By the time I was in 8th grade, many of my friends parents had been laid off from the steel mills. The raging debate that the unions killed the mills vs. steel dumping from other countries. I heard both sides from many different people, they both were right and they both were wrong. I stayed in the middle. The economy there sucked and everyone wanted to blame president Carter.
A funny thing happened by the time the 1980 election rolled around, I was a Carter fan. I had grown up a little and actually believed then, and still do, that he was a man of integrity. The failure of the Delta Force operation was beyond his control, yet they hung him for that. He admitted lusting in his heart and they hung him for that. I was 15 and quite frankly and knew that any one who says they do not see an attractive person and have a moment of lust is a liar. So those who think that the media has turned in the last few years, it has been going on a lot longer.
We now come to the election of Ronald Reagan, the country moved to the right, I did not. My youthful centrist positions were now left of center. The 80's brought the "Greed is Good" movements, lying Ollie North and the first gang of criminal neocons. Every day of Every year, they kept moving America to the right, I stood fast on my center positions and got further left.
1981 Reagan fires the air traffic controllers of PATCO. Now as a centrist, I can see him calling this illegal and demanding they return to work as peoples lives are at stake; but firing them is just union busting. The same shit I saw go on with the mills.
1983 brought Graduation, the bombing of the embassy in Lebanon, invasion of Granada, and me joining the Marines. The centrist in me mourned the loss of life in Lebanon and I was pissed. The Marines were there as peacekeepers and died. The centrist in me wondered why the hell we were going into Granada. The cynic in me now sees a pattern for electing Republicans. Middle East and War, a platform is born.
1984 I am finally old enough to vote. I am sitting there getting ready to fill out my absentee ballot when our platoon Sgt. says something so revolting I almost puked. "I know you are going to all vote for Reagan because you all know the Republicans are the ones who care about the military!" Ummm, Fuck you. I may have signed away most of my rights as a citizen to serve, but my vote is my vote. Still staying center, the country turning harder to the right.
In the 22 years since then, the lemmings that call me names have gone further and further right even though I have not moved. This is why I am now the fringe left. I still believe that taxes should be low; but everyone should shoulder the burden. I still believe that military service is noble; but war is and should be the last resort. I still believe that we should take care of our own before others. I believe that those who serve deserve our respect even though we disagree why they are there. I believe in the separation of Church and State; but a Christmas tree or Menorah on the town square hurts no one. I still believe we can be the greatest country on earth; but I mourn for what they have done to her. I believe in the Constitution and the rights guaranteed to us there in. I believe in a small government footprint; but that footprint should be for the common good and not in someone's bedroom. I believe in a woman's right to choose; but I believe in SAFE, LEGAL and RARE. I believe in Democracy not Theocracy.
I am proud enough to know if they are pissing on my leg, I will not fall for the "It's Raining" gag. I am proud that they will never be able to drag me over to the dark side. I am proud to be part of the loony left. I am proud to be a Kossack.