All My Blasphemies

As a citizen with a political bent, I'm occasionally asked why I don't run for Congress or some other public office.  I find the suggestion flattering but unrealistic.  The reality is that someone like me has zero political future.

Oh it's not that I have deep dark skeletons in my closet.  Actually I'm probably about as squeaky clean as a modern person could be.  A grandmother married 41 years, two kids, same employer for 30 years, lived in the same house since 1978, nothing worse than a speeding ticket, never been sued or accused of anything at all.  I don't cuss and I haven't been diagnosed with any of the full menu of psychiatric possibilities in the DSM IV (though I'm hopeful about the new DSM V).

What I am is a blasphemer.  A big time one too.  It's not just that I don't belong to a church or synagogue.  No, much worse than that.  I not only don't go, I'm not willing to start going to advance my political career.  And I refuse to talk about my religious beliefs publicly, a surefire suspicious state of affairs.  But if religious belief were America's only sacred cow, I might stand a chance.  Unfortunately for me, there are other things held sacred in America.  And I'm the antichrist of them all.

In the wake of the latest mass shooting by a citizen armed to the teeth -- but fully in line with current weapons laws -- not a single prominent politician (and certainly neither of the presidential candidates) is willing to stand up and suggest that AK-47s might not deserve the Good Housekeeping seal of approval.  I would.  And the NRA would promptly show me the door.  I'd then spend the rest of my term shouting "but I'm not a traitor, I'm not!" 


No politician dare question the venerability of football or other sports either.  How many times have you seen politicians (usually women) ridiculed for not staying up to date on their hometown teams, players and mascots? How in the world can you trust our government's trillion-dollar enterprise to anyone who can't tell a nickel back from a quarterback? Alas, I've been known to suggest that football and basketball are "just games" or that education should come first or that grown men should not look back on their high school team experience as the "best days of my life".

Even bigger blasphemy.

I am a free trade opponent too.  I believe in tariffs and in protecting domestic industries.  I believe in trading with other nations but not in mechanisms that encourage American companies to outsource their factories to islands of cheap labor, lax environmental controls and low taxes.

Haven't heard many politicians in the past twenty years oppose free trade.  How did Ross Perot do?

And I don't believe that private industry has a God-given right to extract resources from public lands.  Whether we're talking about timber, cattle grazing, mining or oil drilling, there's nothing sacred about private corporate access to resources that belong to all of us.  Timber used to be sold at less than what it cost the Forest Service to prepare the land for logging.  There is zero charge to oil companies for drilling deep water wells.  They get all that oil royalty-free.  And guess who pays to clean up the messes?

In Southern Oregon, suggesting anything but free access to federal timber is blasphemous.

I'd also be open to nationalizing certain monopolistic businesses.  The banks that are "too big to fail" are also too big to be independent. (See Too Big to Regulate).  Energy -- nuclear plants, electricity generation and distribution, oil drilling -- is too vital to be left to those only interested in the bottom line.  Railroads, once the lifeline for our nation and still one of the best ways to move freight and people, should be publicly owned.  Schools, well it goes without saying.  Prisons? Oh please.  And how about the military? Who in the world thought privatizing our armed forces would be a good idea?

See?  Not only a blasphemer but could be a commie.

I also don't believe that technology holds the answers to the big problems that plague us, be they public education, climate change, energy conservation, economic growth or human health.  Now I like technology just fine and I find many of our new technological innovations fascinating.  But I've yet to meet the child who learned to read from a computer, the global problem resolved by a tweak of machinery, the exciting new energy source that saved us from having to actually cut back on our wastefulness, the new industry that fueled high employment and general well-being or the new medicine or medical procedure that allowed us to continue abusing our bodies in all the unnatural ways we do.  No, technology brings us exciting communication and transportation opportunities (and spam, hackers, the TSA's porn machines and a complete erosion of privacy).  It can do wonders in small ways.  But I'm not holding out for Exxon to invent the spill-stopper or for Merck to market the cure for the common cold.  I actually believe all of us have to work together to accomplish big things.  Together.  Work.

I have others.  I DO believe in political correctness.  I DO believe people should talk about religion and politics at the dinner table.  I DO believe children should have unsupervised time, even though they might get in trouble or scrape their knees. I even believe that science is a better source for understanding our world than Fox News.  And I'd never be willing to miss a vote to pander to a major campaign contributor.

See?  I can't run for office.  Americans don't vote for blasphemers.


  1. It's really too bad people like you can't get elected. You've got my vote.

    1. Thank you. I'll be happy with my one write-in.

  2. Heck, sounds good to me! Blasphemy be damned!

    1. It will be much nicer burning in Hell together.

  3. Excuses be damned, run Linda run, you got my vote two.
    BTW, nothing wrong with unaffiliated, and open-minded....


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