Happy Birthday, Blogforiowa

birthday cake
Just a brief note on how blogforiowa and I crossed paths. I think the process I went through may be a process that many have gone through in the recent years. I have not been a highly political person all my life. I have been someone who tries to listen to arguments, evaluate them with what I know to be true and thus evaluate their validity.

Briefly , I was quite active on the college campus during the late ’60s and early ’70s against the Viet Nam War and for equal rights for all. Following the end of the War and what looked like real advancements in rights for all, I dropped out of politics and did what many others did. It was time for a job, a home and a family. We had some severe health adversity in our lives, so we did not in any way have a nice normal life. But we endured and raised a couple of fine young women.

Our kids finished college about the time that George W. Bush was given the presidency. It was not as though I was looking for something to do. I was quite happy to have an empty nest and some time of my own to work with. However, while we struggled through the ’80s with our problems, I could not help but notice a change in the attitudes of my fellow workers and the company I worked for. Things were less friendly. People all around seemed less giving, especially toward those who were poorer.

I must interject here that I spent 12 years in Catholic schools. One thing that stuck with me throughout all those years were the Church’s teachings on social justice. While the Church and I have long since parted ways, teachings on social justice have been my constant companion. At the base of these teachings is the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

We rolled into the 2000s and like many I was not closely following politics day to day, but the trumped up impeachment had piqued my interest. The whole idea of impeaching a president on a personal matter was out of bounds. This was a signal that things were way out of whack in Washington. Folks I was working with couldn’t see a problem. They were mostly mouthing what they had heard on the TV or radio.

This was the beginning of the feeling of isolation that I would feel for the next several years. The internet was new, but we were not yet connected. Thus I was unable to see that the feelings that we were going through were shared by millions. As the Bush presidency proceeded we became more and more uncomfortable with our political situation. The direction that our country took after 9/11 had us truly puzzled.

Then one day I was substitute teaching and the regular teacher had left his computer up on the internet. He had left a site up called tompaine.com. I found kindred spirits. One of the links was to dailykos.com, AKA the orange Satan. Once more I found thousands of kindred spirits. I also began reading material I had seen nowhere else. One of my real problems was that I knew as the Bush group led us to war that we were being lied to, I just didn’t know what the truth was.

From there we actively sought out those of our persuasion. The first place I looked was the Democratic Party in our county. Our county was quite red at the time, which had enhanced our isolation. I rather pushed my way in. Later I would attend candidate meet and greets and other gatherings. One of my personal concerns was that the almost total control of the media by right wing groups be broken up. The fact that we could not find information on what was really happening in the world was evidence to me that access to information in the United States was sorely lacking.

At one meet and greet there was an appearance by a group called Iowans for Better Local Television. Folks that were almost on my wavelength. We made friends with these folks and remain close today. 2004 was coming and I had decided that it was time to get back into the political saddle. When I heard Howard Dean enumerating the sins of Bushco that we had learned the hard way, we hooked on to his campaign and stayed on to the end and beyond.

We worked for Kerry that year, but Dr. Dean was still the one who had our hearts. Since those days we continued to run into various friends we made through the Dean campaign. Trish Nelson asked me to write an article or two for blogforiowa. There was no reason to be a shrinking violet anymore. We have kids, and we wanted to do what we could to change the direction of the country. This seemed like a good place to start.

I am learning so much every week doing this. Like most bloggers, it is a labor of love. Plus I get to run a weekly trivia page which I so enjoy.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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