Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Are you ready?....

Being grandparents lets you relive a lot of the experiences you had when you were raising your own children. Some pleasant, some not so pleasant. My wife and I are now embarking on our second round of “potty training”. While I have never been overly enthusiastic about changing diapers, especially with the rinsing and pinning required with the cloth diapers of my early parenthood, I did find that I tolerated that chore better than the dreaded cry of, “Daddy, come wipe me!”

But I imagine I’ll get through it. I did the last time around, anyway. I do remember getting some advice from parents and in-laws concerning the timing of the training. The general consensus seemed to be that there was no use starting before the child was ready, and that different children decided they were ready at different ages and stages. I know that applied to my children, and I have a strong suspicion it will apply to my grandchildren as well.

I suppose that’s how things have worked all along. Different individuals tolerate and react to things differently. Back at Millville Grade School, classmates would pester my old buddy Stinky Wilmont mercilessly, and sometimes he would make it through an entire recess without decking one of them. His brother Gilbert lost his composure much easier, and most of his tormenters moved on pretty shortly.

Our Founding Fathers came to this country and put up with British rulers for 150 years before deciding that it was time for a change. Of course, some came to that decision sooner than others, and some never came to it at all. It took the French a little longer to start their revolution, but once they got it started, they kept it going a little longer, at least the ones that didn’t lose their heads over it did

According to a recent Rasmussen Report survey, the American people may be ready for another change. The number of people who self-identify as Republicans has fallen to just over 30% since the 2004 elections, while those who self-identify as Democrats dropped to about 36%. I don’t know how most of them are identifying themselves politically now, or even if they are identifying themselves at all. I do know where a few of them have ended up.

Bob Barr, a former Republican U.S. Representative from Georgia, and former United States Attorney , has left the GOP and joined the Libertarian Party. There’s a better than average chance that he is going to seek the party’s presidential nomination. There’s also a better than average chance he’ll get it.

Mike Gravel, the, uhhh, colorful Democratic Senator from Alaska, has left his old party, joined the Libertarians, and thrown his hat into the LP presidential ring, although getting the nomination might be a bit of an uphill battle.

The LP has seen significant growth recently, with membership increasing 14% in the first half of 2007. Gallup Surveys, Pew Research Center and the American National Election Studies find that about 14% of voting age Americans now hold libertarian values of fiscal conservatism and social tolerance.
Maybe not yet enough to win a presidential election, but certainly enough to influence the outcome of that election. And certainly enough to bring about a change.

And we all know that elected officials, like diapers, need to be changed once in a while.


Blogger said...

(Not related to post.)

Your blog has been included on the agregate web reader for Indiana blogs at:

8:10 PM  
Blogger Mike Kole said...

Rex- elected officials need to be changed like diapers, for the same reason.

I think even Stinky Wilmot would agree.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


How do you define “social tolerance;” pornography, abortion, homosexuality, polygamy, incest, pedophilia; what exactly do you mean? I have sympathies for libertarian’s perspectives and welcome them on the local level, but when I read some the perverse perspectives on libertarian online forums such the one from Reason I am not comfortable with the libertarian ideals they call socials tolerance.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Rex Bell said...

Jeff, my view and definition of social tolerance requires consenting adults.

8:08 PM  

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