Funny how life throws curve balls at you.
I remember when I was in college - I was pro-choice, full-on Leftist. I was campaigning for Clinton-Gore because it was the in thing to do, the girls liked it, and I felt like I was making a change. Plus at that age, I knew everything.
A few years later, I was in the real world, working and paying taxes. I "knew" the Left was wrong and went full tilt to the GOP. I was a card-carrying member, and even ran for county committee. I still have the sample ballot with my name on it somewhere. Once again, I knew it all and was sure of myself.
2000 rolled around and I got a real jolt of reality from being active in a party. I learned that the overwhelming majority of Republican brass were crossovers from the Democratic Party who were looking to keep a job in party politics, or who were trying to advance themselves. Principle? Pfft, that was for the dumb it seems. Play the game, you'll go far. You don't have to stand for anything, as long as the money rolls in.
Let's just say I had something of an identity crisis at that point. While I held to conservative values (and you can call me one today, although paleoconservative or Constitutionalist is more apt f you have to apply labels) I was sickened by hearing how the party of "conservatives" was just a whore to whoever had money. I walked away disgusted, never to return to them.
I spent some years drifting, looking for a party which shared my values. I even kicked the idea around of a new party. I voted for Mike Peroutka in 2004 (the Constitution Party) and I supported Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr in 2008. I have friends in both the Constitution and Libertarian parties. I used to be on the mailing list for the America First Party as well. All three have great points. All three are for small government and a return to the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.
At this point, while I'm still registered with the Constitution Party, I can safely say I'm through with partisan politics. Washington was dead-on. All it does is divide us further. The Constitution party, the Libertarians...they more or less believe the same stuff in regards to the Constitution. The CP has a more religious-based interpretation, which bothers some less religious Libertarians.
What I really enjoy, though, is that being a consistent supporter of the Constitution seems to tick off a lot of partisan folks on both sides. I really enjoy being a prick sometimes, I suppose. The neocons love when I speak against big government - but they flip out when I speak against the fake conservatives and neocons who've done nothing to scale back government. They cringe when I say the wars are illegal and serve only the central banks and the criminals who run them.
My liberal friends like when I speak against war and when I mention the crimes committed by W and Cheney. But they hate when I talk of morality or of our 2nd Amendment rights.
I like to wonder if any of them stop to think about the points I make or if it's just knee jerk reaction because I went against their programming. There are times when even I don't like the way the Constitution is set up. But it was set up for the benefit of all, and it is, after all, the law. And in a Republic, the law is king. It behooves me to support the law, but work to amend the law within the right channels if I think that law is unjust.
I stir the pot. I make myself think more. Hopefully, I make others think more as well. It's fun to get a reaction sometimes - you know you've hit a nerve then. Sometimes I hurt the feelings of my friends, and for that I am sorry. But I have to admit I get a kick when someone gets riled up enough to speak their mind. Pushing for liberty is not always an easy road, but it is one worth taking.