Thomas Wictor

A big blog takes note

A big blog takes note

My post “I used to be a journalist” was picked up by Power Line. It’s currently at the top left of the page, under “Picks.”

Now, this might anger a lot of you because you don’t like Power Line. Well, if the post were picked up by a big left-leaning blog, I’m betting you’d be happy.

The truth is, I’m not a political person. I have certain beliefs, and I always vote, but my heart isn’t in it. I know too much about politics to ever fully trust a politician. For example, members of Congress are allowed to engage in insider trading, and they’re not required to declare all their assets. Who exempted them from the laws that the rest of us must obey? Why, Congress did!

Congress also exempted itself from the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. If this law is so great, why did Congress scramble to make sure that it wasn’t subjected to it the way the rest of us are?

Having been born in Venezuela, I’m very familiar with lawlessness and corruption. On a personal level I’ve been forced to interact with liars, thieves, and sociopaths, many of them in my own family. It wrecked my health. For the rest of my life, I intend to stay on as even a keel as I can. It turns out that the stress of 2013 caused the Meniere’s disease to enter a new, much worse phase, characterized by chronic fatigue. I’m now even more incapacitated than I was before.

So I can’t afford to rev myself up. And the truth of the matter is, political beliefs don’t bother me, as long as the person doesn’t assault me for mine. My pal Joe Cady just dropped in for a visit. In the thirty-three years we’ve known each other, we’ve had one quasi-political discussion, about the Iraq war. I’m confident that Joe and I would disagree on many if not most political issues. If I found out that he opposed everything in which I believed, it wouldn’t change how I feel about him.

We all have the right to vote however we want. Voting is secret for a reason. If people want to discuss politics, that’s great. But nothing is more inconsiderate than foisting a political discussion on someone when they’ve given you no sign that they want to have one.

Mom and Dad were devoutly political. Since I don’t have their permission, I won’t tell you their politics. But one day they had a guest who proceeded to shred their political beliefs in the most insulting way possible, knowing full well that they wouldn’t respond in kind. They were old, sick, and polite, so this creep took advantage of them. I find that utterly reprehensible.

My own view as an entertainer is that if I ask you for your money, I should keep my mouth shut about your politics. Plenty of Americans take politics very seriously. I can easily understand that if I spent all my time trashing your ideology, you might not be able to enjoy what I write. My own opinion is that it would be thoughtless and arrogant of me to trash your ideology as I ask you for your money.

Lots of entertainers are very outspoken politically. That’s their right. And you have the right to not watch their movies, not buy their music, or not buy their books. The only entertainers whose work I don’t buy are the ones who attack the other side on a personal level. Name calling, wishing for someone’s death, or impugning the morality of people for simply disagreeing is what makes me cross certain entertainers off my list.

If I find out that an entertainer supports an ideology that I don’t share, but that person has never engaged in the rabid demonization of the opposition, it’s a non-issue for me. Heck, one of my friends is a proud communist. Yes, I know all about Soviet communism. I also know that in many countries, it’s prudent to voice certain positions. Who knows what actually goes on in someone else’s head?

Writing my military books has put me in touch with people from all over the planet. Recently a young man in Tehran contacted me. It reminded me of a show I saw on TV years ago, in which the producers hooked up an American family and an Iranian family by satellite so they could speak to each other live and show each other their houses. Both families were happy to see each other.

At one point the Americans started talking about the Iranian revolution and the hostage crisis, and of course the Iranians defended Khomeini and the revolutionaries. What would you expect them to say? Iran is a dictatorship. Why in the world would you put people in danger by publicly asking them if they agreed with their totalitarian government?

The Iranians’ cheerfulness disappeared and never really came back. For me the show was ruined. It was a terrible squandered opportunity. Politics poisoned what could’ve been wonderful.

If people want to talk about their politics, that’s fine. It’s not a major issue with me one way or the other. I’m trying to get exposure, and when a big blog takes note, it’s a great privilege and marketing coup.

Just remember that I’ve never called anyone names, nor have I demonized people or questioned their morality.

Okay, that’s a lie.

I call lots of people names, demonize them, and question their morality. But not for their political beliefs. I do it when they’re insufferable, destructive bags of excreta. And those come with every political belief under the sun.

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