I lived in Johnson County, Kansas, and not only that, for those of you playing the home game, it was Leawood, to boot. Most people in line were voting for the same candidate as me, rightly or wrongly as history may judge and then judge again, and most people there were firmly “fiscal conservative/social liberal.”
Fiscal conservative meant something different just then; it has in every era. Does it even exist currently? I dunno. It wasn’t a “trickle-down” crowd, and it didn’t mean “don’t help anybody at all,” it meant, in part, “stop spending a zillion dollars on a freaking hammer when old people are eating cat food so they can pay for their medicine.” We agreed that a smart government could do more with less. After all, why should people pay more in taxes if the money is going to be mismanaged and spent in ways that seem to benefit no one? I still think that, I just think they won’t do more, with more or less, unless they’re forced to somehow, I don’t know how. But I digress.
I know these things about the people in line with me because we spent more than a couple hours together. The machines broke down. It was getting late, and the line extended to the door. We collected money, ordered pizzas, and had them delivered. Sat down along the wall in line and ate together. And then the lines started moving again, we voted and said goodbye.
Did those people watch in horror as I did two years later when the “Republican Revolution” sent a lot of young evangelicals to Congress to fix America?
What we’re seeing this year is the direct result of that mid-term election 22 years ago. I tried to remain aligned in spirit with some people who thought their religious path could dictate everyone else’s political one, but I didn’t make it to the end of the century, and I think they are a big part of the reason I gave up church altogether, not seeing the Jesus they purported to know in their views on how the country should be run. Nothing stirs my ire like a combination of bad logic and hypocrisy.
But I remember the 1992 election fondly, though our candidate lost. Plenty of people would say it’s a good thing he did, but it’s kind of a mixed bag, really. Hindsight overuses the blur tool, and chain reactions always grow beyond our ability to measure them. We view the cropped image and need to be careful to understand our screen is just too small to view anything in totality, in multiple dimensions, in accurate context. Context is key, but it's also a non-linear concept. I think maybe that frightens people.
You might guess this little resembles the pizza I ate that day in that new sterile carpeted Midwestern building. It's an Italian pizza, that's why. It's how I like to make it at home, too. It's a metaphor, I guess.