Political scaredy-cat

I really hate to say it, especially since I’m on so many South Dakota political blog rolls all of a sudden, but I really don’t like talking about politics.

Whoops. My readership just went down 74%.

I’ve got my reasoning. My main hang-up is more of a self-conscious twitch than a true aversion: I don’t like to enter myself into situations where I’m not ready to answer every question that comes at me. For this reason I usually stay away from political discussions whenever possible, preferring to silently stew about whichever uninformed opinion I’ve just heard.

It’s not an uncommon thing, I think. I’ve grown up with the realization that in order to make headway in a serious conversation, you have to at least give the image of knowing what you’re talking about. I’m not saying I don’t know what I’m talking about – I’d consider myself as well educated and up-to-date as the next person – but I have certain anxieties about having a heated discussion on the BRAC committee and suddenly finding myself without an answer, to which someone from South Dakota Politics would say “ha! I always knew you were a no talent hack!”

This is a little of an exaggeration, to be sure, but it’s a true feeling all the same. I’d love to rebut some of these “Intelligent Design” theories, but I’m not quite confident enough to enter into that realm. I could go on at length about why I don’t trust the Bush administration, but I don’t have the hard facts to back it up, and I certainly can’t match the fire and desire that some of our liberal brethren have cooked up.

I guess ultimately it all comes down to the confidence needed to argue convincingly. I have my opinions, but I’ve never felt confident in my reasoning to warrant them argue-worthy. Unimportant stuff, like professional basketball and the relevance of next-generation console-gaming, I can argue at length with anyone about, but this important “life as we know it” crap I just can’t wrap the discussion-oriented parts of my mind around.

I know it sounds whiny and horrible, but really I just don’t want to sound stupid. So I leave myself out of the situations. It’s a coward’s way out, and I’ll never become anything without standing up for something. Still, it’s not easy to overcome.

Someone help me argue, please. Then the blogosphere might take me a little more seriously.

This was lovingly handwritten on August 23rd, 2005