Monday, November 3, 2008

My Election Post

One of the things I found most difficult about coming of age during the '60s and '70s was the political intensity of everyone around me. Not to mention, the political righteousness. I don't mean the righteousness felt by a partisan for his particular cause, but the righteous belief that politics was man's highest endeavor and would bring about the millennium and an end to all social ills. Had my own thought been a little more coherent in those days, I probably would have been muttering "Put not your faith in princes," and "If you'd put that much energy into being excellent to one another, you wouldn't need politics." This passage from Little Women about Meg's response to politics pretty much summed up my feelings about it when I was in high school, and it still resonates with me today.

When John came down at last . . . he was agreeably surprised to find Meg placidly trimming a bonnet, and to be greeted with the request to read something about the election, if he was not too tired. . . . He read a long debate with the most amiable readiness and then explained in his most lucid manner, while Meg tried to look interested, to ask intelligent questions, and keep her thoughts from wandering from the state of the nation to the state of her bonnet. In her secret soul, however, she decided that politics were as bad as mathematics, and that the mission of politicians seemed to be calling each other names; but she kept these feminine ideas to herself, and when John paused shook her head, and said with what she thought diplomatic ambiguity:

"Well I really don't see what we are coming to."
I myself am one of the most apolitical persons on the planet which is why you'll never find an explicitly political post on Catholic Bibliophagist. In fact, I'm not registered for either political party. Like Treebeard, "I am not altogether on anybody's side because no one is altogether on my side, if you understand me . . ." Treebeard meant that no one cared about the forest the way he did. In my own case, neither political party entirely represents my position as a Catholic. (I think that's what frustrated journalists about JPII. They want to peg everyone as a either member of the left or the right, but they couldn't fit him into either box.)

I vote conscientiously in every election, but unless there's a moral issue involved, I find it hard to get excited or even interested in politics. However, most people don't share my impassivity as evidenced by this amusing story told by Jennifer at Conversion Diary:
. . . I heard about the most clever [Halloween] costume ever: a friend's nephew dressed in a t-shirt that said POLLSTER, and then carried an Obama bag and a McCain bag, and people could choose which one they put candy in. He evidently got a really impressive haul of candy from people who expressed their emotions about this election by dumping handfuls of goodies into their candidate's bag.
Smart kid!

2 comments:

Michael said...

The older I get the more I think I want to be in the Treebeard party! While I am saying that tongue in cheek, I have begun to think of myself as not a party but a Socially Conservative Catholic rather than a Republican or Democrat, but that term in and of itself does not fit all the the hole people try to put me in when I say that.

Great Post, I'll continue my party exile (I always vote) until the government begins to work for us.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

In the last presidential election I had a "Baggins/Gamgee" bumpersticker.