Opinion: Politically at sea in a divided time

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I’m hoping for a quirky turn in the bumpy road that will reveal a smoother path for this nation. And that the route will meander through town picking up great ideas from the various communities it encounters.

These days there would seem to be a long supply of political outrage chasing a short supply of perspective.

I’m trying to figure out where I fit in.

I consider myself thoughtful. But obviously thinking about options, alternatives, solutions, is meaningless if I don’t get myself into forward gear. At this point, I’m more thoughtful than useful. Like many people, including most of my friends, I’m looking for a little inspiration.

Combined ShapeCaption
Charles E. Kraus

Credit: contributed

Charles E. Kraus

Credit: contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
Charles E. Kraus

Credit: contributed

Credit: contributed

The middle-class liberal/progressive inclination, may I speak for my brethren, is to write a check and get back to inertia. We’ve had too many expectations come to nought. We are leery. Wasn’t Barack Obama’s presidency going to lead to expanded brotherhood? Wasn’t Joe Biden’s supposed to bring practical know-how back to the helm?

If I hear one more cable TV commentator proclaim that the latest investigation could, should, might, may, possibly will, send an offender to jail, I swear I’ll give network news another try. I’m looking for results, not pipe dreams.

I believe the police should be funded.

I believe the police should be accountable.

I believe it is reasonable for voters to provide identification.

I believe voters should have maximum access to casting ballots, and that their selections should count.

I believe responsible, trained, licensed adults should be allowed to own guns that shoot one bullet per pull of a trigger.

I believe entire enclaves of people who know better, locked self control and decency in a back room and have gone stark raving mad.

When I was a child, my parents feared that Saturday morning television-cowboys were introducing the concept of violence into my fragile, maturing mind. Actually, the fighting was so mundane and over so quickly that compared to current levels of entertainment-brutality, those klutzy, two-fisted Western heroes qualified for Nobel peace prizes.

Their guns, by the way, were referred to as “six-shooters.” If applied presently, the term would mean 6 violent, crazy young males taking out inferiority complexes on the world, with their despicable behavior underwritten by QAnon.

I’m a believer in the two types of freedom. Negative -- the freedom from unwarranted restraints. That would include restraints on forms of personal behavior that cause no harm to others.

And positive freedom -- reasonable limitations that keep instigators from interfering with the ordinary, everyday functions of life. You know, going about our days without worrying our kids, neighbors or ourselves will get shot.

I believe in privacy. No one needs or is entitled to know what I think, feel, dream, or do within my home, or elsewhere for that matter, as long as I obey the laws and practice courtesy and common sense.

I’ve heard the Thomas Supreme Court’s argument that if the founding fathers didn’t make it an unenumerated right, then it is not foundational.

Well, know what’s not in the U.S. Constitution? The right to outlaw abortion.

Still, I do wish there were fewer unwanted pregnancies.

I’m hoping for a quirky turn in the bumpy road that will reveal a smoother path. And that the route will meander through town picking up great ideas from the various communities it encounters.

So, what am I?

A moderate?

A liberal?

An old-school conservative?

If, God forbid, William F. Buckley and Elizabeth Warren had a baby (sorry Elizabeth), they would call me “son.”

Charles E. Kraus is a writer and children’s entertainer who lives in Seattle. A Vietnam veteran who earned a Bronze Star, he is the author of “Baffled Again .. and Again”.