While I may respect or even support your cause, don’t expect me to rally ’round your flag, boys

gazaFatah_2443581bI have opinions. Of course I do. Opinions that I hope are moderately well-considered and founded on as many facts of the situation that I’ve been able to discern.

I even have politically-motivated opinions. Not necessarily mainstream politically-motivated (I am suspicious of party politics since most of the views held by parties are more about the parties than they are about the well-being of society).

And generally I keep my opinions to myself while admittedly sometimes being susceptible to a knee-jerk response. In that I am human and in that I often find out I’ve been wrongheaded when more information comes my way.

What this ramble is all about is the fact that I, of late, have been hit on Facebook and in emails by no small number of petitions in which those who send them want me to back their drive for whatever.

All I can say is, good luck with that. Especially as it applies to my involvement. I generally don’t rally to ‘causes’, even well-principled ones because, mainly, they are causes and there are some who subscribe to certain views with whom I do not share philosophical principles. So, I don’t want my name to be included with theirs in some sort of a general mix.

I make my own decisions. Well, sometimes my wife helps, but you know what I mean.

Part of this philosophy – if it is indeed a philosophy – is based on the fact that I’m a longtime journalist so in order to maintain credibility I like to play my cards close to the chest so that nobody will question my objectivity.

My friends run the spectrum of politics and God love them for it. We live in a democratic society and they are entitled and if such individuals have political views I don’t share, but they are otherwise human beings I value, then I don’t give a rat’s-ass how they vote or what causes they rally to.

It reminds me of the time when I had an ongoing newspaper column and was stopped on the street by a reader who, while gratifyingly a fan of my column, wondered why I never declared myself politically.

“Why should I lose half my readership?” I asked him. “Those that don’t like my politics will simply stop reading me and I will forever be seen as biased.”

Now, on FB, for example, I will share items with which I agree, or I will ‘like’ certain postings by others, but my likings are based on general ethical principles and philosophies rather than partisanship.

Otherwise, what I believe really shouldn’t matter a fig to anybody in terms of whatever respect they might have or might not have for me as a person. I may fully agree with a stance taken by a friend whom I respect, but I won’t necessarily rally to a cause.


8 responses to “While I may respect or even support your cause, don’t expect me to rally ’round your flag, boys

  1. Well put.
    One problem with declaring yourself is that the lines have been falsely drawn. By that I mean, certain things are assumed to go together, which don’t necessarily. For example, if you are a social conservative, you must also be anti-immigration. If you believe in free speech, you must also support porn. If you object to abortion, you must be a chauvanist.
    I’ll stop before I get all het up …

  2. I concur: hear, hear.

    I rarely post my political views — or even speak of them. And yet it’s surprising how many people think they know what I’m thinking or how I feel on a subject. They don’t — but they’re free to think they do.



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