Addicted to politics

Ever so often, I think seriously about walking away from writing or caring about politics.

I wrote my first political story in high school 47 years ago  while working for the weekly newspaper in my home town. I’ve written about every President from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama.

When I took a break from journalism in 1981, I worked on Capitol Hill and later ran the largest political action committee in the country. For the past 15-and-a-half years, I’ve covered politics and government for this web site.

Even in semi-retirement here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, I’m still writing about state and local politics — covering county government for the local newspaper and local and state government antics for my hyperlocal news site.

Last week, I sat at the keyboard to write  a column and realized I couldn’t muster a single thought. So I climbed aboard my Harley Super Glide and headed spent the day riding 200 miles of country roads.

During a break at a ramshackle country store on a back road in the bowels of West Virginia, I thought long and hard about walking away from this web site and putting both concern and thoughts about politics in the past.

I came home determined to take a break and do other things.

But, in the end, I couldn’t.

I’ve tried to do it before — several times in fact. I even sold this web site once but bought it back. The simple truth is that I can’t walk away, no matter how hard I may want or try.

The heady world of politics is a power narcotic, one that hooks more Americans than any drug — legal or illegal — on the market. Politics should come with a warning label: Warning! Entry into this world can be habit-forming and lead to serious mental damage.

I am bothered by the shallowness of political debate. That shallowness, I believe, is fueled by web sites where shouting and insults replace rational thought and the faux “news” shows on networks like Fox and MSNBC where partisan blather replaces any attempt at balance.

Capitol Hill Blue celebrates its 16th birthday on the web later this year. If health and finances permit, I hope to put in a full 20 running this web site before hanging up my political cleats and riding off into the sunset on my Harley.

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12 Responses to "Addicted to politics"

  1. Stratocaster  May 3, 2010 at 7:48 am

    It’s hard to walk away from things that matter to you. Like your wallet, your safety, your freedom, your rights, and the thieving bastards in Washington that threaten to take it away from you.

  2. Carl Nemo  May 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Recently I learned that you host a number of site domains and have many “irons in the fire”, possibly far too many.

    Maybe the Rx is to cut superfluous tentacles away from your psychic hull and stick with a few that you truly enjoy. It seems CHB is your daily tonic along with Blue Ridge Muse. So if you simplify Doug, then your days might not seem so daunting.

    Long live CHB and the host of this fine iconoclastic website. : )

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. Bill Cravener  May 3, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    See what a long bike ride can do for the mind Doug. :-)

    I’ve been a reader of your site for many a year. I’ll miss it when it’s gone, that is if I’m not first. In case I am heres an early happy birthday CHB! ;-)

  4. woody188  May 3, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I have to admit I was worried when your name dropped of the columnist link, hence my email to you to keep going. Did the same for Paul Craig Roberts. We need all the help we can get to keep this ship of state sailing.

  5. Stratocaster  May 3, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    The Bush Crime Family, The Kennedy Assassination, The Federal Reserve controlling the economy and the destiny of the nation, CIA Drug Running, Goldman-Sachs getting Federal Reserve Board Members Appointed. I would say that the pieces of the puzzle have been fit together and is pretty much complete.

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  7. neondog  May 4, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    A man who stands against everything lives in the tormented wortld with those who stand for nothing.

    • Carl Nemo  May 6, 2010 at 1:54 am

      I find your post interesting neondog. My question is it friendly or not?

      I instantly recognized it as a variant of words from Alexander Hamilton, but not Mel Thompson.

      *****

      If you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing.” Mel Thompson, former Citadel basketball coach

      “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” Alexander Hamilton

      *****
      What’s difficult for many folks visiting CHB is the fact that Doug Thompson is not a partisan and in fact loathes such behavior.

      If you feel shortchanged that Doug doesn’t take a rabid position either for or against something then you fail to understand his core persona and pride in simply being a “reporter of events” in a non-partisan fashion.

      People that come here to embrace “bias” have a mistaken analysis of CHB and its mission as a news forum.

      I loathe partisanship whether it be informed or not and that’s why I embrace this site as being something special.

      Carl Nemo **==

  8. Stratocaster  May 5, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Sometimes, you just have to chose between smelling the shit in the barnyard or smelling fresh mown grass while sipping lemonade under a shade tree.

  9. Almandine  May 5, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    The illusion of making a difference is magnetic.

    • Almandine  May 6, 2010 at 9:15 pm

      That also portends that the need to be “unattracted” must come along regularly, just to remind one of N v S, E v W.

      It’s often hard to take a day, week, or even longer off to collect thoughts and remain rational, even for us amateur scribes; the daily need to focus on shifting, fleeting reality begets sporadic aversion.

      I go fishing.

  10. Sherry  May 9, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Doug, I found myself smiling at the first paragraph. O, he is NOT selling this again? Thankfully no.
    I know what you mean about taking a break. I have been. I put myself on a political withdrawl. I didn’t read the paper, this website, or anything politically for a couple of months. My mother, now recovering was quite ill. Watching the yelling. handwringing, and name calling seemed to insignificant.
    You do a very important work here, and I appreciate you. I can take a break Doug. You however, are not allowed!!!

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