Much like Robert Hamburger, I can't stop thinking about politics, and how awesome it is. Or how not awesome it is. This is helped by the fact that elections are now a never-ending feature of American life, with no ideology or party ever able to grab a middle ground or consensus. This is actually how the country was designed to work: a politics of so many fations that nothing could ever get done too easily. Be that as it may, thinking about American politics has given me the anxiety of a loyal sports fan, and the attendant mind for facts, figures and possibilities.
But I have to be honest with myself, and ask myself why I identify so strongly with a liberal ideology, and with the Democratic Party. After all, What have they done for me lately? There are large parts of Democratic ideology, as well as their demographic base, that I don't find especially appealing. And yet, over all, I find myself subconsciously identifying with them. And I have to ask myself why: I am not particularly fond of big government bureaucracies, and I don't think paternalistic, top-down programs are the best way to solve problems. I often think the Democrats do forge together a coalition by stitching together hand outs, and...well, I may have made my case already. But my answer is: I don't identify as a Democrat because I have been very poor, and believe in soaking the rich. And I don't identify because I am young and college-educated, and thus part of the current target demographic. Both of these do play in to why I identify as a liberal, though: I feel that the world around me is not what it could be, and I want to live in a world that is changed. Life as it is, whether growing up poor, or even of the prospect of the typical suburban life, seems like a stifling, confining trap. I have felt, hovering just out of reach, the possibility of a world where human potential can be reached in ways we could only dream of, and where stultifying power structures are removed. And this is the driving basis of my politics.
It is a fair question to ask how I get from this urge to supporting a party that often seems to represent a middle-of-the-road, paternalistic approach to life. It is something I ask myself a lot, but my feeling is still, that at its heart, the Democratic Party is more open to the idea of a future that could change radically.