I suppose that all endeavors require a reason. This inquiry began as an effort to understand my political attitudes and justify them to myself and against the physical world—to make sure they were my own, based on reason, and not hand-me-down or borrowed from popular opinion.
I first registered as a Democrat in 1976, mostly because of my peers, but also from the first inaugural speech I ever heard. John F. Kennedy spoke inspiring words that reinforced my youthful beliefs—”Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty” and “… so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”
During the last several elections I have heard people who claim the Democratic Party speaking in direct opposition to what I believe and everything that Kennedy said. This is not the Democratic Party I know. Being busy, I voted as I chose, but no longer participated in any party activities.
Now that I have time, I resolved to study and find the truth of my convictions, to read extensively, and to see how close these opposing opinions come to those founding documents and to what I learned during decades enrolled in Poor Richard’s “dear school.”
This is my effort to put my beliefs in order and to see how far they may be from those of other reasoning individuals.
As with Franklin’s Dunkard preacher who would not write down the doctrine (“Now we are not sure that we are arrived at the end of this progression, and at the perfection of spiritual or theological knowledge …”), I am certain that I have not arrived at perfect knowledge. So heeding Emerson’s admonition (“… if you would be a man, speak what you think to-day in words as hard as cannon-balls, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.”), the inquiry will change as new convictions arise.
Thank you, and somewhat presumptuously,