

Hawkie --

Good for you. One of the things I hate about political parties is the need to Get Behind the Leader. Sometimes I think that both Republicans and Democrats are just goose-stepping to different drummers . . .

Ben said...

"I think there's an intellectual honesty that says: This is a problem. I think I might have an answer. Let's try it and see if it works. If it doesn't, we can try something else."

That's what I want to see too. It's a shame some politicians have lost that ideology that FDR advocated so well during the Depression.

Anonymous said...

"Everything is more complicated than you think it is."

Or, alternately, everything is made more complicated than it is so that such important matters can be left in the hands of those bred, schooled and selected to govern and control poor dumb us.

I believe they call it civilization.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm with you on the logistics of voting democrat this time around. Someone -- I think John Stewart -- said that one of the most infuriating things about the Bush administration is not simply their policies, but the sense of "How dare they question us?" that comes with them. Ignorance is, perhaps, forgivable. Ignorance accompanied by self-righteous defensiveness is not. (There's a great Theodore Roosevelt quote on this matter: "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." No real reason to include it, I just like it. :)

I keep being reminded of the continuous polls being made on the candidates. I remember the poll that showed that people thought Kerry was smarter, but Bush was more decisive . . . at which point I began to wonder about the voters. Who wants a president who's decisive and *ignorant*? In that scenario decisiveness isn't an asset, it's a serious danger. I want a strong president, but he sure as hell better be smart in what he's strong *about*.

Damn politics. At this point I think I'm less pro-democrat and more pro-common sense.

Anyway, on a totally unrelated note, here's a question for you: You live in Illinois, yes? Do you have an opinion of Barack Obama? Honestly, I didn't pay any attention to the man until his keynote speech during the democratic national convention (happily found here --, but the man, quite frankly, blew me away with his sentiment -- and, above all, his sincerity. Given that he's an untested quantity I'm hesitant to rest any sort of hopes on him, but if he's what he appears to be . . . well, maybe there's some hope for politics. If nothing else, I'll be watching his political career with interest.


barb said...

I thought you were from Chicago. But at least you know how to play the game. Just remember--if you don't know who to vote for, according to tradition, pick the names that are either Irish or Polish.

On another note, I loved Shatterpoint. Imagine my surprise when, after finishing the book, I read "About the Author," which says that you go (or went?) to Degerberg. So do I. Ha ha. Because I couldn't go to Dagobah to train, so Degerberg was close enough, I figured.

It also freaked me out because I had been thinking about trying to write a SW novel (even though I went to school for poetry). I was so impressed by Shatterpoint, and when it mentioned DAMA, I thought...coincidence?

I hadn't been going for months because I've been really sick. Your bio helped get me back there.

Whether or not my little dream will be realized, I don't know, but I won't give up either. I'm currently writing something SW-related--waste of time? I don't know. But can't is a 4-letter word, right? ;)

MWS said...

Pleased to make your acquaintance. I'm on hiatus from the Degerberg (until I finish REVENGE OF THE SITH), but I should be back kicking ass around there within a month or so.


barb said...

I'd offer to spar, but I'm only in Blend I. :) It's been great, though, and I've been able to incorporate some of the moves I've learned into the fight scenes in my writing.

Perhaps you'll sign my book?

barb said...

Um...I just wanted to clarify that I understand you're busy--I guess I'm trying to say that I don't want you to feel obligated.

MWS said...

Never fear. I look forward to meeting you there. When I manage to get my aging ass back into class . . .