I Am Homeless Again
I lived in Los Angeles from 1990 until 2004 when the Army permanently relocated me here to Virginia. During that period, I was trying to make a career in the entertainment industry as an actor. For a period of about 3-4 weeks smack in the middle of badly mismanaging my early life in LA, I was literally homeless, sleeping on the couches of fellow friends and other starving actors. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t romantic. It was frightening, demeaning and humbling. But I got through it and while I never did establish myself as a working actor as I had wanted, I did build a career as a technician in the entertainment industry for much of my time in LA and loved every minute of it.
This time, my homelessness is not as a result of my own gross mismanagement. In fact, this time, my homelessness is not a physical one but an ideological one. There’s no place at all for me to hang my hat when it comes to politics.
I am politically homeless.
The Republican Party as a group doesn’t seem to want to include anyone that doesn’t adhere to its strict conservative set of ideals. Sure, there are things about which I agree with the Republicans among them defense, fiscal responsibility (though no one in politics seems to be practicing this anymore) and personal responsibility above government responsibility.
The Democrats, on the other hand, deride anyone whose ideals conflict with a generally liberal perspective. I observe the Democrats pulling out the race card for things that generally aren’t racist, but that’s their opinion, I suppose, and they have a right to it. And there are things about which I agree completely with the Democrats including broadening the definition of marriage, legalization of marijuana and the easier provision of health care, though I disagree with the approach which is the Affordable Care Act.
So you see neither party will have me. And frankly, I don’t want either of them.
Since I disagree with the ACA, there are many in the Democratic Party who will state unequivocally that I hate poor people and actively want them to be sick. I don’t, and such charges are ridiculous. No one wants people to be sick if we can make them well. I’ve seen the ups and downs of the American health care system during my former spouse’s dealings with multiple cancers and other serious maladies and I welcome health care reform. I just disagree with this particular approach.
I hear a lot of Democrats say that the Republicans want dirty water and filthy air since they don’t support the same environmental concerns they do. That’s crazy talk, too. No one WANTS dirty air and water. No one. Not even the vast majority of corporate entities who are often falsely accused of relegating environmental concerns to the basement of the priority stack. They want to be good corporate citizens because it’s good policy and it’s better for their bottom line.
Republicans often say that if you support abortion under any circumstances that you want unborn babies to die. That’s ridiculous. Do you know one person who actually WANTS unborn babies to die? Do you know anyone who thinks that’s a great idea in every case? Again, no one wants that, but to hear it told by some staunch conservatives, if you have a (D) after your name, that is precisely the belief you hold along with ALL of those with (D)’s behind their names. That’s just nuts.
You get the idea.
Life is not now nor has it ever been an “either/or” proposition. Why has politics become this way?
And it’s not like a relationship with either party can be like one of those Venn Diagrams that you did in school:
Lately, it seems to me that neither party ideologically allows you to overlap even a little bit. (Not publicly anyway.) You’re either all in or your all out. You either agree with them 100% on everything or you’re a horrible person who wishes bad things to happen to everyone else.
Yes, I am aware of the Libertarian Party. In fact, ideologically speaking, I probably overlap with libertarians the most. But right now, the (L)’s are not influencing the national dialogue to any significant degree and therefore, not a practical entity in my opinion.
Ok, I admit it. There are a few people – very few — on whom I’d wish bad things. And no, none of them are ex-significant others or spouses or anything petty like that. So no, I don’t wish for bad things to happen to the sick, the well, the poor, the rich, the homeless, the unemployed, the heterosexual, the homosexual, the bisexual, the trisexual (or any sexual I can imagine — and I have a vivid imagination) or the purple people eaters of the world.
I’m just me and I have my own ideas and thoughts about things. And I’m smart enough to draw conclusions from the available data for myself. I have an equally smart, terrific circle of friends and acquaintances most of whom don’t share my every perspective and I don’t hate them and they don’t hate me. Sometimes I agree and sometimes I don’t. Yes, we have been known to have heated discussions, but we have far more in common just as people then we do politically.
And herein is the lead for this essay: We ALL have far more in common as people than we do politically. The two well-established political parties have lost sight of the American populace as people FIRST. People have nuance, color and diversity of thought. Voters don’t. And that’s how the two well-established political parties now view all of us – as voters not as people. You’re either all in or your all out.
In today’s political climate, this leaves the thinking person with no place to go. This leaves me homeless.
I’ve been homeless since I was 25 and proudly so. I just can’t align my own thoughts & beliefs with those of any of the major parties for many of the reasons stated in your essay. Well written. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Dan, I love this. As you know I have political leanings somplace to the Dan I Love this. As you know I have political leanings someplace to the right of Attila the Hun, but I agree with you for the most part both parties have become the parties of “agree with me or you can’t be part of me.” So I guess I’ve become politically homeless just like you. Yes I still have an R after my voter registration but that is because Attila would not have been as effective in his conquests if he hadn’t had an Army. So make room in that double wide cardboard box for me will ya buddy.
I dropped my affiliation several months ago.
BTW, feel free to share this, if you like. And thanks for the kind words.
Dan, well said I have been politically homeless for years. My views tend to lean more towards the left due to social issues that the Republican’s will never support! Maybe we should form a party more aligned with mainstream Americans! :-). that doesn’t rhyme with pea!
That is DEAD ON right! I couldnt agree with you more!
A long time ago I suggested that we should get all of our VF brothers together and begin running for offices under a common sense party. I also suggested that we call it the VF party. Not because of our academy experience but because of the unification that took place in that cold place and JOINED the people together as an army. Formidable enough to defeat the greatest war power in the world at the time. We need to bring people together to ONCE AGAIN defeat the terrible forces that are currently destroying the representative republic we love and cherish. Start with pushing the States to push for constitutional amendments for balanced budget, tax reform (I am a personal fan of the FAIR TAX), term limits and the abolishing of the Executive Order. Then start to clean house of lobbyists and political PAC’s Just thinkin……….some thought s I think I think….
I’m not far behind you, Dan. I agree with you that we all have much more in common than those things that seem to divide us. But one of the things that both parties have in common is hatred. I often wonder if the Republicans know anything at all. On the other side, I wonder how the Democrats who talk so much about love spew so much hate. There is much more vitriol on that side, I believe… of, perhaps, it’s because the media feel more inclined to add to their voices. Whatever the case, it may well deb that you and I do have a home: The partisans have left our house to make a place in the smell and swill of dumpster-diving.
Jeff – I’ll agree that from my perspective the left sounds more mean-spirited. However, there’s no shortage of ad hominem attacks on both sides of the aisle in the halls of Congress and throughout the administration as well.
This is precisely why I originally registered as an Independent, although I did vote for JFK in the first election in which I could vote. I remain a proud Independent today. It is the only place to be, especially in recent decades when polarizing has become so unfortunately polarizing.
Bonjour, Monsieur Krummrich! Cadet Tobin reporting his presence, sir!
Ah, yes. Cadet Tobin. I remember you well (Je me rapelle bien de vous.). How has life been treating you?
As long as people say. “The Libertarian party has most of what I want, but I won’t join, because they’re too small,” they will be. Somewhere along the line, you should have learned the lesson. “We must stand together, or assuredly we will hang together.” The Publicans and the Dumbocrats will continue to abuse everyone, as long as people refuse to join together, against them.
Thank you, Lorrie! ‘Preciate the kind words. 🙂 Hope you’re doing wonderfully and please send my regards to your lesser half for me. 😉