Dear readers, this post is the first of a series in which I will analyze my personal political philosophy. My intent hereby is to arrive at a logically consistent framework within which to address several of the so-called “Big Questions” of our day. I urge you, the reader, to join me in this endeavor. Let us turn this monologue into a dialogue. Whether you agree with the concepts, principles, and conclusions arrived herein or not, especially if you do not, please feel free to join the conversation.
Before we get started, please allow me to present a few salient facts about myself which may shed some light on the cultural and psychological foundations of my thought processes. First, I am a natural born citizen of the United States; so, the politics we will be discussing will be American politics. There may be some concepts that are more or less universally applicable, but since I have only ever lived in the U. S. I have insufficient familiarity with other countries’ political systems to offer an informed opinion on them. Next, I am a middle aged (46 at the time of this writing), heterosexual, cis-male, (Is that redundant? I’m not sure.) Caucasian of Scots-Irish and Czechoslovakian descent. I have, therefore, never been part of an oppressed minority. I admit that this may limit my perspective on certain societal issues. I will endeavor to be as sensitive to such things as I can. If I misstep, please understand that I mean no intentional offense.
I am relatively well educated, having completed both a BS and a MBA. My wife also holds an MBA. Our income level puts us squarely in the Middle Class. We have two sons, two dogs, two mortgages, and a cat. I have lived all over this fine country. I grew up in North Carolina, in a suburb of Greensboro. I went to High School in North Dakota. There were 90 students in my graduating class. My family moved to Oregon after I graduated. My parents and brother still live there. I went to college in two stages. First, right out of High School, at Southern Oregon University. It was Southern Oregon State College at the time. Then, almost six years later I finished my BS at Old Dominion University while stationed in Norfolk, Virginia with the US Navy. My wife and I now live in Missouri. We earned our MBAs from Lindenwood University.
Religion, specifically Christianity, played a significant role in my upbringing. I attended a Catholic parochial school up through grade school. My parents, and so also my brother and I, switched to the Assemblies of God when I was in High School. So, one might say I have experienced both ends of the Christian spectrum. When I was growing up we went to church every Sunday, most Wednesdays too. My parents hosted Bible studies and prayer groups. I was baptized Catholic as an infant, baptized in the Holy Spirit as a teenager and married by a Franciscan priest. We do not attend church now, though we did have both our boys baptized in a Catholic church as infants. When asked my religion now I am more likely to claim Deist than anything; or, I joke about having been a practicing Catholic until I finally got it right. If asked what church I attend I name the Methodist church where my son is a member of the Boy Scout Troop. We did used to go there when the boys were younger, but gradually stopped going when the Day of Rest part of Sundays became more important than getting dressed up and mustering the energy for social interaction.
I have been a member of the Knights of Columbus. I received the 4th Degree thereof and was even the Charter Warden for a new Council. I still hold the insurance, but am no longer an active member. My fraternal affiliaiton, my Maslow need for association, is now fulfilled through the Freemasons. I am Past Master of my Lodge, a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite brother, Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, and Past Commander of the Council of Kadosh for my local Valley. More than a mere member of the Freemasons, I have become a student of their philosophy. For many of you this may mean nothing, for others it will speak volumes. If you would take anything from this, know that I lead a life of thoughtful action and reasoned opinion. I have been exposed to, and contemplated a wide variety of philosophies and viewpoints.
I served as an enlisted person in the United States Navy for 10 years, from 1989-1999. I was a Nuclear Power trained Electrician. I served aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt during Desert Storm. I left the Navy after finishing my BS in Information Systems, and because by then my first son had been born and I did not want to be an absentee father. I have worked in Information Technology ever since.
From the above I suspect you may have drawn several conclusions about my political proclivities. If so, then consider that this series of posts represents my willingness to entertain other viewpoints and give them due consideration and evaluation. I’ve also probably given out enough information on myself for any would-be stalker to be able to track me down.