The problems of partisan politics

Slept in this morning, something rare for a many who rises before dawn and is at work as the sun comes up seven days a week.

Part of the reason came from staying up until 2:30 a.m. finishing up an op-ed (opposite editorial) piece for a newspaper, not a local one but a national paper that cannot be named until they publish it.  While my independent political opinions run counter to the ultra-conservative positions of most residents of Floyd County and most of the rest of Southwestern Virginia, they are desired in Washington, DC, and other metropolitan areas of the nation.

Which raises a basic question here in the Blue Ridge Mountains:  If the beliefs that my wife and I share anger many others in this part of the Commonwealth, why do we live here?

Our answer is also basic:  We don’t give a damn about the right-wing and its rants.  It intrigues us but everyone has a right to their own opinions, even the ones that run counter to ours.

We take pride in the fact that our positions dominate in Virginia as a whole while not those who get pissed off when I call Donald Trump a con man, a racist and an unfit president.  Most Virginians who voted in the 2016 presidential election agreed and voted against Trump.

For the record, I did not like either of the two choices for president in 2016 and, as someone who owns a political news website and who worked in politics for a dozen years, I found it illuminating that a flamboyant real estate developer and TV “reality show” host so easily conned enough gullible Americans to vote for him in 2016.  Current polls show may of those who supported Trump in 2016 would not vote for him today and a president with only a job performance rating of 40 percent is not a leader supported by most Americans.

“I can’t believe you’re from Floyd County,” said an email recently.  “You’re such a lib-turd.”

Had to laugh.  “Lib-turd” is a common insult from those who assume that if you say anything about a conservative, you must be a liberal.

It also brings a laugh from my laugh from my liberal adult daughter who has problems dealing with the fact that I own and use guns, carry one from time to time with a valid concealed carry permit, and support positions that she considers “crazy right-wing” ideas.

Partisan politics has been with us for many, many years.

I’ve ever considered myself liberal or conservative.  I worked for the Republican Party for much of my time as a political operative but never registered as one and voted for some Democrats during that period.

In 1988, when former Congressman Manual Lujan of New Mexico, my boss for part of that political period, asked me to join his staff when he became Secretary of the Interior, I had to say no and told him that I would never get White House clearance for the job because I was not a registered Republican.

Lujan asked:  “You’re not a Republican?  How did you end up working for me?”

“You never asked,” I replied.

Although I worked for three Republican Congressmen and the party’s three national political organizations over the years, I remained an independent and always voted for the person, not the party member.

As a gun owner, I support the Second Amendment but I’m still critical of many of the actions of the gun lobby in general and the National Rifle Association in particular.  I dropped my life membership with the NRA after they supported former Virginia governor George Allen for Senate because Allen is a proven racist and his opponent, Mark Warner, supported the Second Amendment and is a gun owner.

NRA didn’t care.  They supported Allen because he is Republican.  Warner is Democrat.  In my opinion, affiliation with any political party should never be a criteria for support.

Which comes back to dealing with the rabid Republicans here in Floyd County and the Appalachian area of Southwestern Virginia.  All they care about is party.

I’ve joked that Osama bin Laden could win an election in Floyd County if he were still alive and running a Republican.

I agree it is not a very good joke.  It’s too close to the truth.

© 2004-2022 Blue Ridge Muse

© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse