I have to get something off my chest. This is my open confession to the world that for years, I was – and I am ashamed to admit it – a bleeding-heart liberal of the worst kind. And for this I want to publicly apologize. Oh, sure, my father was a staunch Richard Nixon Republican. But did I listen? Like any rebellious teen, I had to go “find my own path.” So I voted for Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and yes, even that charismatic young man who “claims” to have been born in Hawaii, Barack Obama. The closest thing I came to voting Republican was in 1980 when I voted for the Independent, John Anderson, for President.
I long believed Universal Healthcare should be a right of all Americans. And I even thought the Single Payer Plan was the only true solution. I thought Teddy Kennedy was a great American senator.
Heck, I even took a survey once in 2007 to see which of the candidates running for president most closely matched my views and the answer came back: Dennis Kucinich! And he is about as far left as you can get (but in all fairness, he did have the hottest looking spouse of all the candidates).
For the longest time I mistook Sarah Palin’s deer-in-the-headlights incoherent ramblings in interviews as a sign she was not remotely qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. I used to scratch my head wondering why we spent billions of dollars and thousands of American (and Iraqi) lives on a war that was not really about weapons of mass destruction or about Al Qaeda or 9/11. I used to watch Keith Olbermann’s Countdown show on MSNBC every night and even had a preset button on my car radio set to Air America Radio.
To show you how crazy my thinking was, I actually thought that in choosing our next president, intelligence might be a worthwhile qualification to keep in mind. I had the folly to think that someone who graduated at the top of his class at Harvard Law School and was Editor of the Harvard Law Review might actually be a tad bit more qualified in terms of intellectual discipline than someone who finished 894th out of 899 at the Naval Academy. I am now embarrassed to admit that I penned a letter on election night 2008 and sent it around to various newspapers about how I felt that day was the greatest day in our nation’s history over the past half century.
Insane as this might be, I honestly thought gays were just born that way and should have the exact same legal protections as every other citizen. I had no idea they really were just bad people who are likely to prey on my children and that we should pray to God to FIX them.
And for all of my misguided, naïve beliefs about things like Global Warming being real and made significantly worse by human activity, I want to publicly apologize. Clearly I was wrong all of these years. And I realized all of this, just this past week. When our president had the temerity to spout his communist-sympathizing propaganda to our impressionable young school children, well, that just galled me to no end. As Jim Greer, the Chairman of the Florida Republican Party so eloquently stated: “As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology. “
Amen, Jim. Hundreds of school systems throughout the country refused to air the President’s address to their schools on similar grounds. And I applaud them for their brave stance. How dare our President attempt to poison our young peoples’ fertile minds with sinister indoctrination about staying in school, studying hard, and taking responsibility for their futures. Where does he get off telling our young people what they should do! Who does he think he is – the President of the United States?
I can no longer trust a single thing that man says. I now believe his primary agenda in his health care plan is to kill my 88-year old mother by way of death panels. What has my mother ever done to him! I have done some research of my own and have concluded that there is reason to believe Obama was not born in Hawaii at all, but in France- FRANCE, I tell you, in August, 1987, so I doubt he’s even old enough to be president. And I don’t know how to tell you this, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Obama might be NOT WHITE! And don’t even get me started by asking me about his middle name. You don’t want to know. Trust me. What has our country become!
So to all my newfound rightwing conspiracy theory friends, I just want to say a big public apology for all my years of misguided notions about social justice, health care for all, and concerns about the environment and the elderly instead of the more sacred rights of gun owners, health insurance company shareholders, gas company profits and Glenn Beck. It was just a (40-year) phase I was going through. Can you ever forgive me?
And with any luck at all, if all the people on the right stand up in unison, strap their guns to their legs, march into the next town hall meeting, and scream “we’re not going to take it anymore”, just maybe, next time, they will get the president they truly deserve. Can you say “Palin in 2012”?
That’s the view from the bleachers. But perhaps I’m off base.
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2010 – 2011
About bloody time…ONE thing you do well, it only took you 50-some-odd years to start doing it. Congrats! Though I’m warning you, you might be a little to subtle in your sarcasm…there are many “red-staters” that will feel like you’ve gone over to the “Dark Side” and are cheering. BUT what you really need to worry about are the percentage of “blue-staters” that think you are now a traitor! Do I need to send you some ammo, a survival knife, and a book on “How To Hide in Washington’s State Forests”? Come on Tim…you could do Rambo proud…I’ll come up and tutor you if you’d like…
ps. thanks for
Rarely has anyone come into any office with higher expectations than Barack Obama. (Luke 24:21: “But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened.”) I remember encouraging people to vote for Lyndon Johnson, so there would be no wider war in Vietnam — and then spending the next three years on active duty in the U.S. Army. This was after four years at Columbia, the same Columbia that then graduated Barack Obama, in time for my 18th reunion, had there been one.
Truth be told, if you scratch the surface of a bleeding-heart liberal, you may discover a rock-ribbed Republican. Then scratch the rock-ribbed Republican, and you could find another bleeding-heart liberal. You wind up with a lot of scratching, and not very much useful political philosophy.
[I am amazed at the number of conservatives among my contemporaries who somehow found themselves with trick knees, or vital jobs like lobbyist, or a consuming passion to pursue three consecutive Ph.D.s to keep from putting on a uniform when they were needed in Vietnam. Fortunately, the trick knees all miraculously cleared up around 1973.]
So where does this all leave us as MSNBC prepares to launch “Decision 12?” Calling on the experience of 54 years as a working journalist (I had my first commercial newspaper column when I was 11), I feel certain that Richard Nixon will rise from the dead in time to be nominated and elected. What better way to celebrate the Nixon Centennial in 2013 than with the inauguration of the nation’s first hundred-year-old president, and for good measure, let’s nominate Willard Scott as his running mate, with the whole thing sponsored by Smucker’s (with a name like Nixon, it HAS to be good).
Footnote – Blogging IS fantastic. I ended my career writing the stock blog for CNBC.com, winning seven NBC Universal “Ovation” awards in nine months and a “Webby” from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences without in any way distracting from the unmitigated disaster that befell the stock market during that period of time.
Commrade Jones, I find Blob interesting…many good points, hopefully teach Amerikans errors of their past…unlike glorious history or Soviet Republik. I subscribe now to U-RSS feed.
P.S. please send name of your advertising agent…we have many good books to sell.
Sorry Tim for the earlier entries. Now to be a little more serious and contribute to your conversation.
Sitting on this side of the border, believe me we share your enthusiam for the new President. Even though he could end up changing a lot of things about the business relationship between our two countries, he does inspire confidence that he can evaluate a problem from mulitple viewpoints.
One thing that I have come to admire about your country is the ability for the government not to over-regulate and let business or the markets introduce efficiencies or innovations.
In regards to Obama’s health care plan, the viotrol that some people seem to be swallowing is farcical if not down right disturbing.
Though I absolutely agree that every citizen should have access to health care and be protected from ruin over critical care, I would be wary of government having too much control in anything. Whether it be health care or building cars, we know that governments are really poor managers of money (at least up here anyway). I hope that President Obama finds a system that provides that safety net while avoiding some of the massive waste that can happen when politics meets business. Our advantage is that we are so few (let’s say size of California) that if our government screws-up we just crank up the tax bite from 46 to 48% (not counting the 15% sales tax on everyday goods) and we continue on working a little more each day for the government and less for ourselves. But if the US doesn’t get it right…that can be disasterous for even those who can pay now.
I believe that Obama will get it right by taking things in increments and having multiple plans.
And if that doesn’t work, then no fear…Sarah will be in to fix things up like only a gun-totting, moose-killing, hockey mom can.
Now, Tim. Don’t go all mavericky on us. And watch out, posting things like this could bump your mother higher in the queue to be visited by the death squads, errr, panels!
Tim, your new view from the beachers has given you the fresh air you needed to see the errors of your ways! Welcome to freedom of choice, opinion and open discussion. I never gave up hope that you would see the light!
Now that you have joined our side, come on down a few rows and join me in my box seats!
Tim, as another reformed bleeding heart liberal and current conspiracy theorist, I’m confused. I suspect your comments are tongue in cheek which means that real right-leaning conspiracy theorists will take them as gospel and you as a new messiah. Is your intent to seed this population with a fresh batch of idiocies and protest slogans? If so, you’ve knocked the ball out of the park! With Glenn Beck’s ratings headed down the tubes, you may wish to apply for that job. But wait a minute! Didn’t I hear something about the suspicious geography of your birthplace?
. . . as I began to read your belog in trembling disbelief (considering that I’m ‘wanna be blonde’), cold shivers started to trickle down my spine. Out of all my likeminded wonderful friends, you would have been the last to ever spout such a change of heart. BUT – your reasoning is valid and started to make me ponder. Maybe the good folks who’ve been protested against all this newfangled healthcare these past few days might be right after all. Maybe looks are really more important than intelligence, maybe we should consider that older people deserve to live out their natural lives. Maybe less government and more guns will make us a better and safer country?
In addition, this whole thing about global warming is surely just another marketing scam – nothing that Palin couldn’t fix in a heartbeat!
I am getting the feeling that, unlike Bill Clinton, you did in fact inhale!
Probably protested once or twice as well.
All the better!!
Good stuff. Keep it up.
Oh, Tim, how sad I am that you now blog.
As I follow your conversion to the world of “right-think” brought to you by the Dept of Homeland Security you have given me another reason to avoid work, exercise, reading, watching TV.
Did you ever wonder why the Bush admin. picked “homeland” as the name of its flagship program? Actually that would be a good topic for you to explore with your wicked humor and pointed commentary. But maybe you’re not old enough to question this bizarre and telling choice of name.
As the daughter of a died-in-the-wool John Bircher (but the sister of two Reedies!) I, along with Stephen Colbert, welcome you into our fold. I look forward to more views from the bleachers.
Say it ain’t so. At least you can dig your cougar pelts out of the basement and put your “Heston for President” bumper sticker back on your car.
That boyish face of yours will be in great demand by the Right. Perhaps Albany can have a “Tim Jones Day” akin to Mt. Vernon’s “Glen Beck Day”. You could receive a key to the city made of old growth redwood trees.
Alas, I have to leave now for my second job, the one I took to pay for all the extra ammo we have been stocking-up on (because the Feds are going to outlaw guns and ammo in 2010 doncha know).
You are lying. 🙂