Sunday, December 17, 2006

The state of things, part 1

It's been awhile since I've had anything to say. After November 7th, I had a lot of thinking to do and I so a took a personal sabbatical from the political world. I figured, if I want to say things intelligibly, I had better make sure that I've got things together before I say them.

I was both delighted and saddened by the events of Nov. 7. I was delighted that on the federal level, liberals were able to take control of congress. I was saddened to watch Idaho elect such strange candidates.

However, I see no point in anymore brooding -- it's time to move on.

Here are the state of things: the BYU-Idaho College Democrats are weak.

It pains me to to say it, but it's true. When I first started all of this, my intention was to usher in a new political utopia at BYU-I. Despite what my actions and mistakes may have said, my intention was to see what a two party system on a campus with BYU-I's demographic would be like. Here's what I was hoping:
  1. I hoped that at BYU-I, students would be able to be different than the world when approaching politics. It appears to me, that many view politics as useless, corrupt and dirty. I hoped that by virtue of the applied faith at BYU-I that it would be different. What I found was this: if it was different, it was manifested with apathy. Otherwise, it was politics as usual.
  2. I hoped to make friends of the BYU-I College Republicans. Through a series of mistakes by both groups, this hasn't happened. I envisioned friendly debate, I envisioned cooperation, I envisioned bi-partisanship, I wanted pure intelligence.
  3. I wanted to extinguish the apathy I believe was caused by the the lack of political diversity.
None of these things have happened to my satisfaction. Granted, we are only a little more than a year old, but our foundation is weak and I continue to see more and more cracks forming.

Here are the reasons I believe this has happened:
  1. While we are Democrats, and we are liberal, we are not gay baby killers. We have not convinced anyone of this.
  2. My strength of will has snuffed out potential leaders. Thus far, I have been the force keeping the College Democrats together. This isn't acceptable, and it shows just how weak we are. I wonder sometimes what would happen to the College Democrats if I disappeared. While this comment seems egotistical in nature, I have yet to see evidence of the same commitment from any other College Democrat, with the exception of a few, and I mean a few.
  3. We are lazy. I KNOW there are many like minded students on campus. Yet, we have been unable to inspire those students to participate. This is our greatest weakness. There is no point in having a political party without support from it's members.
I still have hope that these things will improve, but I will address solutions in another post. I'd like to change gears and address something different.

I believe both parties have failed America, both have deceived in a myriad of ways it's members, and that there is a changing tide.

I spurn anyone who has blind allegiance to their party. I personally could never be a zealot for the Democratic party. I am a free thinker, I don't believe either party has all of the answers or the resources to come up with those answers. I don't believe the barrage of rhetoric and promises that come from both parties and I'm amazed at how many people fall for either party's propaganda -- myself included to some extent.

Blake, if you believe that the Democratic Party could use someone of your conservative persuasion, I hope they don't kick you out. While I'm confident that the BYU-I College Democrats will fully accept you and listen to you, I'm not certain of your future on the national scale -- if you seek that. You are a true conservative and I respect that. I believe and hope that you can have great positive influence on the Democratic Party, I just hope the Democratic Party can deal with you.

With my experience in this past campaign, my conservative leanings were met with intelligent consideration from the Brady for Idaho campaign. I hope that this attitude is being infused into the National Party. In this past election period, a whole slew of "conservative Democrats" were elected to Congress. This tells me that perhaps the National Party has realized that they cannot hope to have influence while also exclusively catering to the far-left. I wish the Republican Party would quit wooing the neocons.

Let me wrap up this boring blog. Blake, you have a great mind. You are moral and you are realistic. In my opinion, if you want a safe political career, you should follow Joe's advice. But be prepared to be passed over as many paleocons have been.

I'm not saying that you have an opportunity to make the Democratic Party conservative. I don't want you to. But, there are a variety of issues where the Dems could be more effective by being more conservative one those issues. Lastly, I now believe that one of the biggest myths is that issues are either left or right. The truth is, the vast majority of issues are neither liberal nor conservative.

Just food for thought... could be junk food though.


RightDemocrat said...

Good points. Democrats can become the dominant political party by moving to the center on social issues, taking a populist stand on economic matters and a tough approach regarding national security. The Republicans have failed to make us safer from the threat of terrorism and this provides a window of opportunity for our party to seize the issue.

We need to make the Democratic Party the party of middle and working class families.
If Democrats can champion the interests of working Americans while moving away from fringe stands on social issues, we can become a 50 state party once again.

Blake Roberts said...

Thank you for the compliments Peter, they mean a lot to me.

To be honest, I don't think the Democratic Party can really use someone of my "conservative persuasion." My current ties to it exist because I was asked, I wouldn't volunteer for it. As for the meetings, I attend because I enjoy them, not to try and influence anyone.

You and Joe are right, it would be better for me politically and career wise to cut ties with one, and sail with the other. But I have no political aspirations. I don't want to hold office.

Beyond that, what I am doing may result in problems down the road should I want to work on someone's staff.

Unfortunately, Paleocons are a dying breed. Most Americans do not feel the same way we do about how things should and shouldn't be done. In short, my views are no longer politically safe (most would view them as being to far right of the center to be a strong national candidate).

And so Peter, I find myself too alienated from the Democrats on social and economic views to side with them; while at the same time being left behind by a Party that has chosen a different path.

I believe the two party system to be the best, so I will not join a third party.

So I ask, what am I supposed to do?

The only answer I can find that I feel right about is to hope for change, to work for change, and to do the best I can to live my conscience. If I do that, then let the chips fall where they may, I did my best to do what was right.

Blake Roberts said...

By the way, I like the changes you made to the site, it's a lot better looking.

Mataiwaizu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mataiwaizu said...

Hey Whats up I just got in Rexburg back from Fall break. I look forward to going to some politcal meetings this semester.

Peter you made great points in the post. Personally I feel that apathy towards politics on campus and nation wide is one of the biggest challeges.
Personally I attend both partys on campus. I feel that I can listen to other veiws and just be happy that they feel something or are thinking about the issues at least. Of course its always good to meet someone with similar veiws and or really great critical thinking about the issues.
I wish the politcal utopia that you envisioned could come about too.
I like what Blake said about doing your best to change things.
I too am a party less. But I tend to like others who like politics and know something about the issues.

Thanks for all your hard work.