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Posted: 10.30.2002
A decent respect to the Opinions of Mankind
If you've read my blog for long, you've probably noticed that I generally shy away from political discussion, save the occasional "I'm sick of my fellow citizens shooting up children and their protectors" handgun rants. I stick with the fluff. Which might seem quite odd if you know much about me. I graduated with a minor in Political Science, but that was actually my major (and intended degree) during my first three years at OU.

When I was being advised for my senior year graduation-check, for the first time the Poli Sci department handled my capstone planning instead of the Honors Program. That was also the first time an "oops" was discovered. I had attended Oklahoma Baptist University before entering OU, and came in with enough hours from that, CLEP and AP courses to be considered a sophomore. Well no one bothered to notice in all that time that even though I'd earned credit hours pre-1991, it was from a private institution. The graduation guidelines had changed in 1991, requiring everyone who entered OU during and after 1991 to take another year's worth of courses. So here I am two semesters away from what I thought was a sure graduation -- and I learned "not so fast". At the time my History credits (my then-minor) equaled my Poli Sci ones. And the History Dept. did accept private school credits for the pre-1991 students. I could change majors and still graduate on time. Or I could hang around yet another year taking freshman level courses to get my Poli Sci degree. Looking back, it was the stupidest decision I'd ever made. At the time you just want to get OUT. But when you're out, you realize those days are gone and you can't get them back. And I have a B.A. in History because of it.

Perhaps that's part of why I'm generally anything but political here. I'm still very bitter that the path I had mapped out my whole life was snatched from me at the very last minute. I told every teacher and counselor I had from the seventh grade on (thanks to Linda Hockmeyer at Waller Junior High in Enid, OK) that I was going to major in Political Science. My young dreams, before health got in the way, included joining the Secret Service and eventually working for election campaigns and perhaps as a Congressional Aide. But suddenly here I was in the real world...with a History degree. And I had a job I loved totally unrelated to anything with my schooling (isn't that always the case), and my life-road forked.

Another reason could be the way -- and where -- I was raised. From the day I got old enough to talk, I knew anything and everything having to do with the President and Congress, and I only agreed with the majority in Congress. I grew up during the Reagan-Bush era in a very religious, very conservative family in the buckle of the Bible Belt. My views on a woman's right to choose weren't exactly appreciated. I think my mother is still horrified that she managed to raise not one -- but two -- liberals. My grandfather would not tolerate anything negative being said against President Reagan. So I didn't. I learned how to form, and carry, my views while sticking to them silently. I registered to vote the day I turned 18, and I registered voters during my first Presidential election with the OU Student Democrats and Students for Choice.

Rarely will you find a political discussion where you can change the other side's views simply by quoting facts and statistics. Because in the end, statistics are the pretty wrapping on a whole (sometimes ugly) package full of emotion and feeling. And you can't change another person's feelings. You just...can't. Only time, age and experience can do so.

Which brings me to the purpose of this entry. (Yes, there really is one.) I am extremely proud of my husband tonight. He went out on a limb tonight to speak his views, "popular" or not. We had one of those "so that is why I married you" discussions over dinner last night that has obviously cleared out a few cobwebs in both of our core belief-systems. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean that we have to, too. It doesn't make us un-American, although I'm sure there are several TV ads, country songs, and blog entries that would like to make you believe so. It makes us Americans. Because in this country we have the power to form our own opinion -- and then speak it.

And if you doubt that, I suggest you go back and read the history of how this nation was founded. By the way, that's the History major in me talking...

Hey boy take a look at me...let me dirty up your mind...

This is going to come out all wrong and sound horribly and cheesy, oh well her goes :)
Isn't that what our [I mean all of North American here] ancestors fought for, a place where we could be free to state/or not our opinions without having to worry about persecution?

¤ ¤ credit: munin | 10.30.02 at 09:39 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Wonderful post, Robyn. Politics lost a believer when it lost you working inside the process. A shame.

¤ ¤ credit: Scott | 10.30.02 at 10:28 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

All hope isn't lost Scott. If I'm ever healthy enough to do it, I will finish that double-degree! :-)

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 10.30.02 at 10:41 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Fingers crossed, then! (And not just for that reason.)

¤ ¤ credit: Scott | 10.30.02 at 11:26 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Dan rebuts.

¤ ¤ credit: Sekimori | 10.30.02 at 11:42 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I have a LOT of political views. But for the most part, I don't use my blog to get on some kind of trip about them.
Unfortunately, I think some people are "hit hookers", and merely post about politics so that it'll attract contoversy & traffic to their web site.
I think that's why I kind of stay away from posting too much about politics except on a perhaps personal or humourous level.

I DEFINITELY respect a blogger's political opinions MORE if their whole blog isn't about politics all the time. It means they're well-rounded & living the life they want to shape by being politically active.

And I recall someone saying something... That they don't post about politics on their site... but they're very active in their community with politics & good causes, and maybe some of these people who make it a point to have blogs all about politics, they might be sitting on their arses & doing NOTHING in real life.

¤ ¤ credit: Chloe | 10.31.02 at 09:19 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

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