Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Who are you?

This is probably one of the biggest problems I have with starting a blog. I have already sacrificed some anonymity in starting and in the first two posts, but I feel I should let you know a little about me, but not everything.
I have lived in Bountiful for almost all of my life. Exceptions include: a year studying at Southern Utah University; a two year, full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Melbourne, Australia; and a semester internship in Washington, DC. I have a Bachelor's of Science in Political Science from the University of Utah, with a Certificate in International Relations. I recently finished working on the campaign for the Democratic US Senate candidate in Utah. In lieu of finding a real job (yet), I have returned to the U to take classes for the Campaign Management Minor.
As I said before, one of my biggest interests is politics. I have been interested in it since I witnessed Ronald Reagan interrupt cartoons on TV one day, shocked at the power one man could have to stop cartoons. However, my political philosophy does not have great appreciation for Reagan. I consider there are three main influences on my political outlook: my family, my education, and my mission. My father is a Vietnam veteran, now retired from a defense contractor, and has evolved in his own political ideas from a strong Republican from Nixon through Dole to voting for Nader in 2000, now berating the "fascists masquerading as Republicans." My mother is a kindergarten teacher, and her struggles with that profession have greatly influenced my positions on government. Though she considers herself an independent, as a result of her early activism in education labor politics brought me into contact with more Democrats, and I have eventually sympathized with the party's other positions, for the most part.
My education involves schooling, but also the books I have read and the documentaries I have watched. Understanding the historical ideas of the political parties and their leaders has shaped how I feel about each party's philosophies. My schooling has forced me to evaluate the policies on a mostly objective basis. Such study has led me to believe that Democrats have salient morals, values, and ideas, as well as effective policies that address real problems. My favorite quote comes from the PBS American Experience documentary on LBJ, and illustrates what I think government should have its clearest focus: “People programs. People. I'm talking about people. I mean, p-e-e-p-u-l. I'm talking folks!"

My mission was a very important experience because it really made me a Democrat. I entered the MTC on September 12, 2001. On September 10, because I was so politically interested, I worried that I would constantly be distracted by politics, even in Australia. On the 12th, I had confidence that I could ignore politics and the news and give my full effort to the work. I figured that Bush would assume a FDR-like mantle, rallying the nations of the world together to fight a common enemy and no one would disagree with him because it was so obvious the reasons that we had to fight and other nations, including Australians, would be glad to help. For the first few months, it was good. Most Aussies were kind and understanding when they found out my companion and I were Americans. That started to change after the first missile strike on Afghanistan, and slid further downhill as Bush became more and more obsessed with Iraq. I distinctly recall one door where the woman would not talk to us “because your President wants to go to war.” I had no idea at the time (around October 2002) what was going on, but it soon became apparent. (As a sidenote, I doubt the woman would have listened to us anyway.) I realized how stupid things were when, on the day the invasion started, we went to fill up our car at the 7-11 next door to the mission office where I worked. The attendant, in a rather frightened tone, asked if many Americans were around the office; I surmised he was afraid of terrorists attacking the mission office, which would probably have a negative effect on the petrol station. When I came home, I realized how crappy things were in Iraq, and the rest of the state, county, and country.

That sums up my political history, somewhat. I am taking a class on political philosophy this semester, so that may become more detailed.

This blog will not be all politics all the time. I intend to write about sports, especially my teams: the Utes, Jazz, Yankees, Nationals, 49ers, and Real. I will also talk about music; my tastes tend to favor anything but pop, and I may have some Pandora stuff on here. I hesitate to put movie reviews on here, because I have no real expertise, but I will probably make some comments. Anything else you want to talk about, feel free to let me know.

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