I had almost always been informed about what's going on in politics on almost any level in my home state of Michigan and many other states. I knew the players. I knew the sides and I was involved in the process from a young age.
This started when I was pre-teen and started to wind down when I retired. In between, I spent my whole professional life in and around politics at a variety of levels. It was a consuming passion that became a career.
I read about it. I hung around and worked with others who were involved in it. I talked about it and I firmly believed that I could make a difference. Hmmm . . .
It's something that started when I was a kid. Two things drove this interest. As a only child of a single-mom struggling to survive, I saw how our local city hall treated her differently than those from traditional two-parent families. For me, it was a justice issue. I wanted to do something to change it.
Second, as a fatherless child, it was a way for me to relate to my many uncles and to get them to notice me. I found they were all interested in politics and liked to talk about it and I could always engage their interest and conversation in the topic. When did this start? I was very young, like grade school.
I got involved with the local Republican Party, helped form one of the first Teenage Republican clubs in the country. I served as a page in our State Senate when I was in high school. I continued in community college as the head of Students for Victory in Vietnam and College Republicans.
And then I became a newspaper reporter. I covered politics at all levels. And then I swung back to the political side as a staffer in our state legislature where I held a variety of positions. I was a legislative director, a speechwriter and a chief of staff in a small legislative office and pressroom manager at the State Capitol.
When I retired, I went through withdrawal. It seemed natural that I would be involved in somebody's campaign or in some cause. It hasn't happened.
Don't take me wrong. Politics and governing are important. But, at this point, it's time misspent. Politics today seems to be about holding power without a defined purpose. The main goal is to get your team to win without standing for anything.
I do want to be a good citizen. I will stay informed about candidates and I will speak up when necessary. But, the energies I devoted to the process will be nothing like it was in the past.
Politics, you are off my list.