Demonic Ninja Llama

He can't keep quiet anymore

The Crushing Weight of Leviathan, or How Barack Obama is hurting my marriage

My wife has hidden my posts on her Facebook feed.

My constant blogging, linking, and commenting on all things political has driven her to this.  We’ve had several discussions recently about my “obsessive compulsion” with politics.  She doesn’t think I am quite balanced in my life, and claims that others among our friends have also blocked me from their feed for similar reasons.  I’ve also been asked, by her and others, if I am capable of conversing on any other topic.  What I would call intensity and focus, even passion, is being interpreted by my wife and others as almost a derangement.

I don’t think I would be quite like this in normal times.  My wife claims that it’s been ever since the razor-close election of 2000.  I certainly was glued to the radio and the news during those eventful months, but I think I returned to normal after Bush was inaugurated.  I suspect that my nature is such that I would follow politics and events closely in any time in which I lived, but I also think that if I was the age I am now in, say, the 1920s, it would be different.  How so?

Consider this:  Barack Obama was quoted as desiring to be a “transformative figure”, the way Ronald Reagan had been, and the way Bill Clinton had not.  He is serious about his campaign slogan of “Change.”  Many people scoff at the cries of “socialism!” that have been raised during the Tea Parties and on radio and Fox News.  Perhaps Obama is not a socialist, per se, but he does seem intent on drastically expanding the size and role of government in the United States.  Government is now more involved in everything from mortgage lending to student loans, from health insurance to the auto industry, from banking and finance to the very carbon dioxide we exhale.  And the Democrats aren’t done yet.  They still want to pass Cap and Trade legislation, that would extend government’s reach into all aspects of energy production and usage, and what part of our lives doesn’t somehow involve energy?

Taken as individual issues, perhaps one can dismiss alarmism.  But consider the big picture.  Every aspect of life is being increasingly touched by government.  Therefore, everything has become political.

Many of my friends have expressed relief that the “healthcare debate is over.”  What they don’t seem to understand is that once such a basic part of life as the health care a person gets enters the political realm, the debate is never over.  There will be a never-ending battle in the public sphere over who is getting enough coverage, and who is not, and where more funding is needed.  And then the debates over how to cut the inevitable costly spending, and what “unhealthy behaviors” (such as tanning) that we need to tax or regulate, etc. etc. ad infinitum.

This has never been true in our history.  A person of my temperament in former times may have been energized at election time, or about war, slavery, Prohibition, labor law or the threat of communism, but never have there been so many issues, that could potentially touch a citizen so close to home, that were being debated and legislated on.

And the Internet plays some part in this.  The political junkie of the past was limited to his newspaper, or the radio and TV more recently, and did not have the access to diverse and practically infinite sources of information.  Trying to keep abreast of all the things that are happening is a huge challenge in itself, and it is no wonder that so many people get overwhelmed and simply check out.

In times like these, with so much at stake, a person of my inclination, who loves his country, and is politically aware, cannot help but be a little bit deranged.  I’ve been close to despair at times, and considered checking out of the whole mess, but I couldn’t do that.  This is who I am–a patriot and a public citizen, driven to be involved in whatever small way that I can.  Block me from your feed, if you must, or call me a nutter, if that’s what you think.  But if I seem like a madman running around, trying to put out brush fires, it is because the Democrats keep setting so many, and in such proximity to what matters to me.

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March 26, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

18 Comments »

  1. Dude. Just . . . dude.

    I’ve posted a lot of political stuff on FB over the last week. Probably as much as during the entire prior year. It’s because I feel strongly about the issues, as do you. I’m not trying to change anyone’s world view, but I figure maybe I can promote a little understanding.

    But, you know, every time I finish a post I stop with my cursor poised over the submit button, and I ask myself how what I’ve written will impact my relationship with the person I’m responding to. Will I out-and-out offend them? Will I push them into a more dogmatic position rather than opening their minds?

    Many times I’ve gone back and re-written whole paragraphs, deciding that my relationship with the person was more important than being right. I’ve thought better of entire posts, and deleted them after the fact.

    This essay begins and ends by stating that your marriage and friendships are being hurt by the Democrats. Frank, there are a lot of people out there debating the same issues you’re covering, and they’re doing it without alienating their friends. Maybe you should do some serious thinking before you blame this one on Obama and Pelosi.

    Comment by Grant | March 26, 2010 | Reply

    • I appreciate your comments, Grant. I agree that efforts should be made to not sacrifice personal relationships over disagreements about issues. If we were just arguing about who would be a better President, or what spending priorities should be, or even about the best way to manage healthcare, that would be fine. But the stakes are higher than that. The debate in America right now, and many people seem oblivious to this, is over two very different visions of what this country will be in the future. The Civil War or the US Revolution tore apart friendships and families. I suspect the debate of our time will do so as well.

      And besides, based on comments made about me since my departure from one particular forum we both frequent, some of those relationships were not very worthwhile to begin with.

      Comment by demonicninjallama | March 26, 2010 | Reply

    • I agree, Grant. It’s not WHAT he says but HOW it’s said that caused me to block his feed.

      Comment by Jennifer | March 27, 2010 | Reply

  2. I haven’t blocked you, Frank. (yet, anyway) 😉 I actually rely on you to post the important stories and issues, because I WOULD be completely overwhelmed trying to sort through all this by myself! So for what it’s worth… thanks!

    Comment by April | March 26, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] . . . personal? […]

    Pingback by When Is the Political | Little Miss Attila | March 26, 2010 | Reply

  4. Thank you, thank you for touching on something I’ve tried to explain to people in my own life for the last decade.
    This stuff stopped being ‘politics’ for me long ago. Now it’s a bid for survival of all I hold dear-the country my loved ones have sacrificed and died for is being overun by barbarians.
    I hesitate to suggest that that those who get tired of what they deem as ‘political banter’ don’t really get it. Don’t understand the high stakes…but maybe that’s the hard truth.
    Maybe someday, I keep telling myself -there will be time to mentally relax a bit -lose myself in everyday pleasures again, for a season.
    But now is just not that time.

    Comment by Kate | March 27, 2010 | Reply

  5. Frank, I think Jen is absolutely right. She’s a very loyal woman, god love her. But your behavior *is* obsessive, and it *is* alienating people, some of whom may be better friends than others. She’s stood by you through other obsessions as well — you should probably listen to her more than anyone else, as she will know the signs in ways she probably wish she didn’t. And as to the forum, you’re referring to people with whom your relationship has already suffered through quite a lot, people who really did (and do) care about you. The fact that they are now bitter and disillusioned is at least in part down to your behavior and obsession — NOT just your politics, though I have no reason to think you will recognise this about yourself anytime soon. Your being obsessed is NOT going to change the world; your obsession is making you see the world in an unrealistic, overly dramatic way. The sky is not falling, and your constant hypervigilance smacks of fanaticism and/or addiction, and/or maybe PTSD.

    Comment by wry | March 27, 2010 | Reply

    • Wry, don’t we sometimes need the obsessed and the fanatics? Where would we be if Churchill hadn’t been obsessed with stopping Hitler? If Edison hadn’t been obsessed with finding the right filament?

      Now, I’m not putting myself in that league. You are right that I am not going to singlehandedly save the world. But I am trying to do my small part, I am trying to find my voice, and I’m being true to who I am and to what I feel and believe.

      Comment by demonicninjallama | March 27, 2010 | Reply

  6. Or, more briefly, do not attribute to Barack Obama and Democrats that which can be explained by obsession of some kind.

    Comment by wry | March 27, 2010 | Reply

  7. The problem isn’t what Obama and the Democrats are doing, the problem is your reaction to it. And you are 100% in control (or should be) of your reaction to it. You can find constructive ways of participating and working towards what you want. What I see happening is destructive. You have a following, I’ll give you that, but it’s people who already agree with you. The ones who are moderate don’t like your tone and the ones who are liberal just don’t like your opinions at all, lol.

    I want you to stay involved. I want you to find something constructive, which I think this blog can be. I want you to stop the destructive side of it.

    I just want you to be happy.

    Comment by Jennifer | March 27, 2010 | Reply

    • What have I lost, besides interaction with some jerks who were not really my friends anyway?

      Comment by demonicninjallama | March 27, 2010 | Reply

      • We’ve talked about this some at home so I’m not going to post more about it here. I did want to add that I went and read today for the first time the posts that were at least a partial impetus for this posting.

        To explain to others– I used to be on the forum this occurred on. In a weird twist of fate, I quit the forum the same day this all went down, although I was unaware of it happening when I quit. I found out after my initial request to have my account deactivated.

        Frank, they don’t know you. They don’t know your motives. They, quite honestly, were so far out in left field when it came to you that I wondered if they were even in the same hemisphere. If they really read all that into what you write…

        I agree that you need to be more careful in how you express yourself. But some of what they are seeing, a goodly portion of what they are seeing, doesn’t exist in any reality I’m a part of.

        Like I said, the rest we’ve talked about.

        Comment by Jennifer | March 27, 2010

  8. Checkout the possibility of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). A “political obsession” isn’t really in the books, and I don’t have a blog, but I do have FB. Some have probably blocked me (nobody’s told me) and I know that I have blocked others.

    My OCD is more of the old fashioned kind: Checking (locks in particular) and hoarding (books, books, must have more books).

    Comment by David R. Block | March 27, 2010 | Reply

  9. What it comes down to is that there are three camps:
    1. The people have realized the threat to America and to liberty that the Democrats have become;
    2. Those who haven’t realized, don’t care enough or just aren’t that aware of anything past their noses, and;
    3. The willing, worshiping, jackbooted fascists who see themselves as the Master Race, willing to fight and die for their Fuehrer.

    Cue the pish-tosh and protests that I’m over the top.
    Trouble is, if you’re paying attention, you know I’m not. The luxury of that happy little world we could retreat to under say, Clinton, doesn’t exist. These people want us dead. Don’t believe me? Look up some of Bill Ayers’ old associates. Read Holdren. Listen to Grayson’s rant today. That’s how they do things. See Stalin and Mao.

    Comment by democratsarefascists | March 28, 2010 | Reply

  10. Well, at least your blog attracts rational non-extremist readers like Mr Godwin there.

    Comment by wry | March 28, 2010 | Reply

  11. Oh yes, wry, because that proves anything. Mr. Godwin probably posts on ANY political site he can find, left or right leaning.

    Comment by Jennifer | March 28, 2010 | Reply

  12. Jen, I wasn’t trying to PROVE anything (I would hope you think my proof points, such as they are, are usually a bit more up to snuff than just straight-up snarkage), I was trying to make a Godwin joke about Mr Numbnuts up there. 😀

    Comment by wry | March 29, 2010 | Reply

  13. Oh. Haha. I must’ve missed that. 🙂

    Comment by Jennifer | March 29, 2010 | Reply


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