I was asked to leave the Democratic HQ today.
We're back to work on Monday, but apparently I am an agitator. Officially, arguments are prohibited specially if they will inhibit work from being done. Everyone was listening--everyone in the crowded office stopped for 3 and a half minutes while I laid down my Indie, French Resistance-inspired, Libertarian ideas while simultaneously condemning their in-office appraisal of ridiculous and illogical views of politics.
I like these people. We have a sense of pride about the work that we're doing, and camaraderie has built up around these feelings. We tell stories and swap bad jokes. There is Budweiser in the mini-fridge. The men and women poke jokes about gender, Republicans, and high-priced hookers. We rib on one of the bosom buddies who walked around the corner for a 7 dollar haircut that should have been a shave. We don't pretend and we all get along. What hurts me is hearing easy complacency when it comes to discussing government and politics. You can use asinine games to shield or shovel anyone you like. To borrow a phrase from the Times, "to be ready for Washington, you've got to be ready to play where destroying people is sport."However, political discussions between non-candidates should refrain from turning personal and instead carefully scrutinize the real matters ignored by media or campaign strategists eager to push their product.
If you've been to non-televised meetings, Democrats and Republicans have no trouble saying awful things about each other without any care for what detractor might be listening. 'The other guy is your enemy, and in the comfort of that circle any detractor will be devoured.' This is what I was talking about in the last post. When there is a mass of people surrounding you, nerves or lust might make any human talk up a mob. That honor or integrity are tossed aside matter little to a bunch of cannibals. There is no reaction in all the Earth like that animal pulse of blood.
However, the mob talk should stop inside the headquarters of the party which you give allegiance. There should be some bastion where people talk in real terms about their country and their government. It shouldn't be confined to a few friends over wine. We should take strong considerations to how we direct people's views of a candidate's character, foreign policy experience, brilliance of mind. No one is going to tattle on the other side for giving the truer version of what will be possible, what hits we'll have to take, and how feasible pushing through either President's agenda may be.
Today I was the lone Obama supporter working to clean-up the caucus mess. I had to hear people talk about what kind of person they are or what kind of person they'd like to be without offending their right to think this is talking politics. Simply adding a candidate's name in a dialog about characterization does mean you know how to engage in a political discussion. I tired of waiting for Precinct chairs to call me back. I did not mention Obama or Clinton or McCain. I see the point of keeping the work going, but my fear is that when you get past what a person feels about politics, there is no further progress to be expected out of them.
I've just begun talking about what is broken in this country.
Ask more of me. Ask more of each other.
And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, "We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse"
Sing it to me now...