I'm discovering this year that my tolerance-for-the-political seems to have swung back to a healthy medium. After I got out of the game a few years ago, I kind of went cold turkey. Aside from keeping tabs on a few local races that I cared about because my friends were staffing, I just dropped it. I didn't really read anything about politics, I stopped watching the news almost entirely, quit reading blogs, and generally didn't want to talk about it with anyone. In fact, I would tell people, "I used to be in politics but I don't do that anymore" and then people would think that meant that I really wanted to discuss campaign and electoral minutiae with them, and I would get really ticked, because I just didn't want to.
But this year I've been coming back to more of a middling position, where I'm really enjoying watching the race (presidential, at least), and talking about it with some friends. Maybe it's because I'm not working for anyone, and I'm not particularly enthralled with any of the candidates, so my emotions aren't running so high. Maybe it's just an ability to put things in perspective, and to see politics for what it is - useful for organizing this life, but not the most important thing, by a long shot. I don't know.
But I do know that it's fun to get excited about the fun things again - even dumb things like autocalls from Newt Gingrich. I'm still not 100% sure who I'm voting for in the primary. But right now I'm kind of on the Uncle Newt bandwagon. Lord knows the man has enough personal baggage to fill a 747, but he's wicked smart, he knows what the heck is going on and how to go about addressing problems, and he's at the point in his career where he doesn't have anything to lose. He's going to say what needs to be said, to whoever needs to hear it, and let the chips fall where they may. There's something really refreshing about that sort of honesty. As regards the personal baggage, well, yeah. I don't like it. But this country is in a place where, more than anything, we need someone who knows what he's doing, and isn't afraid to say tough, unpopular things. We need a leader, and I'm kind of getting that from Newt right now. Plus, even amidst all the calling people out on their crap, he still maintains this kindly, grandfatherly sort of attitude, that makes me want to call him Uncle Newt. He's just "cute", in that "sweet old man" sort of way.
I have no idea how I'll feel when the primaries actually roll around, but for now, Go Newt!