OK. I got involved in some discussion, and did some thinking and some soul searching tonight.
I've decided to change my tune a little.
Basically, I go out of my way to avoid the media. I do not trust them, I see their corporate and petty political agenda a mile off, and it disgusts me. However, I am aware that as a result I don't know a lot about what is going on in the world.
I'm a skeptic, and a critical thinker. I don't really trust people.
Clearly, the United States, our allies, have been making a play for the Middle East for a long time now. I've been very under-enthused with what I've seen, and unhappy with our involvement. Mostly because the real motivations have not been clear to me.
Something that has become clear to me recently however is that the west is engaging in what is fundamentally an ideological war with the Middle East. At the end of the day, it is probably realistic to be concerned about a weak Islamic radical gaining nuclear power. So, it might be labeled the “War on Terror”, but that's just the brand name. It's really the “make sure a lunatic who wants to destroy the western world doesn't gain nuclear power“ war. If it ends up being 'us' and 'them' as a result, so be it. If it's tough, well what the fuck did you expect of a war?
I'm a little bit 'conspiracy theorist'. I'm aware that there is a lot that goes on that the public is generally ignorant of. I try to watch out for that, and be mindful of it.
At the end of the day though, minor shenanigans aside, I do think that our democratically elected political leaders are looking out for the best interests of their people. Certainly, as citizens we can not afford to become complacent, and we should never 'trust' them entirely, but the writing has been on the wall for increased western involvement in war in the Middle East for a long time.
Religious extremists do pose a threat. We need to stop them. It's going to happen.
Simple as that.
As a result, I really don't care about domestic politics until I feel like I'm living in a safer international environment.
Despite my griping to the contrary, I do think I live in a free country, I don't feel persecuted, or heavily restricted in the way in which I'm allowed to live my life. I don't think things are perfect, but they never will be. Things are not that bad, and if I don't like them, and I *really* care, then I do have recourse to get involved in a better world, and I am certainly at liberty to “be the change in the world that I want to see”. I won't have that freedom if a religious extremist nukes the shit out of me and my countrymen. I care about my community and I don't think we can pretend our way out of having to deal with this problem. I think it is a legitimate concern, and it needs to be addressed.
So, if Tim gets deployed to the Middle East, then I'll be proud that he's there. If he gets killed, then I'll go.
Simple as that.
I'll vote for Howard and I'll be happy for Bush to win.
Maybe a mind control machine wore me down, or maybe there is merit in the way I think. Either way, now that you know where I stand I don't think I'll talk any more about it.