Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Who is she to write about politics?

At one time I was the real deal-- the proverbial soccer mom-- until my kids grew up. Now my grandkids are beginning to play soccer; so maybe it's soccer grandma. It will come as no shock to any regular readers that I am a registered democrat who regularly votes. In 2004, my family donated money to the Democratic party for the first time ever to any political party hoping to keep Bush from a second term.

Once upon a time I voted for the man rather than the party. That was in those days before one party got a lock on power. I am one of those who likes gridlock where neither party can shove through their own agenda but instead must work together. I'd be happy if a third party became viable. I am not sure that is possible given the lock the two-party system seems to have on power. Well it was two-party, not sure right now what it is-- nor am I certain what Republicans or Democ
rats stand for given the way money has so corrupted our system.

In terms of expertise, I have no degree in political science, nor am I a lawyer... Nope, no MBA either. I majored in education when I was in college-- way way back. I don't watch network television to get my news, and don't regularly watch cable TV either. I read newspapers (with conservative and liberal bents), political books, go to websites where politics are analyzed. Frequently I peek in at World Net Daily, a conservative, Christian online newspaper, to see their take on things and always take time to add my view to their poll results. I worry the most when I am with the majority on a question-- which does happen once in a great while.

From the time I was a little girl, the 'why' of things mattered to me. I was and am one of those always questioning-- leaving my friends to ask why be so analytical or say you're looking too deep. I can't argue with them, but it's how I am. It might go with the territory of writing and art. In art my interest has always been in sculpting or painting people. I am curious at the reasons behind things. That is both a gift and a curse.

For lifestyle, I am unorthodox in my spiritual beliefs, am a rural living and animal loving woman, who has raised two kids who are currently raising three of their own. I come from a union family where most everybody was Democrat. Even then politics was a hotly discussed topic not only from my parents, but at most family gatherings. My own children grew up hearing political debates in their home, being encouraged to vote as soon as they were legally able. We don't agree on all issues and still carry on those spirited discussions.

Until the Bush people got into power, I would have called myself a moderate. My political positions, while firm, are not those of one side or the other. It irks me when some say a modera
te is washy-washy. It's no such thing. A moderate is actually an independent thinker. Because the party they generally vote for believes one way or the other won't make them do likewise. To me a moderate is one who chooses positions based on their personal life and beliefs-- not what someone else tells them they should support.

As two short examples of what being moderate means for me (would be different for others)-- I am for the death penalty in certain types of crimes, but also for choice in early abortions. I am not for free choice through the entire length of a pregnancy. I am a gun owner who has a concealed weapon permit and very strongly supports right to bear arms but don't think ordinary citizens should be allowed to own machine guns or assault rifles.

Naturally over the next month I will be writing more about my political opinions. I believe that just because we inherited a wonderful place to live, doesn't mean it'll always stay that way. We have to stand up for what we believe, sometimes sacrifice and stay alert that the values we hold dearest are not sucked away by those who only value power.

Sometimes in seeking power, people lose track of where they're heading, what they have sold to get it. Sometimes a country can do the same thing. I believe to stay grounded in world like ours takes constant reassessing. In any nation, there are always those ready to tell us what to think if we haven't taken the time to figure it out for ourselves.

When I tried to think of a photograph to illustrate who I believe I am but in a broader sense what I believe my country stands for, one choice became obvious. It was taken 8 years ago on the Metolius River in Central Oregon. My children were taken to this place from infancy, and the day the above picture was taken I had the opportunity to be there with my first grandchild. This photograph represents a continuity of love for nature and the beauty of life in a country that I will always cherish.

Incidentally, I was born 63 years ago today. I was fortunate enough to be born to parents who wanted me, who taught solid values by the example of their lives. When I was a toddler, they moved us to a farm where my brother was born. There wasn't ever a lot of money, but they taught
us through the way they lived that money wasn't as important as other things.

They have both passed to the other side now, but I am grateful and thank them for the start they gave me, for all they added to my life. The continuity of life is one of its wonders.

(This last picture shows my roots as well as anything could. That's my brother and me cooling off in a cattle watering tank.)

16 comments:

Winston said...

Happy 63rd! You've caught up with me, at least for a couple of months.

Youre political posts have been great! Keep it up. I'm trying to gear myself to do the same. And so are others Like JohnB at:
http://blogmeridian.blogspot.com/

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU RAIN...
I think what you are doing on your blog these days is really wonderful and inportant, too! What better place to talk about what you feel and think about the way things are in our beloved country right now. Three Cheers To You,My Dear...
And thanks so much for your very thoughtful sesnitive comment on my post today....I wish California had the same law on the books.

Dick said...

Happy Birthday! I am almost a month older than you with my Sep 10th birthday.

I often feel so disinfranchised with politics, at least on the national level and often at the state level. But I'd be a fool to not bother to vote, so I will. We, the public, just don't seem to have a chance to vote on quality candidates. I once head that the selection of our president might eventually come down to a national lottery where the looser was stuck with the job. Maybe. Hopefully he/she would be limited to only one term.

robin andrea said...

Happy Birthday (a day late!), rain. Such a fantastic post. I'm with you on your moderate stance. I feel the same way. It takes courage to be a moderate. The fringes get all the attention and make the most noise, but it will be the moderates who will save our country from ruin.

I cast my first vote in 1972 for George McGovern. It was a moment I will always remember. I've got my fingers crossed for this November. I wish it wasn't a sordid scandal to take the republicans down with all the other high crimes and misdemeanors they have committed, but if that's what it takes, so be it.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Rain, happy belated birthday! I love the picture of you with the grandbaby--and the picture of you and your brother as kids. My own upbringing was similiar to what you describe. Though a registered Democrat, until Bush became president, I voted for the man, I must admit. And now I don't even know anymore. In spite of his shenanigans, Bill Clinton seems like a dream president. As for torture, I got gaggy reading your post and realized all the fight has gone out of me. I know what I personally believe (basically I'm a pacifist), but I just can't address these issues directly because there is a darkness there--a spiritual darkness that feels like evil in the name of conservative Christianity. Have you seen the documentary Jesus Camp? I saw it reviewed on TV tonight and I couldn't watch that either. I'm rambling, but I'll be visiting more often this week than I have been this past week.

Alan G said...

Indeed...

Best Wishes and Happy Birthday Rain!

I'm an October born person myself or Scorpio if you prefer. I hit the big 65 in a couple of weeks.

Brian said...

Happy belated birthday! I'm an October 7 baby myself. We Librans are sooooo balanced. Aren't we? (we question everything, even our Libra-ness).

Mary Lou said...

Happy Birthday to YOU
Happy Birthday to YOU

Happy BIRTHDAY dear RAAAIIIN!
Happy Birthday to you!

Joy Des Jardins said...

Happy belated birthday Rain. I was out of town for my daughter's wedding....right on your birthday...October 7th. I'll consider that VERY good luck. I hope you had a wonderful day dear Rain.

Ingineer66 said...

Happy late birthday Rain. Looks like You have been very busy writing.
I have one political question. Aren't the emails part of Foley's personal life and didnt we learn under Clinton that a politicians personal life has nothing to do with the job they are doing. Appears to me that politics are politics and it doesnt matter which party it is.

Rain said...

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes. :)

and ingineer, clinton faced impeachment for consensual sex with adults. Are you saying that teen-age boys 16 should be made legal bait for old men to go after? These boys were there in an environment that their parents felt was safe. He circled them like a wolf, courted them and waited until they turned 18 to get sexual from the sounds of it. Is that okay with you if it was your son?

Consensual sex with adults is nobody else's business in my opinion which means if Bush was, as some suspect, having some kind of relationship with condoleeza, it's between him, his wife and Rice. Not saying they are but I'd just say it should be nobody's business when it's an adult.

and foley might not have a crime problem with what he did except for the law about soliciting youths over the internet. Time will tell if that comes into play.

Ingineer66 said...

I think Foley is a scum bag just like I think Bill Clinton and Barney Frank are scum bags. They all had inappropriate contact with subordinate interns. And just for the record the age of sexual consent in Washington DC is 16. So Foley was no different than Clinton except so far it looks like Foley didnt actually have sex.
If 1% of Congress are pedophiles that would be 5. I would bet that it may be more than that.

Rain said...

Having raised two kids, I do not see that a man having sex with my daughter when she's over 21 (and in the case of monica already sexually very experienced) is the same thing as trying to seduce her at 16-- legal or not. I wouldn't have said that foley was a pedophile. I'd have called him a pervert to take advantage of young people, many sexually inexperienced and using his position of power to do it.

It makes no sense to keep bringing Clinton into every discussion. He did pay a huge penalty for what he did-- with an adult woman who had had earlier affairs. I don't know what Barney Frank did, have heard nothing about him and boys.

Ingineer66 said...

You know I bring Clinton up just to get your goat because I know when I talk about him you always comment about it. :-)

Something from Yahoo News:
In 1983, then-Democratic Rep. Gerry Studds of Massachusetts was caught in a similar situation. In his case, Studds had sex with a male teenage page -- something Foley hasn't been charged with.

Did Studds express contrition? Resign? Quite the contrary. He rejected Congress' censure of him and continued to represent his district until his retirement in 1996.

In 1989, Rep. Barney Frank, also of Massachusetts, admitted he'd lived with Steve Gobie, a male prostitute who ran a gay sex-for-hire ring out of Frank's apartment. Frank, it was later discovered, used his position to fix 33 parking tickets for Gobie.

What happened to Frank? The House voted 408-18 to reprimand him -- a slap on the wrist. Today he's an honored Democratic member of Congress, much in demand as a speaker and "conscience of the party."

In 2001,
President Clinton, who had his own intern problem, commuted the prison sentence of Illinois Rep. Mel Reynolds, who had sex with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer and pressured her to lie about it. (Reynolds also was convicted of campaign spending violations.)

You get the idea. Democrats not only seem OK with the kind of behavior for which Foley is charged, but also they protect and excuse it. Only when it's a Republican do they proclaim themselves shocked -- shocked! -- when it comes to light.

Rain said...

The reason the foley story is a big deal is because the republicans run as the party of god. they run as though if you are a person of faith, who else could you vote for? But then they covered this up. It's not about foley. It's about the cover up and those who knew what was going on and hid it. Would you like your 16 year old son being there in that environment? Most folks would prefer kids figure out their sexual identity without the help of adult men or women.

Democrats are a lot more forgiving of sexual sin in themselves and their leaders.

As for Barney Frank, fixing something using your political power is wrong but it's certainly done all across the country with both parties. He got censured, you said. Isn't that enough and who cares who he lives with???

Foley resigned of his own accord. i would doubt the Republicans would have kicked him out unless it was to protect themselves right now. Any other time and they'd do what they did for years with Foley-- look the other way.

One of the Washington gays had a good piece on this and he said he doesn't see gays who live openly doing stuff like Foley. It's the ones who are in the closet that do the weird stuff.

For years, I have said that Democrats screw each other and Republicans screw the rest of us. I prefer people who live open with their sexuality and don't subvert it into starting wars or making fortunes as a way to make up for what they secretly wish they were doing.

Ingineer66 said...

I agree with everything you said in your last post. :-)