From 2002 to 2007 I had a blog.
It covered a lot of ground, ESPECIALLY my thoughts on politics, and the issues of the day.
Except for a handful of powerful essays, and series of posts, my traffic wasn't a lot.
I finally decided to move on, and in addition to beginning something new, with a new focus, one reason was that there are so many others, with huge audiences, and resources, that are getting the word out on the issues.
I did not sit idly by, though.
Since 2005 I included politics, and issues, as part of a varied collection of opinionated stumbles on my very popular Stumble Upon Page, and that has not stopped (UPDATE 2010 - Yes, it finally did).
In recent months I got to thinking that maybe there was more I could do, in a subtle way, to help spread the word on the issues, and events of the day.
So I have updated a Blogroll I had on that old blog, and added it to my sidebar.
It's in the FOOD FOR THOUGHT section of the side bar, and the choice to explore it is entirely yours to make.
As for me, and my backround, and how my politics evolved, let me share a part of a 9 part series I wrote in 2004, in the wake of the death of Ronald Reagan, and a tour of the Reagan Library that I took............
When I registered to vote in 1978, when I turned 18, it was as a Democrat, and as I reflect back on those days it is to realize that I did so not really because I believed, or even fully understood, Liberalism, but because my mother was a Democrat, and I loved, and was busily supporting, her during difficult times for our family.
I grew up watching Watergate, the end of the war in Vietnam, the long gas lines, the hostage crisis, and malaise, of the Carter years, and understood enough that I knew I was pissed off at both parties, but was unsure about who to vote for in 1980.
I registered as a Democrat simply because I had to put SOMETHING down, and checking Independent wasn't an option in my mind.
Besides, like I said, Mom was a Democrat.
In the run up to the election I paid attention, continuing to read various political magazines that I'd been reading since I turned 15, and paying attention to Ronald Reagan more and more.
The New York Times, in an editorial, has written that Reagan's simple, uncomplicated, message was the following: There was no problem that could not be solved if Americans would only believe in themselves, and it was that message, and the many ways he sold it to us on the campaign trail, and over his 2 terms in office, struck a chord with me, and millions of my fellow Americans, leading us to become Reagan Democrats. ( Truth to tell, though, I've probably been a Democrat, in registration only, I've begun to realize, over the past year or so. )
Unlike the Gray Lady, in New York, I do not believe that gray is an attractive alternative to the kind of leadership the Conservatism of Ronald Reagan gave us, and the current President, in many ways, espouses.
Where I began to go astray, politically, was when I let my anger, at the missteps, and supposed illegalities, of Reagan's 2nd term distract me from the Big Picture truths about Reaganism, Reagonomics, and everything else successful, he did.
The voices of the Far Left were in full-throated attack, and I ate up their "investigative reporting", and became angry about a lot of things.
The fact that I was a low income worker, a homebody, a loner with no friends, a heavy sense of responsibility to family, and a credit card debt beginning to weigh me down distracted me from the essential messages espoused by Conservatives from Jerry Falwell to Ronald Reagan:Americans must believe in themselves, and their nation, and have at least some little bit of faith, whether in a God, or in themselves, in order to accomplish accomplish anything worthwhile in this world, and this life.
There was still much that was accomplished, in world politics, anyway, that I cheered, but in my anger at the negatives I didn't vote for Bush I, and as the years went by I grew to mistrust him, and the brand of Conservatism I was initially attracted to in 1980.
When the Reagan Democrats flocked to Clinton I was one of them, as I chucked my shirt at a Clinton Campaign appearance in Ontario, Ca., soaked up the atmosphere of being among folks like myself who were troubled by the policies of the first George Bush, and maybe, like me troubled by the circumstances of our everyday lives, and so ate up the message Bill, Hill, and Al, had for America, and the world.
It was a hot day, full of music, and speeches, but on this day when I dared to leave my solitude, and hang out in a crowd, at a very politicallly personal event, I felt like I was part of something special.
By the end of the Clinton Presidency, in early 1999, my life was going nowhere, and I was again terribly disillusioned by a President, his behavior, and his policies.
In 1999 my life began to change.
The 1st step was getting a computer, going online, and joining the broader discussion, and debate found in the old message board communities known as Pathfinder, on the Entertainment Weekly, and Time Online websites.
The people I met online ( some, later in person as well ) helped change my life, and encouraged ( and still encourage ) me in so many ways as I grew, and changed socially, and politically.
The social part came before Sept. 11 when I took trips for 4 day adventures among some of them in Phoenix, and Chicago.
The morning after returning from Chicago was Sept.11, and my political awareness began to slowly change.
I had always been an avid reader of the political mags of the Left, and Right, and through everything had even been an avid listener of Rush Limbaugh since 1990.
Rush appealed to me as long as he wasn't speaking in Republicanese. :-)
I just shutout that part in my rejection of Reagan, and George Bush I.
In May 2002 I was encouraged to join the Bloggerverse by a very wise friend who saw my intelligence, ability, and talent, and knew this was a wonderful way for me to put it all to use.
This led to reading the works of other Bloggers, especially Conservatives, as my support for the War Against Terror grew, and it also led to my reading more of the social, political, and economic writings of Conservative Bloggers, and magazines.
I also began to express my own evolving opinions as well.
Reading, and listening to Rush, and Sean Hannity, I began to realize how very much I actually agreed with what I read, and heard, and how much I disagreed with much of what the Far Left was saying, and had been saying, and doing for years.
In 2003 I wrote a series of essays on the Illegal Immigration issue here in Ca..
I found myself disturbed by the situation, and the views of those here on the Left, and so expressed my opinion.
I was also writing about The War Against Terror ( T.W.A.T. ), and the war in Iraq, and my views on them evolved as well.
Some folks on the Left were not happy, and let me know it.
I wasn't disuaded. Not one little bit.
During this time I was also re-discovering my interest, and ability in Creative Writing, especially of poetry.
Last October, after the Ca. Elections, I switched Parties, and became a Republican.
I guess I've gone from thinking I was a Center Left Democrat to realizing I'm more of a Center Right Republican, and inching further right the more I read, and hear of the beliefs, and policy prescriptions, of the Left in this country.
I believe that Liberalism, and the Democratic Party, are in trouble, and their policies are troubling, because their vocal, politically powerful, and active, practitioners are far from their more moderate mainstream, less politically active, comrades.
The more I thought about the ideas, and policies of Liberalism, especially the less than moderate side of it all, the more I realized it didn't appeal to me.
In the 5 years since I wrote all that I've done many things to further my journey into becoming more Conservative in my views, from reading books, magazines, blogs, and websites, to continuing to listen to talk Radio, and continue to watch Fox News.
I have not been neutral by a long shot, and I've not been afraid to express myself in various ways, and on many different venues, from blogs, and the groups, and pages, I support on Facebook, to Twitter, and commenting on, and rating, videos, on YouTube, as well as continuing with Stumble Upon.
I've always had Liberal friends, and one of the great things about venues such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Stumble Upon, is that they allow people of differing political, social, cultural, and religious backrounds to interact civily, and even become friends, based on our common interests, and values.
But Politics is not what this blog is about.
I have other interests I care about, and want to share, and have done so since October 2007.
If you want to explore what Conservatism is all about, and what Conservatives, like me, think about the issues of the day then explore the links in the Food For Thought section of my sidebar (List #1)...the choice to do so, my friend, is entirely up to you. ;-D