I am known to those who know me for never having been overly upbeat or at least not for a long time. One of those closest to me once gave me an Eeyore figurine and I did not complain. In fact I rather liked the little object and it is one of many things I miss from a life of many losses. For whatever set of reasons, the election of Barack Hussein Obama as President of the United States of America has inspired me to put myself out more clearly and openly into the political realm than I ever have before. this blog is full of my political views, analyses of emerging crises and propositions. My life has long involved a blending of private and public affairs. However, one path I have avoided up to now was advocating the formation of any strong new caucus or third party movement with which I associated myself directly. In a life where there have been many moments of doing things I would rather not have done I am starting to lay out that template here. I look around me at all of my local history, connections and concerns and I am sure that American politics must be Federal and Federalist to bring about a liveable future.
One can wander the world and see monuments and pictographs on ancient cliff faces carved or stacked in stone by some ancient people who believed that their handiwork would very possibly outlast than and who in many cases have been proven right because we have a had time finding evidence of them at all without these monuments and whatever clues they can provide. In recent times we have seen the creation of the Voyager Project and its phonograph records heading out from the solar system with samples of many languages, of recordings of music and images of Earth’s beauty. This is both an understandable and a relatively worthy human activity. We desire to throw something towards the future. On June 15, 2014 I turned fifty. This blog and some of its contents are among the marks I have tried to leave upon the world. The American political system must reflect the preservation of what regions and communities have achieved and also the creation of that largest mark and unity which the American Union of the United States has achieved as a whole. American politics must be American to lead us to a livable future.
By the age I am now John Keats, Jesus Christ, Alexander the Great, Mozart, John F. Kennedy, Princess Diana, Irving Thalberg, John Lennon, Amy Winehouse, Bob Marley, George Gershwin, Martin Luther King, Silvia Plath, Bruce Lee, Felix Mendelssohn, Anne Frank, Alfred Mouton, Franz Schubert, Fredric Chopin, Tutankhamun, Yuri Gargarin, Amelia Earhart, Vincent Van Gogh, Julius Caesar, Judy Garland, Raphael, Aleksandr Pushkin and many others had run their mortal race all the way through. Even in North East Asia (China, Mongolia, Korea and Japan) where long life is most associated with fame and a great contribution many local heroes and legends died young, vast suicide rates prevented growing old for many and stories like the Forty-Seven Ronin and the Martyred Civil Servant honored by the Dragon Boat Festival remind us of the glories of those who die leaving glories to bloom beyond their lifetime.
The voices of the East and the West join in reminding us that life is more than adding up the number of breaths one takes into some very large sum. There has to be more for everyone and much more for some of us . I am no paragon of generosity where making life count is concerned. I have always sought to make it count and live out my own destiny. Sometimes at real costs to others better or not much worse than myself by many measures.
Of course most people who die young do not have such exceptional lives as these people and many extraordinary people live to be quite old. But it is a reminder when we look at such a list of names to remember that merely surviving on and on in this condition of life (whether there is any other or not) cannot be seen as a perfect goal or evaluation of a life. my life feels bleak and sad and has felt that way for a long time. But life was never overly joyful for me for any sustained period of time. Nor have I ever felt that I blended into the normal run of humanity — no matter how one might define such a group.
Our country will not exist as we would easily recognize it when the sun becomes a red giant nor when this galaxy collides with Andromeda. Some cultural connections among some of its citizens that were around before the formation of the United States of America will outlast it although it is not clear which will. It is not impossible our Federal Union will endure a thousand years better than this first few hundred but it is clear that length is not enough. Our ancestors sacrificed to make us independent and an American politics that can bring us a liveable future must be an Independent politics. America must be itself.
In the film The Princess Bride there is a character at that time identifying as The Dread Pirate Roberts who says “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something”. Quite a few people have found that quote meaningful. John Green’s recent book The Fault in Our Stars does a good job of showing intense life in enormous pain. The book is not perfect but people relate to it as real enough. I woke up the day after my fiftieth birthday aware that this was one of the days I remember feeling the worst about the future I ever have and thus was one of the most depressing days of my life so far and that all that was bad about it would likely get worse for most or all of what remains of my life. But I know it could be much worse, even now. While I do not feel optimistic I at least have the memory of some real optimisms. I have stood for things, causes, events and ideas I am proud to have stood for.
Family, marriage, community and loyalty have been among the themes of my life and my politics. My success as regard such causes has been mixed at best. The general decline of much of my life is one story on which many others would find their telling smashed and wrecked.
But there has been some success in those areas as well. Nothing is simple about the narrative of my life. I think the future that remains to me is shaping up to be simpler than the past has been.
In the horrors of the world and its beauties I have played out my hands and the moves of my game in a way I do not find unsatisfying under the scrutiny of memory. Regrets, I probably have a few more than the narrator of Frank Sinatra’s song My Way. But I do have plenty of satisfying choices to remember. I could have and should have done some things differently. In the proof of the present I see too much compromise and not enough desperate and embedded resistance. But my life would bear other scars had I chosen a different and more directly revolutionary path.
There is room for a lot of socialist ideas in America’s future. There is room for a lot of values from a complex history. There is room for a liberal perspective at many levels. But I believe that the American politics that will lead us to a liveable future will come from and lead us mostly to the right for at least twenty very significant years. I am not sure when those years will start. But an effective American Politics will be a politics of the Right.
I am getting near the constitutional limits of Barack Hussein. In two and a half years the constitution will change or he will be out of office. When he leaves office we will begin to really evaluate the legacy of Obama’s Presidency. His election has been a major milestone in my life and writing. He is not leaving office just yet. I am going on with my writing in much the same way I have been doing up to now. I am doing part of it on my new Kindle which I got for my birthday. But America is in a crisis in my view. There is a lot more than just the way I am inclined think about Obama’s administration and policy. There is a great deal of real world war and peace in the mix. The truth is that my own life is such that although I write about problems with the US and Russia, the Middle East, the border and many other places related to our current foreign policy — I could just as easily write only of the troubles in Louisiana with coastal erosion, cultural problems, history being lost, lack of care form emerging challenges and the struggles of my family and friends.
I may have lived my life in a way that seems alright to me looking back on the past and still see that I feel badly situated now I am fifty years old. It has been a long and winding road which does not seem to resolve itself into a simple summary or travelogue. The place I have arrived personally is perhaps almost at the edge of places and times. I have individuated myself quite a bit I think. But not as much as some have in much less time. Napoleon was the old exile poisoned or not in a long reflection on a lost past at 51 when he died. Hitler was 56 when he is said to have killed himself and had himself cremated. Abraham Lincoln was 56 when he was shot at the theater in the midst of his blood soaked victory over his countrymen. Nelson was 47 when he died in glorious triumph at the Battle of Trafalgar. Patton was the old man of my group at sixty years of age. But none of these men died feeling they had not fought hard enough I believe, not deep down. There are many kinds of regret but that is not one they shared. They were distinguished by knowing that all around them knew they had kicked a lot of other humans asses in furtherance of their own dreams beliefs and causes. Like other forms of distinction and ways of being exceptional this does not come easily and is not widely experienced. I am proposing that my efforts at a legacy now include a proposed future label to seek to rise among the traditions of the Silverites, the Grange, the Black Panthers, the Ant-Masons, America United, the Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party and Occupy. I am still hoping there is another way but I am proposing a label for a new movement. FAIR!
My life is now more or less a footnote to the things and ideas which interest me the most. There is no reason to complain that my life has been less than it could have been as that is largely or nearly universal. It simply would take longer than I feel I have in me to address most of the things that still weigh most on my mind. But I may seek to tie this blog to a cause as yet unborn called FAIR!
I still care about my life and will live it as best and as happily as I can. But it may mean something that I did not take any photographs of my party on the 13th or of the things going on around me on the fourteenth and fifteenth. Trinity Sunday also came and went without much notice on my part. I find life has been going on nonetheless but not connecting to my own aspirations and convictions nearly so directly as it once did. FAIR! may be my concept of how to articulate my concerns.
FAIR! was not intended by me in the many steps which have led to this occasion. But I am now prepared to acknowledge that it may be necessary to establish something that resembles a party in some ways even if only on a temporary basis. The FAIR! Party, movement or caucus would be committed to doing what is necessary for necessary change. This is still only a proposal not a declaration. But perhaps a declaration is coming.