In order to find out when the parade would be, I watched/listened to a little bit of the coverage today. I stopped because it was making me physically ill (I promise I'm not exaggerating). I may have to watch the parade with the sound down.
This last weekend I went to visit my friends Greg and Mandy in Lincoln, and since the temperature was hovering just above absolute zero all weekend, I brought my Clark '04 sweatshirt, which happens to be the only sweatshirt I own that (a) still fits and (b) is still soft and cuddly inside. But it's also something of an oddity, because I ordered it just before he dropped out of the race and didn't receive it until after. But I do still support Clark and it is still soft and cuddly.
I was very glad that I brought the sweatshirt because Greg and Mandy's house is old and drafty. However, I was reluctant to wear it because I knew that Greg would comment on it. There are two things you need to know about Greg: First, he is a self-proclaimed moderate, but definitely right-leaning. He has disdain for both extreme liberalism and extreme conservatism, but more disdain, in general, for liberalism (although he does have comparatively liberal views on gay rights and the environment). Second, he likes to debate/argue for recreation. It's fun for him. It's an emotional release. I, on the other hand, find no--okay, very little--pleasure in such activities (only when I win, which I never do with Greg because he's much smarter and more worldly than I am). I have a tendency to take things personally, so I'm liable to be hurt by comments and debate/argument techniques that were never intended to hurt me. So I make it a point not to engage Greg in argument.
Although, if I were so keen on not getting him started, surely I would have worn the sweatshirt inside out (although I do love the feel of its cuddly softness against my skin). Anyway, he noticed it and off he went, saying about how he wouldn't have made a good candidate. He said something like, "And then there are other people who shouldn't run, but do anyway." I thought, but did not say, "I agree entirely with the sentiment, although I suspect we are thinking of entirely different people." From what he said about Clark, I was pretty sure he was referring to Kerry, while I, of course, was referring to Bush.
Another reason I try not to engage Greg (or anyone else, for that matter) in face-to-face debate/argument is that I'm liable to say stuff I don't really mean or phrase improperly unless I think out what I'm going to say beforehand, and by the time I get it the way I want it the moment is passed and no one cares anymore. This is why, when I try to be argumentative or persuasive, I prefer to do so in writing. So this is what I would have (okay, might have) said to Greg, had I the time to formulate my response:
I've become largely single-minded in my civic concern. There are lots of issues that I care about, but right now my primary concern is gay rights. And maybe being so single-minded could be a bad thing. It could possibly turn into an obsession. Perhaps it has already. On the other hand, Martin Luther King was pretty single-minded, and that worked out well for him and his cause. But the point is nothing, not even the clusterfuck in Iraq (Greg would probably interrupt me at this point to assert that Iraq is not a clusterfuck) is as important to me as gay rights at this moment because the rights of my brothers hang in the balance. My brothers, who are wonderful, intelligent people--guaranteed much smarter than Bush and his minions--are treated as second-class citizens, are legally second-class citizens in 11 states, and if this marriage amendment passes they will be second-class citizens under our highest law. So if a candidate opposes that amendment and/or supports gay rights in general, I don't care if he drinks puppies' blood; I'm supporting him. That's why I supported Clark, that's why I supported Kerry, that's why I supported Daschle. That's a big part of the reason why I don't like Bush, and that's the reason why I HATE Thune. HAAAAAAAATE THUNE!!!!!!!!!
Feels good to get that off my chest.