Let me explain here, my politics, my philosophy of life, and my reasoning for it?
When I was growing up, Americans could not vote or drink beer until they were 21 years of age. And, before I was age twenty-one I had never been without a job since I was 14 years old, I drank beer with no consequences only because my best friend was 21 years old and could buy our beer for us, and at eighteen I was drafted into the U.S. Air Force and was already a veteran at age twenty, but still, I had never been allowed to vote for a President.
It occurred to me that children under the age of twenty-one years of age were considered inferior to every other American over the age of twenty-one, and I considered that legally and morally inequitable and an injustice.
As a result, I have always considered children, including adolescents, to be my own equal and not in any way inferior to me or any other adults. Unfortunately, I have found my respect for children is a minority opinion in America and especially in the public schools, where I taught school.
However, I knew about politics ever since I was born and, I cannot possibly separate my politics from my own philosophy of life. Politics reflects society, and society reflects a huge number of different philosophies of life; and in a democracy like the United States of America, there are no wrong ‘legal’ philosophies of life.
On Election Day in 1930, my mother was pregnant with me, my mother was in labor at home, and my father was at the polls casting his vote on April 8, 1930, in Decatur Illinois; my mother was not pleased by my father taking time to vote, on his way home from work prior to taking her to the delivery room at St. Mary’s Hospital to deliver me to the world. Politics played a part in my entry into this world.
So, I was born in America, during prohibition, at the beginning of the Great Depression, and I lived through the Great Depression and World War II as well.
At home, my family taught me that I would always be an employee of someone else, throughout my entire life, and I would always be totally dependent on an employer for my own and my family’s very existence; consequently, what I needed to learn most in life, was how to be the best kind of an employee, keep on good terms with my employer, and I needed to vote for the political candidate who best represent the American worker’s interests.
Basically, I was taught that the Democratic Party in that era, with all it warts and faults, came closest to representing the working Middle Class and Poor voters; but not always.
My parents graciously allowed me to decide my own fate; they taught me about, but did not indoctrinate me, in any particular beliefs or politics, and they allowed me to choose my own politics, religion, and life style.
And thus it is that I have always voted for the candidate and not the political party, but I always registered as a Democrat in order to be able to vote in the Democratic Primary Elections because the Democratic Party of my era tended to most diligently represent Labor.
Politically, I have always had a clear conscience, but I have not always approved of some of my elected candidate’s behavior and decisions, on every issue. Specifically, because of my place in life and my American society, I believe in democracy, the necessity of organized Labor, and I oppose war in general.
For another example of my politics, I am not a pacifist but I oppose and protest any offensive wars, where the United States of America and my loved ones are not threatened, no matter who is President or what political party they represent; I support a foreign policy of compassion and respect for other Peoples and other sovereign States, in despite of the behavior of their leaders.
Personally, I lived through WWII, in which my brother and cousins served valiantly in combat. God was merciful, my prayers answered, and they all lived to return home; unfortunately, not all my friends and acquaintances survived WWII, or all of America’s wars since then.
And, I believe that World War II was a moral war and the United States of America was morally correct in fighting in that war; I also believe America was morally correct in showing compassion for our former enemies after the war’s end. I’m proud of America’s bravery and compassion in World War II.
Historically, I have had ancestors that fought in every American war including the Revolutionary War; I’m proud of that and I was proud and felt morally obligated to serve my country in peacetime during America’s need for a conscripted military.
My life has been spent primarily working as a public school teacher, studying and teaching American History, including Labor History and Constitutional legal history; therefore, politics has been a part of my life.
Further, during my lifetime, I have made it my personal philosophical belief to never hate anyone, and have compassion for everyone. Because of this philosophy, I have led a happy and contented life and at the same time, I have vehemently defended my principles and my loved ones against any one, any politicians, any enemies of the State, and any form of prejudice, hate, or sadistic behavior. My philosophy on hate includes the fact that hatred is unproductive, it creates misery for those who hate, and hate has no beneficial consequence.
Basically, I have always tried to tell the truth or say nothing at all; that rule has served me well. I really have seldom ever had to lie, except when my wife asked me, “Does this dress make me look fat?”
Admittedly, I have made mistakes in life, and have been wrong at times; and for the sake of my psyche, I have discovered that when I realize I have done something wrong or made a mistake, it is to my advantage to admit it, make every effort to correct it, and apologize to those I have offended when that is all else I can do. Then life goes on, I make no attempt to try to forget it, I remember it, but since there is nothing more I can do, it does not prey on my mind, my guilt is mitigated.
However I have had, and believe that I have through no fault of my own created a number of enemies in my long life; further I seriously believe that if you lead a successful, productive, and creative life, it is natural that you will create some enemies, though not everyone agrees with me on that concept.
And, I have and I will continuously vilify enemies of the People, or enemies of my democratic Republic, or enemies of my loved ones, but I have no intention, need, or purpose in vilifying personal enemies; that is not be beneficial to me.
So basically, that is how I live, love, keep content, stay happy, and vote.
A man once said of me, “Dick Blankenburg wears his heart on his sleeve.” His remark did not appear to be offensive to me.