Thursday, January 13, 2011

Honor, Politics and Friendship 2: Code of Honor

Think of a Small Dodecahedron that light can pass through that you can hold in your hand.  As the light passes through each side, another vision is seen of looking at the world.
The Valley is one part of my world; In a town where people make the world their stage, this is mine, I can be a harder partisan here then I am in real life.  My views are not different from my real time, I still believe that Commerce, Democracy and Rock music can save the world.  Here in the valley, I amp it up, but sometimes my emotions of the moment seep through.
One anecdote that carried me through this hellish week was about Federal Judge John Roll who went over to Rep. Gifford that Saturday morning to say "Thank you," for helping him on an issue.  As a partisan, as a former Hill intern, I saw how important it was for both Judge Roll and Rep. Gifford to help each other across the aisle. 
Remember my rule: Politics and policy is about Coalitions.  You don't build coalitions by damning people. 
When the shooting occurred, it affected me on multiple levels that for the first time in ages, I told my friend Ron at Ruin that night, "I wanted to get drunk,"  But I was the guy driving him home, so I stuck with one beer. 
Back to the story:
Here are the multiple levels, that I, JSF, was affected by the shooting:
1)  I used to intern on Capitol Hill for two Congressmen, Rep. Zimmer in the 103rd and Rep. Dan Miller in the 104th.  It is the job of each Congressperson to get to know their Constituents -- this shooting by the crazy person hinders that.
2)  I have two mentors who work as Chief of Staff to two separate Congressmen on the Hill.  Their jobs become tougher, and I worry, do my friends have targets on themselves too?  Hence, my reason to want to get drunk on Saturday night.
3)  Had the votes flipped in Merlin Froyd's race, I would have been a staffer on the Hill.  Would he or I have a target on either of our backs?
4)  Guess who else deals with mental health issues daily?  I won't rehash it here, but suffice it to say, in my gut I knew this was a random shooting by a deranged individual.  What happens to people like me who fight to deal with their own mental health issues?  
When I did the "Close the Pandora's Box," post -- inside I was upset. At those who got hurt, how does this affect my friends who do this job daily and what I knew was coming -- the demonization of Tea partiers and Sarah Palin.
I hated the shooting, but I knew what was coming.  I will damn the shooter to hell many times over, I just wanted others to damn the demonization.  A few friends caught my mood on this and a few stood up: Kudos to Jason Buckley, my ex-gf Toni, Bob Flenner in NY, David Petreca and my sister from thousand of miles away who "got" it.  
Anyone who saw my last post and my first link in facebook should have known I was upset.  Rather then say, be an actual friend, Douglas Day, the anti-republican, damned me for my first feelings, and he was supported by someone I thought would have known the above four things and taken my side.  
Or picked up the phone or email within hours of the post as my sister and Jason Buckley did, to help calm me down.  These two did not.
When I got back from the club, I saw I was damned by Douglas Day, for he in his White Hot Hate could not ever admit to being wrong on anything political (even though it's a world I inhabited since I was 15 years old, in both parties ,on multiple levels -- did not matter). 
I was taught by Old School Politicos in Queens about some of the Old School Rules.  Even though I blog and tweet, dance to songs by Chameleons UK, I am at heart a guy who lives by Rules. 
To succeed in any dangerous industry, it helps to have a Code of Honor (many, many, many people cited that in my pain as why they liked my writing and my political journey -- both Progressives and Conservatives).
I need only go back to my Rostonkowski post to show you what they are:
1) Americans who are the partisan opposite of you are not "The Enemy," no matter how much you wish it so. [This is true of the Left unfortunately] Stop needing Emmanuel Goldsteins' and respect those who choose and honor Public Life. The Americans involved with politics and policy love their country. Treat them as fellow Americans, not as Enemies. Stop calling them "crazy, stupid or Evil," They are not. But you are if you throw those words around.

2) Politics used to stop at the Water's Edge, but Democrats broke that contract in 1991 and 2002. Choose one foreign policy to define your Party, Wilsoniansism [Spreading Democracy Overseas], Nixonianism [Playing chess games with Dictators and failed states] or Isolationism [Stay away for all foreigners overseas]. And support the President on this issue, he reads Intel in the AM, you don't. And if you say "Afghanistan is the real war," Then stand by your words when you gain power. I have yet to see the Left define their Foreign Policy clearly in opposition or in power, Choose one.

3) Those dictators or groups that want to attack America or allies, do not give them a seat at a table. Again, Columbia University gave President Ahmadinihjad a seat, but they can't find a place for Conservatives to speak. The Left cheered Chavez and Ahmadinjad at the United Nations because they hated Bush,. I have yet to see any active partisan of the Left defend their President when there is an R next to his or her name. Not Reagan, Bush I or Bush II. Don't like how we are treating Obama, think twice before you raise the room temperature on a President who has a differing philosophy then you. Remember, even Rostonkowski respected the presidents he opposed. If he can do it, why can't any Left on facebook?

4) Don't say Third parties are needed if you have never voted for both Democrats and Republicans on a Federal Level. Sorry, unless you can understand and reject both philosophies (and not stereotype either), then don't declare it a loss. The Two parties have different philosophies, only idiots stereotype, but partisans learn. I have yet to see a Liberal correctly identify the different branches within Conservatism and get it right.

5)  If you believe in the People, support them whatever their decision.  History has a way of repeating itself.  Election 2000repeated Election 1960; Impeachment 1998 repeated Impeachment 1974.  The Republicans accepted and moved on, Democrats never did.  The 60% of the populace who don't do this daily, looked, shrugged their shoulders and accepted the decisions.  Democrats never did.   Look at Prop. 8. the people made a choice and the Left tries to overturn rather then convince MORE of the populace why their side is correct.  Nope, the people are stupid according to the Left.  Have you ever noticed the Left NEVER tries to convince people?  Just calls them names.  The Race card is now a Dead Parrot
6) Live by your own rules. If you believe that Government needs more tax Money, open up your wallet and give. If you beleieve in Global Warming, don't drive a car or live near the beach. If you want civility done to your people, show it when your side is not in power. It ain't rocket science, but no Leftie can figure this out.

7) Finally, do not mock those who are involved. The Americans interested in politics are interested in the health and well-being of it. Former Governor Palin, Vice President Cheney and Former President George W. Bush all have their reasons mocked. Their supporters are mocked. Why should anyone reach out if they are being mocked?

Read all of that, I follow those rules myself. 

Between trying to be honorable, being duly affected on many levels on the Gifford shooting, my emotions got the better of me.  I pulled back -- but Douglas Day can continue living in White Hot Hate and gets away with it.  People who began demonizing the Tea Partiers and Palin got away with it.

The shooter was wrong, the demonization is wrong.  I say that easily as a partisan, why can't those who venture onto my world say the same thing?

The other parts will arrive as I'm ready to deal with them.

Thanks to all who helped me, and saw my pain and understood it, during this time. 

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