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April 12, 2006

Who dat?

Many thanks to Lynn for inviting me to post here on Evergreen Politics while she's away.  I would have written something earlier, but I too was out of town over the weekend.  Nothing as cool as a meditation retreat, though I did have the opportunity to celebrate the start of a new season (even if I did have to go to Cleveland to do it).

Lynn gave you a bit of my background, but I'd like to expand upon it just a little bit.  Yes, it's true that my blog is perhaps the Pacific Northwest's longest-lived liberal political blog, but that's not really all that much of an accomplishment ... I've only been blogging for a tad more than three years.  If that, and my low-three-digits DailyKos userid, makes me a blogging oldtimer, sobeit. 

In terms of Washington State, however, I'm really a newbie.  I moved here from New Hampshire in early 2001 -- in fact, I closed on my condo the very same day that the viaduct nearly collapsed -- and had never lived anywhere except the Eastern time zone until then.  Some of my family members have lived here for a couple of decades, though, so I wasn't completely unknowledgeable about Seattle when I arrived.

I've been interested in politics my whole life, though my activity level has varied greatly.  I didn't quite need to get Clean for Gene, because I hadn't yet grown my beard in 1968.  Still, I volunteered for McCarthy, and thought seriously about going to Chicago for the convention that year.  I missed out on tear gas at that point, but got a few whiffs over the next few years at antiwar marches, moratoria, and rallies.  In terms of presidential politics, my first vote was cast for George McGovern in 1972.  Sad to say, the only times I've voted for the winner were 1992 and 1996 (well, 2000 as well, but let's not go there).

As I said, I've always been interested in politics.  But I didn't do anything about it between Vietnam and Dubya.  Even while living in New Hampshire in 2000, I never met -- in fact, never even saw -- a single presidential candidate (Democrat or Republican); I'd decided that I was going to vote for Bill Bradley in the primary, and that was the extent of my political commitment. 

That all changed as Dubya's perfidious cabal began to drive our nation and our world ever farther into peril.  I looked very carefully at the Democratic presidential candidates as they began to emerge in 2002.  One quickly began to differentiate himself from the rest, and I soon found myself contributing, meeting, volunteering, and deeply involved in the Dean campaign.  Like so many others, I was politically reawakened by the grassroots energy that the good doctor inspired.  Unlike many others, I had gone 28 years between inspiring presidential candidate (it was Mo Udall back in 1976).  The Dean campaign led me to participate in the 43rd District Democrats as a PCO, which led to my election in 2005 to serve as the organization's Vice Chair for Programs.

By now, I'm hot-and-heavy in the upcoming battle for the state legislative seat being vacated by Ed Murray ... I'll have more to say about that one in the next few months.  And I get calls from Ed and Pat Thibaudeau, asking for my support in their Senate contest.  I'm excited by the prospects in our LD races, highly interested in our US Senate race and the House race across the lake in the 8th CD.  And, of course, already watching the potential presidential candidates as they jockey for position for 2008.

As the saying (not a Chinese curse, it turns out) goes, we are living in interesting times.  Whatever small contribution I can make to moving that interesting-ness in a positive direction, here or on my blog or on dKos, and in person as well, I'm looking forward to the activities and opportunities.

Posted by Neal Traven on April 12, 2006 at 04:06 PM in About Evergreen Politics | Permalink


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So you and I are old codgers together. I wasn't clean for Gene in 1968 but was enlisting in Sam's Flying Service and preparing for Russian classes in Syracuse. By 1969 I was indignant with Jane and thinking in terms of arresting traitors to the war effort.

Swift-bloaters could have got to me easily. I was sooooo righteous as a military man I refused to join my fellow airmen who saw nothing with driving the miniscule 70 miles to Woodstock so I could stay in the barracks and ask God to smite Jane and those song-singing anti-war party animals just down the road.

You write good stuff. Don't let anybody tell you different.

Posted by: Arthur Ruger | Apr 19, 2006 12:55:26 PM

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