Politics makes me feel like I don’t belong

These days there seems to be a long supply of political outrage chasing a small supply of perspective. I’m trying to figure out where I fit in.

I consider myself reflective. But obviously thinking about options, alternatives and solutions is pointless if I don’t move forward. At this point, I’m more thoughtful than helpful. Like a lot of people, including most of my friends, I’m looking for some inspiration.

The middle-class liberal/progressive inclination—let me speak for my brothers—is to write a check and go back to inertia. We have had too many expectations that have come to nothing. We are suspicious. Wouldn’t the presidency of Barack Obama lead to an expansion of the fraternity? Isn’t Biden supposed to put practical knowledge back at the helm?

If I hear one more MSNBC commentator proclaim that the latest investigation could, should, could, could possibly send a criminal to prison, I swear I’ll try again at CBS News. I’m looking for results, not dreams.

I think the police should be funded. I think the police should be held accountable. I think it’s reasonable for voters to provide identification. I believe that voters should have maximum access to vote and that their choices should count. I believe responsible, trained and licensed adults should be allowed to own guns. I think whole enclaves of people who know better self-control and decency locked in a back room and gone crazy.

When I was a child, my parents feared that Saturday morning television cowboys would introduce the concept of violence into my fragile maturing mind. In fact, the fighting was so mundane and so fast-paced that, compared to today’s levels of entertainment brutality, these two-fisted Western heroes qualified for Nobel Peace Prizes. By the way, their guns were called “six shooters”. If applied today, the term would mean six violent, crazy young men taking inferiority complexes out on the world, their despicable behavior subscribed to by QAnon.

I believe in both types of freedom: Negative: freedom from unjustified restrictions. This would include restrictions on forms of personal behavior that cause no harm to others.

And positive liberty: reasonable limitations that prevent instigators from interfering with the ordinary, everyday functions of life. You know, going about our days without worrying our children, neighbors or ourselves will shoot us.

I believe in privacy. No one needs or has a right to know what I think, feel, dream or do in my home, or anywhere else, as long as I obey the laws and practice courtesy and common sense.

I’ve heard the Supreme Court argue that if the founding fathers didn’t make it an enumerated right, then it’s not fundamental. Well, you know what’s not in the Constitution? The right to prohibit abortion. Still, I wish there were fewer unwanted pregnancies.

I wait for a peculiar turn in the bumpy road that will reveal a smoother path. That the route will meander through the city collecting great ideas from the different communities it meets.

So what am I? A moderate? A liberal? An old-school conservative? If, God forbid, William F. Buckley and Elizabeth Warren had a baby (sorry, Elizabeth), they’d call me “son.”

Charles E. Kraus is the author of “Baffled Again … and Again.”

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