Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Confessions of a Poltical Junkie

Today is Election Day in Alaska and I love politics. Love it. I have always been a political junkie. I was the weird kid who, at the age of seven, begged to be allowed to stay up and watch presidential election results. Don’t ask me why I was rooting for John Anderson, but my penchant for iconoclasm revealed itself early. I still take the day off after major elections so I can stay up all night watching the results. Partly, I love the game of it all, but I learned to love the way it can affect and improve people lives, and create history in front of us. Through disillusionment and the switching of teams, I have been passionate about it my whole life.

Even so, sometimes I have to take a break and pull back. I have never been successful at getting myself to not pay attention, but sometimes I have to not care so much. I know that the triumph of evil happens when good people do nothing. I know that apathy helps nothing, but I also wonder about the effect of caring on myself. I pull back when I start to feel like I am spending too much time in anger and despair: Anger at the other side and despair at my own. Regardless of what some might tell you, it is a tough time to be a liberal when even winning elections doesn’t guarantee results. As much as I love Rachel Maddow, I find that I am less happy when I watch her five days a week. I spend more time being upset about things I cannot control. Two or three times per week and I feel informed, but there is a point where it is too much.

So the question is, how to I protect my own mental and spiritual health and still stay well enough enformed to try to make a difference? No, I am not saying I get all my news from Rachel Maddow, but I do find her to be well informed, thoughtful, intelligent, and refreshingly civil. She is also a kick-ass role model for my girls.

As an aside, my most evangelical, Bible-thumping, small government, anti-tax, pro-war, Sarah Palin & Dr. Laura loving, social conservative colleague and I are actually voting the same way on a ballot proposition. I do not believe this has ever happened before in the almost eight years we have worked together. It is like a tiny Election Day miracle.


  1. In the category of Politics as Comedy - did you see that Levi Johnston registered so he can run for office in Wasilla? I guess he figures, if it worked for Sarah...

  2. Oh yes, nothing regarding the Palins can stay a secret for long up here now. I am trying to avoid clicking on any link with the words Palin or Levi in it, but I don't succeed as often as I ought. Why make myself crazy?

  3. May I ask, what was the ballot proposition?

    Thank you for posting these thoughts. For months I've been putting off writing something (very specific) about politics. I think I will eventually write it, and perhaps soon...

  4. DSD - It was a well-intentioned effort to separate special interests and public official, which was short-sighted and unconstitutional.

    It would have prevented any public official from lobbying the state legislature and prohibited public officials and their family members from making direct campaign contributions.

    I will look forward to your politics post.