by Richard Pressl – Mar. 2015
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My extended family, almost without exception, vote Republican. My municipal, county, and State political districts also are almost all represented by Republican politicians. In the seven mile stretch between my house and the nearest town there are nine churches. I live in a gated community where the largest expenditure approved by the Board is for security. I am college educated, white, male, first generation American whose parents came from Austria at the beginning of the 20th Century, who spoke only English at home. I went to Catechism as a youngster, Vacation Bible School, and belonged to the Boy Scouts, even becoming an Eagle Scout who could identify every plant in the area, and could tie more knots in a rope than there are chips in a Lay’s bag.
I was drafted by the U.S. Army, attended Military Police school, and served a tour in Viet Nam. Upon release, I attended FSU majoring in Criminal Justice and served a short apprenticeship with the Florida Bureau of Investigations, before coming to Atlanta to work for an Industrial Security company. Several years later I worked at the United Church of Christ Office of Communications in Cleveland, Ohio.
For the past thirty years I have spent considerable time online, hosting a free public access BBS in Cleveland, writing hundreds of posts, comments, software applications, blog entries, FYI’s, FAQ’s, articles, and opinion pieces.
All of which should indicate I am a WASP Evangelical Christian Republican; but I’m not.
Instead, I am an old, cranky, agnostic, spiritual, science and tree-hugging liberal who is appalled by the grossness, stupidity, venality, and civic weakness in the country that I once loved, fought and almost died for three times. Who reads widely to obtain some measure of objectivity in events and discussions. Who regularly bangs his head on the wall, or does an extended facepalm in public when confronted with what appears to be pure idiocy. And therein lies the issue, and reason behind this article: I speak out, and write about it mostly for my own benefit. There is very little chance anyone other than myself will ever read these lines, and I’m ok with that.
My wife, close friends, and business partners say that I am an idiot for doing so; because generally I am responding to what currently passes for the status quo. That is the interests of White, Christian, Patrician, Authoritarian, Jingoistic, Anti-Science, Suburbanites; who may be considering me as a business partner, provider, or associate.
Since my political orientation in this locale is definitely a minority position, I risk alienating potential benefactors by my stances. An intelligent person should simply avoid stirring the pot, poking the bear, or upsetting the nest as the euphemistically challenged would suggest, especially since it is well known that the dominant system is rarely changed by evidence demonstrating the errors of a position, principle, or action. Only an idiot would bring rebuke down on themselves when they have nothing to gain by speaking out, and most likely will suffer for having done so.
So, I am an idiot.