Thursday, December 3, 2009

Evolutionizing

Is "evolutionizing" a word? Well, it's a word on this blog, because it represents what's been happening for the past couple of days.

Yeah, sure, the whole "New York, Maine, Texas" thing was never very attractive or catchy, but having never really thought about a personal blog before, and therefore never thinking about blog names before, that was my first attempt at a blog name.

Then, yesterday, I went back to a theme that has been haunting (or saving, depending on the situation) me throughout my life. Being outside the sphere of activity that people call life... never connecting in meaningful ways with the reality in which others are engaged... seeing how I interpret interpersonal relationships and events with logic that others either intentionally or unintentionally don't use. So I tried to register "outsidelookingin" and discovered that a dormant 2003-era blog in the Philippines already had it. I even looked into purchasing the URL in several formats, but they were all taken. I was surprised that so many people feel the same way I do. So much for trying to find a "niche" in the blogosphere!

For Example
It's early days yet in this blog, but I'm going to go out on a limb and dive into a touchy subject. You may not agree with the thoughts I'm going to convey, but at least bear with me while I give an example of being "outside looking in."

I don't understand the popularity of George W. Bush among most of my Republican friends. His governorship of Texas was adequate but not stellar. Once in Washington, he seemed to let Cheney, Rove, and Rumsfeld hijack his agenda. He pulled the plug too early in Afghanistan and took after Saddam without any just cause - grave mistakes we're still paying for. Bush waffled on illegal immigration because some Republican businesspeople wanted cheap labor. The national debt skyrocketed during his watch, and his presidency ended with a spectacular refutation of key principles of conservative economic dogma: bailing out banks and setting up the Detroit bailout. If his had been a Democratic administration, Republicans would be hollering for impeachment, especially after the whole Iraqi WMD cover-up. But the Scripture Bush referenced and his refusal to admit mistakes (otherwise interpreted as "being a man of his word" and "taking a hard line") pacified and electrified America's right wingers, and helped set up an environment of antagonism that ushered in an administration of polar opposites. Throughout his presidency, I watched for logical clues as to why conservatives idolized Bush like they did, and I couldn't find many.

Of course, a number of my friends would read what I just said and dismiss me as a closet liberal. I won't deny that in political parlance, my views aren't as "conservative" as they could be. However, when I look at the Bush administration, and compare it with what I assume the Republican party would like to see in an ideal president, I don't see where Bush matched the hype from his supporters. Did my Republican friends like him simply because he was a better candidate than Gore and Kerry (which he was), did they like Bush because they thought he'd protect their wealth (which, ultimately, he didn't), did they like Bush because he sent a hawkishly defiant tone to the international community (which worked to our detriment), or did they like him for his pantheistic faith (for which both Clintons - who have also used Scripture - have been belittled)?

Sometimes I wondered if Bush's supporters weren't doing him a big disservice by not being open and frank with him about policies he and his cabinet were pursuing. Bush himself generally may have strived to do the right thing, but his cabinet was blasting away using his integrity as a cover.

Standing on the outside, looking in, I didn't interact well with the majority of my acquaintances who were pro-Bush, because I didn't get "it." It was like there was some pro-Bush manifesto they had read, but I hadn't. Yet nobody bothered to come outside and explain to me why they thought Bush was doing a good job. But then, how hard would I have listened?

Because at the end of the day, spending too much time outside looking in, one tends to develop opinions and perspectives that - whether they're correct or not - calcify as time goes on.

Hopefully if I keep asking questions, somebody can explain what I'm missing - if indeed, I'm the one missing reality.

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