Posted by: Pagan Muse | 13/01/2017

Talking Politics

I’ve been musing for some time now about this particular subject. No one thing has sparked this blog, but a culmination of the same issue coming up again and again. When this happens there is a lesson in there somewhere so I watch. I’m still not quite sure what the lesson is but my musing will now be written down.

I’m constantly told that I ‘talk politics’ too much. I’m also constantly told by others that they ‘don’t talk politics’. This confuses me as I don’t see how you can separate politics from life.

When we complain that we can’t get an appointment to see a doctor, complain that the school is (or is not) teaching a particular subject, complain about the price of food and clothing, complain about the state of the roads, complain about the cutting down of trees or how crowded and expensive it is to ride a train or an airplane we are ‘talking politics’.

When we speak of how great it is that we are allowed to worship in whatever way we choose, that it’s good that we take in refugees, how great it is that Pagans can now be legally married at the Goddess Temple or how it’s good that that baker was told they were not allowed to discriminate against gay customers we are ‘talking politics’.

Whether we like it or not, policies made by our political class have a direct effect on every part of our lives. These effects are both positive and negative, but they are effects nonetheless. When we discuss  them we are indeed ‘talking politics’.

So, I have been thinking why so many people have this perception that ‘talking politics’ is an undesirable, and downright detestable, thing to do. The only answer I can come up with that makes sense to me is that they have been conditioned to think that. I realise that sounds arrogant to most people, and that is not my intention, but it is the only reason that makes sense to me. We cannot avoid the fact that our perceptions are constantly manipulated, that we are conditioned from cradle to grave to think the way the system wants us to. Clearly they don’t want us to ‘talk politics’ as when we do we begin to think deeply about things and that may cause us to break out of the conditioning, even for a moment, and then we see the system for what it truly is.

I’ll give a clear example of what happens to me. I was born and raised in the southern US but have lived, for the most part, in the UK since 1985. I am now a British citizen and consider myself British. I love living in England and would not live anywhere else. My accent, however, betrays my US roots so I am always asked where I am from. The next question, inevitably, is do I go back often. My answer is No, I don’t. Why? Here comes the bit where I ‘talk politics’. The answer is always twofold: 1. I can’t afford to, and  2. Obama has made it impossible for me to.

Oh dear, I said the word Obama. I am ‘talking politics’. The truth, however,  is that he is indeed the reason I won’t go back. He has brought in policies that say that ex-pats must enter the US on an American passport, and they must use it to leave as well. I refuse to have a US passport, preferring to travel on my British passport. The reasons are both economic and ideological. To obtain this passport I must go to London (250 miles from my home), use the photographer they tell me and pay a ridiculous amount of money to have all my biometric data imprinted into a document. That is the economic issue. There is an overriding problem for me though in that I refuse to support the Endless War that the US has been waging for the last few decades. I simply refuse to endorse it in any way and giving them money to carry their passport is indeed endorsing their policies.

I personally know of a man in the same circumstances that I am regarding citizenship. He recently went to the US for a family occasion which he did not make as they put him in jail for not using a US passport. He now has a criminal record and is a few thousand dollars poorer. I did a bit of research and found that Obama has indeed been busy these last couple of years changing everything regarding ex-pats. We are not allowed to own shares and recently we had to close our bank account when they threatened to take the money as we ‘did not use the account regularly enough’. All my ties to the country of my birth, except my family of course, are now severed.

I looked into renouncing my citizenship, but found that if I took that path they would send me a bill for 2,500 dollars, which I don’t happen to have. So, I will simply continue to ignore them. Unfortunately this means I cannot go back for a visit even if I wanted to. I have a niece getting married soon and I would like to attend, but will not be. She understands but it is unfortunate. So you see how I cannot explain this without ‘talking politics’.

I’m sure there are some saying ‘swallow your principles and get the passport’. No, I won’t. Not supporting a corrupt system is something I am dedicated to and will not cease. That is what they want me to do therefore that is what I will not do. I am totally unimpressed with Obama for putting me in this situation in the first place. Why does he have to be such a dick as to dictate how ex-pats live anyway. Because he is part of the system, that’s why. They want us to do as they bid so will punish anyone who strays. Americans do seem to have difficulty in understanding anyone who wishes to live in another country. That is a shame, but it is their problem, not mine. I’ve also learned, by the way, that if you  renounce your US citizenship, you are only allowed to be in the country for 30 days a year from then on. How spiteful can they get?

So, it seems to me that stopping someone from ‘talking politics’ is the same as calling them racist every time they mention immigrants or calling them a conspiracy theorist if they talk about anything other than an official story. It’s simply a way of cutting off discussion. It’s the sheepdog herding a stray sheep back into the fold, or at least attempting to do so. I’m sure that most of these folks don’t even realise what they are doing, the conditioning runs that deep. I’m also sure that too many people just don’t want to engage the brain at all so they act almost robotically in obeying the programming. Yes, I know that sounds arrogant too, but tough.

Perhaps there isn’t a lesson here for me after all, perhaps I’m just the stray sheep that the sheepdogs can’t help but try to recover. Hmm, will have to muse further……




  1. I left the US in May of 2007. May Day actually. I had too much bad luck but I hope to return if I can get my health back on track and get a job and save enough money. I have a lot of family and a few friends there. I was wary of Obama and Romney in 2007. I hope that US passport policies will change under Trump. I hope that I wouldn’t have to go to Wellington to apply for one. Although it would be an excuse to visit a friend in the Wellington area.

    • The changes have come quietly in the last few years. It’s up to us to keep looking at the government website for any changes. They certainly don’t make it easy though. You probably would have to go to the embassy in NZ to get the passport and jump through all the silly hoops the US government decides to make you jump through. I also sincerely hope Trump makes quite a few changes.


%d bloggers like this: