The new schedule has begun. Yesterday I spent the morning on fiction writing. That was fun. After that I wrote my post. Today I headed off to the office for my first normal workday. That was interesting.
I am under the weather. Camera Girl and by extension Princess Sack of Potatoes gifted me some kind of cold-flu-virus-thingamajig involving sinuses, nose and throat suffering but mercifully no lung torture. I’m doped up on over-the-counter marvelous miracle drugs that actually seem to abate most of the misery. But I’m still only firing on seven cylinders which means this post may be a little off.
But all-in-all I’m feeling relatively upbeat about my new perspective on US politics. I no longer have to agonize over whether Herschel Walker or Dr. Oz is going to squirm through the Democrat ballot harvesting dragnet. It’s no longer my problem anymore. I live in a country that has a single-party political system and it isn’t a party that’s going to favor me or my family. All I have to worry about is whether I’m doing everything I can to produce a space where people like me can flourish.
And since I’ve just started this phase of my life, I’m cutting myself some slack. I don’t have to solve all the problems of living in New England overnight. But what I must do is begin thinking in this new way and continuously test and improve my assumptions about what can be done and what can’t.
So, for instance, my town is one of the few towns in my state that is measurably Republican in voting record. So, we can elect Republican selectmen and school board members and a Republican state representative and state senator. But we can’t elect a Republican US representative or senator. So, that tells me that we can have quite a bit of influence in the local laws that are written and a little influence on state laws but basically no impact at the national level.
So that should be my basis for evaluating the future. The state and federal government are the main threats to me. They can increase my taxes, curtail my freedoms and poison the minds of my children and grandchildren with warped lies and dangerous fantasies about life. Each of these threats require an evaluation to decide what preventative actions can be taken to protect against these problems. And these actions have to be evaluated to see if there is a net positive or negative from having to implement them.
For instance, moving to a different state or a different country might protect me from losing certain freedoms or eliminate indoctrination of my children. But what other things go along with that? Would I have to sacrifice economic opportunities. Or would I be forced to become a stranger in a strange land, someone who would always be thought of as an outsider?
So that’s why I’m going to cut myself a lot of slack. Big changes like emigrating are not something you do lightly or quickly. For now, I’ll concentrate on the small things like participating in local government. And since I’ve made that move, I’m patting myself on the back and awarding myself all kinds of bonus points and participation trophies.
And that’s why I’m feeling so upbeat amid the wreckage and ruin of the mid-terms. I don’t want to walk in the footsteps of the social justice types but I will quote one of their favorite messages, the Serenity Prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference. I’m going to do what I can and stop stressing about things that just don’t seem to be happening.
If someone appears who can get things done, I’ll support him. If my small efforts put me into a position to accomplish some change on my own, I’ll do it. And if all else fails I’ll keep my eyes open to know when and where to jump to avoid disaster. That’s as much as I can think of. And that’s what I’ll write about when I’m not writing stories or taking photos.