Michael Rappaport

Why do we do this?

Do we write to make money, to make a point or because we just love to write?

It's fairly obvious that some people here are trying for the bucks and others are trying to make points. If they love to write, I would think they would want to do it better.

Some folks obviously enjoy writing.

As for me, I'm competitive. I love seeing my numbers climb and I love the thought of veins throbbing in some people's foreheads when they read my stuff.

Politically, I suppose I'm a Democrat, but only for lack of anyplace better to be. It just seems to me that in critical times, when both parties put up iconic figures, the Democrats are better.

In 1932, maybe the most crucial election our country ever faced, we put up FDR. They put up Hubert Hoover, or Herbert Hooper, or whoever that guy was. In 1960, on the verge of the Space Age and at the depths of the Cold War, we put up JFK and they put up, well, Richard Nixon.

I know conservatives would point to 1980 as one of those key years and mention Sir Ronald of Reagan against the incompetent Jimmy C, but heck, I never thought 1980 was that crucial. We were just paying the price for all the stagflation of the '70s that came from Nixon's wage and price controls in 1971.

Mostly, I figured the Democrats were for people who earned paychecks and the Republicans were for the people who handed out the paychecks.

If it were still true, I'd feel a lot better about being a Democrat. I'd probably be a lot better Democrat too. I know that in two of the last four gubernatorial elections out here, I've voted Republican. I voted for a Republican for the Senate once, and for the House three or four times.

The Republicans had a chance to win me over after 1994. Using their Contract on America, they won control of the House after the Democrats had gotten pretty lazy and corrupt from 40 years of control.

But it became obvious when they got in that it was just a case of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Newt and The Hammer basically turned squeezing lobbyists for cash into an art form, and in the ultimate hypocrisy, they completely abandoned the part of the Contract in which they had called for term limits.

It was term limits for Democrats, I suppose.

I no longer believe that anyone in the House of Representatives is in it for anything other than money and/or power, so if I have to accept corruption, I'll at least accept it from people who vote for things I want.

I hate it, though.

I hate it that we're at such a crucial time, especially for our economy, that we really can't just kick all the bums out and then move along with new people. I think Republicans did so much to hurt our country the last eight years that allowing them back into power anytime soon might as well be national suicide.

But I really respect the words of people like Write4Life and fireisle, who are thoughtful writers and not knee-jerk Republicans.

I can't respect people whose only answer to everything is to cut taxes for the rich so that the rest of us can benefit from their leftovers. During the Great Depression, the young swells in eating clubs at Yale and Princeton ordered their kitchen staff to bundle up their leftovers and deliver them to food banks.

That's not an America in which I want to live.

And that's why I do this and will continue doing it as long as I have anything to say.