One morning, as I sat on my floor finishing a kind of 'freestyle' yoga invention while watching FOX news, I heard a story that made me stop and listen. Yea, I used to watch the news pretty regularly, but I had a lot on my plate and actual politics was the FURTHEST thing from my mind.** At the time, we were still 'fresh' in a new house, and as such, working to get it more in line with our expectations. This was requiring painting, more painting, carpet-laying, and etc. Our oldest son, Coleman, was barely one (if that) and I was spending virtually all my time between new baby, house and Bible study.
Don't get me wrong, by saying I didn't engage in politics I just mean I didn't pay much attention to politics. I ALWAYS voted. I mean I voted even in school board elections. I KNEW (?) my civic duty. I don't think you could have called me an 'informed' voter, but I figured, I'm a Republican, I vote Republican - go team!
Right now, you're thinking of ways to describe me, but before I continue, let me briefly describe myself a bit more fully; yes, I am NOW a political Conservative, Independent Baptist and lover of Jesus. I HAVE been an atheist, agnostic (you can thank my M.S. in Biology for that) and a political liberal (though I have been a registered Republican since I was able to vote in 1982 - you can thank Reagan for that). In the past, I have used 'labels' to help me navigate my way in the world. Today, I see 'labels' as an impediment to navigating the world.
In fact, the ENTIRE point of this blog is that in 50 years, I've run an entire gamut of ideas, ideals and 'truths' through my brain. I'm not the same person I was in my 20's. I'm not the same person I was in my early 40's. I'm not the same person I was 2 years ago. Heck, I'm probably not the same person I was 15 minutes ago simply because life continually happens - if you let it.
So, back to the news story that made me listen. The news story recorded GW Bush signing a bill to make prescription drugs available to everyone. Though I have no interest in seeing old people dying in the streets because they can't afford prescriptions that would keep them alive, it stuck in my craw that a Republican - ostensibly the party of 'smaller' government, free enterprise and a supposed 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps' mentality - would be telling Americans, "Here! I'm gonna take money from your neighbor by force and give it to you so you can do something that philanthropic organizations and BigPharma could do on their own without being forced if I'd let them."
That was 2003. This one thing - for whatever reason - made a major impression on me. I began to pay more attention to 'politics' on the news from that day on. In fact, I started reading online blogs (American Thinker, Drudge Report, Michelle Malkin) instead of reading the paper or watching the TV news and it was then that I started to realize that government was no longer in the box in which I had kept it. The government had become an entity unto itself which really seemed to care little about the patrons that kept it in business.
As the 2008 election cycle began in earnest, I REALLY started to dig into the candidates the media was feeding Americans - John McCain and Barack Obama. After researching these candidates for months, I came to the conclusion that Obama was a Communist and McCain (while I'll always hold him in high esteem for his military record) was a Comm. (an abbreviated Communist - not really a Communist, but not a small-government capitalist either).
After the election of President Obama, I became politically active for the first time in my life. In fact, you could say I became an ACTIVIST. I helped a group of other concerned individuals start the Oklahoma City 9/12 Project and then I became so concerned about the education our children were getting in public schools, I started an organization called Restore Oklahoma Public Education soon after.
Before 2009 I may have been to the state Capital twice - once when I was in middle school! Today, I'm there frequently. Where, before 2009, I had made only one phone call to one of my elected officials (another long story I hope to impart one day), I now know many by name and don't just call and email them, but meet with them in person to better help them understand my concerns.
And so, here I am today, (1/2014) beginning a personal blog that really all hinges on that one fateful day in 2003. That one day when my perception about my 'reality' changed. My view of 'reality' changed. I hope you'll find we have some common ground.
**I had to take a WHOLE, very long sentence out here! I was thinking 2008, but this incident happened in 2003. Consequently, I went back to make the post actually reflective of where I was in the process. As you can now probably see, I have now aged to the point of senility!