I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Politics Matter, But...

As the latest political scandals are being discussed, people who know me might be surprised to find out how little I actually know about them. In fact, I've followed politics less in the last year than at any time during the last fifteen years of my life.

Politics matter. Politicians make law, develop foreign policy, declare war, and set tax rates. And they represent us—both here and abroad. So, for all of these reasons, and more, all of us have a vested interest in what our leaders do.

So, why do I am showing less of an interest now? Part of the reason has to do with my political persuasion. I'm galaxies away from the Democratic Party and I'm planets away from the Republican Party, so I don't have a political home. Another reason is the rise of neoconservatism, which I despise. And my work is keeping me busier than ever. Factor in all of these things, plus a need for downtime and a need for a social life, and you have a person who is becoming less informed by the day.

That doesn't thrill me because I think an informed citizenry is a must to keep any government accountable and because I believe being informed is a God-ordained responsibility. But with governing bodies being in session for a large portion of each year, rather than occasionally gathering like they should, a person almost has to consider it a part time job just to keep up with it all.

A couple of years ago, during my political blogging days, I ran across a blog that I really enjoyed called The Boileryard. It's anchored by a guy who takes on the persona of a dead-ball era baseball player named Boileryard Clarke. We've traded e-mails over the past couple of years and while we come at politics from different angles, we hold many of the same views and I've come to highly respect his ability to articulate his positions.

The Boileryard is still up and running. In fact, Clarke has a whole team of people who write from different political points of view. But he wrote a post this past December that nailed the way I was feeling about politics at the time. Here's part of what he said: "I think my political viewpoint, characterized largely by a bothersome echo from the pre-WWII days of the America First Committee, a complete mistrust of even a whisper of a hint of marginal socialism, and a total revulsion of what the New Left has done to make Classical Liberalism into Ultimate Statism, is sufficiently obscure to warrant an endless rehashing of the points of contention to every new face I meet."

Eventually, that led him to ask this: "And so what is important to a person?"

Here's his conclusion: "In the last two years netpilot [another writer on the site] and I have found what is important, really. The faces of our grandchildren are important. Their hugs are important. Friends are important. Our wives. Our own children. Music in the morning. Making other people smile is important. Life, minus the fist-shaking and anger and suspicion of others we don't understand, is important."

I doubt if Boileryard Clarke will ever really stop following politics or engaging in friendly political debate, but I think he's on to something regarding the importance of children, spouses, friends, music, and smiles. I started Little Nuances for all of the same reasons. Neither of us knew what the other person was thinking when we both started new blogs (his latest endeavor is called Chasing Vincenzo), but we are both paying a little more attention to other important things, besides politics, and I'm guessing that he is just as happy as I am with the decision.


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