This is for Michael who asked me to write something political:
I don’t write about politics.
That isn’t to say that I don’t have political opinions. I certainly do. I’m a registered voter. I read the newspaper (one of the last few on the planet, I’m sure), and I follow all the insanity that explodes on my Facebook and Twitter feeds during some international crisis.
But I don’t write about politics. At least I try not to. I’m much more comfortable in the conspiracy theory corner anyway. Fiction is so much more fun than reality on any day of the week. I love finding websites by people holed up in mountains somewhere waiting for the apocalypse, trying to get their messages across in pages long rants that no one sees, on obscure blogposts with names like, therealtruth.com or prepareyourself.com.
In terms of practicality, I’d be a terrible political writer anyway. Most of my knowledge of diplomacy or foreign policy is based on what I’ve seen on TV and in the movies. My views on how a president should or should not behave have been framed by David Palmer, James Marshall and Josiah Butler more so than John Kennedy, George Bush, or Barack Obama. My feelings and opinions on water boarding and Guantanamo were shaped by Jack Bauer. In my political opinion, most crises can be tied up neatly at the end of a season or two.
Politics in real life? I’m not such an expert. I watch CNN and BBC and FoxNews interchangeably. I watch the clips on YouTube that people post with the title: “Watch this before they take it down!” as if that ever happens. I have family and friends in countries across the globe and we talk politics all the time. But I don’t think I could ever offer any cataclysmic opinions in the way of a political column.
I’ve gone to many protest rallies. I was arrested in 1992 at one that got a little out of hand. In the past, I’ve written letters to the editor complaining about this or that. Pointing out biased reporting or issues I felt went unreported. It’s good to have a cause and believe in something worthwhile, but I also know a lot about anger and knee-jerk reactions. I see that vitriol all over my newsfeed and I am cautious about throwing my hat into the fray – even if it is even keeled or the voice of reason.
I don’t post political cartoons on my Facebook page. I don’t voice my opinion on Twitter. Sorry. It might put me on the shore of Acheron one day with the rest of Dante’s Indifferent, but I’m not worried. Because like I said, just because they aren’t posted, doesn’t mean that I don’t have an opinion. It just means I’m not particularly qualified for the public debate that will no doubt ensue.
I know that I do not know what goes on behind closed political doors, and so a discussion about politics is much better suited to a conversation around dinner where I can happily piss off family members. Usually my father-in-law. But spouting my opinions for the world as if I’m some authority? Like in a serious way?
No. That isn’t my job. That isn’t my game. At least not right now.
I don’t do politics.