Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Little Man

My favorite columnist at The Post Dispatch, Bill McClellan, is semi-retiring. There's a great write-up in the Riverfront Times explaining several months of drama and questionable financial decisions within Lee Enterprises, but the gist of it is Lee Enterprises bought Pulitzer when they didn't have enough money to cover the debt. Ever since, quarterly layoffs continue to happen at Lee's papers while somehow the board members still get bonuses. Bill McClellan, always one to defend the little man, took a buy-out to save some of his younger peers' jobs.

This is severely reminiscent of when Sallie was laid of from a McClatchy paper years ago.

I've always stuck up for "the little man." I don't really know when it started. 

It's possible the comic book heroes of my youth put this "hero" complex in my mind. I think that's why I was so drawn to the Punisher. 

It might have been when I transferred to a new middle school and the first people to take me in were the "nerds." And when I gained popularity, I saw how often they were picked on. 

Anytime I found myself in a situation where I might fight someone in high-school, it was rarely defending myself, usually defending others. 

I filled out one of those surveys to find out which political candidate matches my beliefs most ( and found that Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were my top two matches. I was sort of hoping with an election that had roughly 20 people running, I would match up with someone besides the top Democrats, but here I am. 

As I was falling asleep last night, both of these topics on my mind, it occurred to me the reason why I typically tend to side just slightly with the "left wing."

You see, the way I look at politics is a sort of Venn diagram. On one side is economic issues, the other social, and in the middle is religious. Most people put a little more importance on one side or the other with religious beliefs informing either side, but all three are intertwined. 

Social issues tend to be my focus. 

And it's weird, my thoughts are very Conservative when it comes to personal liberties. I don't feel like you should tell anyone how they can live their life as long as it's not hurting anyone else. That's why I support both gay marriage and gun rights.

At the same time, I think there should be federally regulated systems to help people that need it. No one should be on the street or hungry. I support socialized healthcare and some form of welfare (although the system is broken in it's current state) and I would pay more taxes to make sure it was funded. 

And if I'm willing to pay more taxes, I certainly believe the rich and companies should have to pay more taxes.

Most states are currently in more and more debt. The government is racking up a huge deficit. Throwing more money at the problem won't solve it, that would require a complete audit of every bill and spending line at both the state and federal level, but it could help. 

It's dizzying. Neither of the major parties have an identity that makes sense anymore. In their constant effort to please a voting base, all candidates start sounding like parodies of themselves. If you gave me a character sheet and told me if they were Republican, Democratic, Green, or Libertarian, I could fill in the rest of the bubbles with 90% accuracy.

Basically the gist of this is, thank you Bill McClellan, I like sticking up for the small guy, I'm not ready for another election year, and somehow in my sleepy mind, I tied those together.