Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Let's stay friends."

This is what a friend said to me via PM on GitP. The reason? It would seem he disagrees with many of my ideas. They upset him so much that he basically begged my forgiveness in that he refused to comment. And you know what? I'm in agreement with him. If he's going to become so upset with my political views that he becomes angry, then the logical choice is to stay off that topic with him. I often tell people that their feelings cannot be wrong. This is how he feels, so he and I will steer away from such topics.

Besides, he's a super-nice guy, and was there for me during the process of getting to my brother. I value friendships above all. I won't press the matter.

Still, I would like to say something to him, and those who follow my blog. When I delve into the political, I'm merely expressing opinion. Without the opinions of others, there's no way to solidify ideas. They remain theories without practice, and if two people cannot hold a civil debate of an issue, then it seems to me that something in the political process remains broken. It's probably why events leading up to the Second American Revolution were violent in Congress. (House Representative Brooks of South Carolina took a cane to the head of Senator Sumner on 22 May 1856, striking three blows that broke the cane and Mr. Sumner's head. Southerners sent Mr. Brooks new canes.)

It's kind of funny, though, because when he brought it up, my mind flashed back to that joke of a movie, Starship Troopers. There was a brief scene where to commentators were arguing the possibility of "bug intelligence." While the woman was trying to discuss it, her opponent was rambling on about how utterly ridiculous the concept was. To get him to shut up, she stomped on his foot.

Well, my friend's private message was like a stomping on the foot. "I like you. We're friends." *STOMP* "Please discuss other things." (To my friend, who is likely reading this, I am smiling. I am not upset in any way.) There's a reason why politics are taboo on GitP.

Still, I wish my friend was able to convey his ideas without it becoming a rant. It need not be a comment posted on this blog, but an e-mail in which he expresses his own perspectives. I have received a few already from others, and I find their perspectives educational.

I also believe I'm a better listener than, say, Mr. Obama. You see, I finally got a reply from him on my comment about his disabilities agenda. It was the form letter I expected...kinda. I mean, it came with an "exciting" video.

Dear Robert,

Over the coming weeks, thousands of Americans will be leading Health Care Community Discussions -- small local gatherings in which Americans are sharing thoughts and ideas about reforming health care. President-elect Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Tom Daschle are counting on Americans from every walk of life to help identify what's broken and provide ideas for how to fix it.

You can help shape that reform by leading your own Health Care Community Discussion anytime between now and December 31st.

Secretary-designate Daschle recorded a short message about these important discussions. http://change.gov/page/s/hcdiscussion

Secretary-designate Daschle is committed to reforming health care from the ground up, which is why he won't just be reading the results of these discussions -- he'll be attending a few himself.

When you sign up to lead a discussion, we'll provide everything you need to make your conversation as productive as possible, including a Moderator's Guide with helpful tips. All you have to do is reach out to friends, family, and members of your community and ask them to attend -- and, when it's over, tell us how it went. The Transition's Health Policy Team will gather the results of these discussions to guide its recommendations for the Obama-Biden administration.

No transition has tried something like this before, and your participation is essential to our success.

Thank you,

John

John D. Podesta
Co-Chair
The Obama-Biden Transition Project

So...The part where I mention I'd like the newly created position of Ambassador to the People was overlooked. I have been basically told to organize a meeting in my sardine can of an apartment, a place of business that doesn't exist, or a town hall I can't rent. The skeptic in me can't help but read between the lines. "We want to hear from you; we just won't be listening." Secretary-designate Daschle is committed to reforming health care from the ground up, which is why he won't just be reading the results of these discussions -- he'll be attending a few himself. "Why, sure, Mr. Daschle. Come on down to my place, where I'll try to cram fifty people into my tiny cave, and you can listen in on a bunch of people so frustrated with the system that it's liable to start a riot."

Of course, if they were willing to throw a few thousand dollars my way, I could set something up at a town hall, and would even canvas a few neighborhoods with flyers. I want to be proactive. There's a part of me that wants to be part of the system right now. But so far, this "change we can believe in" is business as usual, because a guy barely grasping the bottom wrung of the social ladder with one hand doesn't have it in his power to set up such a meeting.

Any millionaires out there wanna throw me some money to set this thing up?

...

...

I didn't think so. It's depressing enough that only two gifts have come my way thus far, one being from Dad, and the other from a GitPer. Instead of going toward anything I want to do, it's all going toward my monthly needs. I can't even afford the clothes, pots, pans, and dishes I need.

*sigh*

Y'know, I start off some posts with the best of intentions, and they turn into whining sessions. I think my case of Holiday Blues is getting out of control. The old suicidal ideology is starting to come to mind more often, even on my meds, and I'm seriously considering going into hiding for a while until my mind gets itself back in order.

Then again, hiding from my friends isn't something I really want to do. Because I love my friends. I'd be nothing without them.

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