I was a dirty, stinking hippie. Like so many I was a product of an upper middle class home. Mine was an Army family and many of the positions that I espoused caused incredible conflict at home and at school. I was a very young rebel. I got kicked out of a couple of schools. At the age of 14 I was hanging around with university students in their mid-20s.
I started out as a curiosity and a kind of mascot, but became a leader in the group. I was living in Bogota at the time and was a very prominent, well know, and heartily reviled (by the American community) son of the one of the leading American figures in Bogota at that time.
Later we lived in a large east coast Navy town. Then my father retired. I believe he went to his death convinced that I cost him his star due to my performance in Bogota.
I've been a political radical with views that would have fit in with the SDS. I've been an anarchist when I despaired of all politics. I then became a centrist pragmatist and actually voted for Gerald Ford in '76 because I saw (correctly) that Carter would be an absolute disaster.
I then became a reliable Independent who usually voted Democratic.
I wrote a very long letter to my sister about what a disaster Ronald Reagan would be as President the day he was elected. This was the last real letter I ever wrote. It was handwritten and was probably 20 pages. I remember getting hand cramps as I wrote it. She was not amused. She didn't speak to me for at least six months and then told me how angry the letter had made her. She had just voted for Reagan. I asked for the letter back because it had been truly inspired, but she had thrown it away. She is now rabidly anti-Bush and reliably anti-Republican. She is the most conservative member of my family so I guess we are all liberal Democrats now.
Due to my second bachelors I was well positioned to enter the technology industry and went through a couple of boom/bust cycles until I left technical support and became an account executive in the late 90's.
Until 2003 I made ridiculous amounts of money. I had five years in a row of over $500,000 per year. But I never lost my political leanings. I'm still a centrist liberal. In 2003, I hit the wall and the technology industry either spit me out or I left it. I'm of two minds about that to this day.
In 2008, after trying to do many, many things including starting my own business we declared bankruptcy. Like so many others, we had created an unsustainable lifestyle that carried more expenses than either one of us earned in income. In 2008, for example I earned roughly $8000 and was in the grip of a suffocating depression that had started in 2004.
In 2000 I joined the Democratic Party and became served as Precinct Chair for the most Republican precinct in North Texas. Caucusing was great fun. Our quorum during the 2004 election consisted of 4 people in a corner at the polling place-a local elementary school in Plano, TX.
In 2003, I resigned as Precinct Chair of that precinct and to my knowledge that position has not been filled to this date.
A lot of my best friends were and are rabidly Republican. I can see both sides of the argument, but I truly believe that conservatism is the doctrine of selfishness and is rooted in all of our worse impulses. It is not a Christian doctrine.
I believe that this is a struggle between good and evil. And good must prevail, but it will be very difficult to win this war.
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