Reading around the blogs has been interesting, to say the least, the past 24 hours.
The talking point for yesterday: Reagan is dead, commence pissing. And they all pulled down their flies and let go. From the look of things, they had been holding that in for years, doing a child's pee-pee dance in front of the Reagan Library, just waiting for the right moment to relieve their poisoned bladders.
The sub-talking point: Reagan caused 9/11. What's funny about this is for the two and half years, all these people were saying that Bush I and Bush II caused 9/11. I don't recall Reagan making an appearance in too many of those screeds on how Americans defeated themselves. Also, Blame must be some strange, mutated disease that flows through presidencies but skips right over Democrats. Both Bushes caught the Blame. Now Reagan has caught it posthumously. Skipped right over Clinton, it did. Interesting, because he showed a lot of the symptoms.
Looks like I caught some disease as well. One former friend calls it selfishness. An email received from an irate lefty last night contained the phrase self-centered. For some reason, they think my politics should define them and not me. How's that for selfishness?
They ask me to defend my "hero worship" of Reagan in light of his response to the AIDS crisis. They are some of the same people who ask me to defend my support of Bush in light of his views on gay marriage. The question I ask is this: Why do I have to defend my political views to your beliefs?
When I was growing up, I was taught that politics was a very personal thing. You didn't ask people who they voted for. You didn't talk about politics in front of people who were known to combust at the slightest provocation. You didn't ask people why they were pro this or against that. My parents considered it rude to ask people to defend their choices because each choice made by a voter or constituent was personal.
While I no longer subscribe to the idea that politics are not for debating (obviously), I still believe that politics are personal. Most people vote with themselves and their families in mind. I suppose they hero-worship the same way. What one man considers greatness, another considers a failing. And even if your hero has some failings, the fact that he saved those seven kids from an overturned school bus makes those failings fade into the background. The life saver may, in his spare time, run a sweatshop, but if he saved your child, that sweatshop will matter not.
Well, that analogy is going nowhere. Let's try being honest.
Reagan saved me from fear. Reagan delivered me from evil. Reagan made the nightmare of the Russians go away. That changed my life, changed my views and forever altered my perception of America, the world and my future. So of course I honor the man. Of course I look back at his presidency as one that gave me hope and promise.
I don't agree with everything he did or said, just as I don't agree with everything Bush does or says. But the things I do agree with, they are big. Huge. Looming. They are the things that are important to me and impact my life and future. Political views are inherently selfish. To claim that your vote is cast with the good of every single human being in mind is dishonest. Your bottom line is gay marriage. Mine is war. At least I'm open about being the center of my own universe when it comes time to vote. You can cloak your vote in the "good for mankind" mantra, but when you pull that lever, it's all about you. Once you realize there's nothing wrong with that, you'll learn to be honest about it.
I can't base my politics and beliefs around what is right for you. To expect me to do so is real selfishness. Thanking someone for putting a stop the cold war and loving them for doing that is not being self absorbed. However, expecting me to join you in pissing on my own heros because they don't live up to your expectations is the height of self absorption. Everyone has their needs, wants and beliefs. If mine do not coincide with yours, so be it. That's what makes the world a varied place. Learn to live with the difference in views rather than bully people into seeing the world through your eyes.
That said, I admit that I can't fault people for their beliefs. I can, however, fault the way they choose to make those beliefs known. A nation mourns a president and the left pulls down their flies in a giddy pissing contest to see who can release the most venom. This is a triumph for them. The "devil" is dead and he died early enough so as not really impact the election!
And they call me selfish.