For the bulk of my life, I was a registered republican. Hell, I was even the party’s nominee for Congress back in 2006. I came of voting age, and served in the Navy when Ronald Reagan was president. What drew me to President Reagan, obviously was his support of the Navy, but also his optimistic viewpoint. In the perfect reflection of hindsight, like every president, there was some good, and some bad during his time in office. As much as I admired him as my Commander-In-Chief, I could be persuaded there may have been more bad than good.
After my run for office, my parents died, and my zeal for politics waned. I had been approached, and considered, a run for state office, but I was done. A few years later, mostly because of social issues, I was done with the republican party and changed my affiliation to democratic.
Prior to my shift in political thinking, before switching my political registration to the Democratic Party, I wrote the novel, One Day I Was, which some have labeled a fanciful, utopic, libertarian fable. Maybe it is. To me, it is simply a work of historical fiction in which I endowed the main character, “The Old Man,” with a world view of what I always believed to be core concepts of The United States Constitution. Frankly, as I re-read it from time to time, I have come to realize that the more compelling parts of the story are the female lead, “Dominique,” the discovery of her heritage, and the setting of Key West, Florida.
Somewhere along the line, and I guess if I was the interested I could look it up, I realized the Democratic Party really wasn’t for me either and I formally switched my political affiliation to Non-Affiliated, what is commonly referred to as a Registered Independent.
Being free of a political group, my mindset was immediately freed from supporting candidates based upon nothing more than a (D) or and (R) after their name.
Being free of a political group, I was immediately free from a party’s shifting ideologies based upon who was co-opting that particular party in a given election cycle.
Being free of a political group, I was immediately free to allow my political thinking to evolve as times and information changed.
One Day I Was, was intended to be a singular story. The ending left Dominique in the dual role of chronicler and influencer. It was up to the reader to accept or reject how she was influenced, and how she would go on.
I am extremely proud of One Day I Was. It is a story with few characters, but expresses much depth. And, while my descriptions in later writing became less grandiose, it still tells a layered story utilizing relatively few words. At the same time, as pandemic and racial injustice dominate our world and we enter a new normal, I have come to realize that the story itself is incomplete, and the views of The Old Man did not evolve during his two hundred plus years of existence and, by later revealed manipulation, he passed his unwavering, myopic mindset onto Dominique.
The suffering of those caused by both the pandemic and racial injustice has caused my own thinking to again evolve. It has lead me to not simply question my previous thinking on certain topics, but to formulate dramatic and different ways of thinking. Some of this evolution is almost in direct conflict with my past mindset.
Since the onset of the pandemic, I have been unable to write. The fire that was deep within — went out. I went from needing to write, to not caring if I ever again put word to paper. The re-working of the novellas of The Damaged And Broken Collection into the novel Damaged Redemption, seemed like an endeavor no longer worth the effort. My life went from looking to tomorrow, to just getting through the day. I have discovered that this mindset is not uncommon to those of us who have been deemed “essential” and have had to go out every day during this crisis.
Being out there every day has also allowed me to see just how unjust the world has become. In the journey to accumulate wealth, society’s humanity has become the greatest cost.
It is this enlightenment, along with the acceptance of myself as an artist, that I have decided to again write. Not on the project which I was working, I will go back to that I’m sure, but it is time to tell Dominque’s story, and to have her evolve into something more than mere chronicler and influencer.
In her evolution —
Will she abandon her objectivist point of views?
Will she see that The Old Man, for all he was, also may have been lacking?
Will she embrace a new ideology in which combining ideologies can lead to the betterment of all?
I honestly have no idea. When Dominque’s story is complete, I will know and then when I publish it, you too will know.