(a.k.a., Michael Faklis)
I spent many evenings and weekends doing voter registration in 1980. Back then, I still considered myself a Republican, although I voted for Jimmy Carter and thought he was the best (moral) President we've ever had (I still believe that). I was working with NORMLon the California Marijuana Initiative (CMA '80), which would allow adults to cultivate their own marijuana plants for personal consumption. I can go on and on why that's a good idea. Bill Graham would allow us to have a voter registration table at concerts. We were doing voter registration at flea markets and shopping centers.
All the while, George Bush Sr., the ex-CIA Director, was running for president. Ronald Reagan, the ex-movie star and ex-Governor was running for President. Looking back, I kick myself for thinking that Reagan was the lesser of the two evils. They were not my type of Republicans. It wasn't until the 1980 Republican Convention in San Francisco, when the Heritage Foundation presented Reagan's platform and stated in no uncertain language that they were there to present the platform, not to debate it. They said that if we didn't agree to the platform, we should leave the Republican Party. This didn't seem to be the "American Way" I was taught. I still believed in Truth and Justice, and felt that after four years the rest of the country would see Reagan as I saw him while he was Governor. I still remember his news conference after Nixon resigned, where Reagan appeared teary-eyed and blamed the liberal press for bringing down our greatest President.
In 1984, I still felt that Reagan and Bush had to go. They've proven in so many ways that their view of "Truth, Justice, and the American Way" contrasted deeply with my own vision. I spent that summer doing voter registration and walking precincts with our congressional candidate (A Democrat in a Republican district). I still thought that most Republicans were good people who were temporarily blinded by Reagan's movie-star persona. I was wrong.
I went into shock as the election results came in. I lost so much respect for the American electorate. More so, I just couldn't stand the many liberal-minded eligible voters that wouldn't even bother to register to vote (usually) claiming they didn't want to to deal with jury duty. Reagan and Bush were elected in 1980 because so many self-centered idiots didn't even bother to realize that jury duty roles come from a mix of both voter registration and driver license registrations. After four years of Reagan and Bush, those self-centered idiots let it happen again. I was in shock.
Sitting at home wallowing in my shock and watching old movies on cable, I was watching the old "The Lone Ranger" movie with Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. This was the big-screen move from 1956 that showed how this wounded Texas Ranger metamorphosed himself as The Lone Ranger. I identified with that feeling that I was the lone liberal, or at least the only one who voted. I took a shower, got into my car, went down to the county courthouse, and filed a legal alias as "The Lone Liberal".
I started submitting articles, stories, and commentaries to the media as "The Lone Liberal". I stayed in the closet as "The Lone Liberal" for years, although anyone who checked the public records could find out it was me. Before I got married, I came out of the closet to my wife, the daughter of a well-to-do Orange County surgeon. Every once in a while she would let hints slip out in conversations with others, but I still hid in that closet while submitting my commentaries.
I was attending West Coast Weekend, a live public radio show in San Francisco, and submitting occasional stories as "The Lone Liberal". They held an essay contest on "What The First Amendment Means to Me" at about the same time, San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan, an ex-San Francisco Police Chief, confiscated all copies of San Francisco Bay Guardian issue whose cover story was an exposť about the San Francisco Police Department. My essay was written in the style of Mad Magazine's recurring series "What They Say vs. What They Mean". When the judging was announced, I learned that my essay won. The show host was asking "The Lone Liberal" to come up and read the winning essay. I was sitting in my seat and my wife was poking me in the ribs telling me to go up on stage. As the host started to read my essay himself, I stood up, came out of the closet, went on stage and read my winning essay.
I continue to be "The Lone Liberal" to this day, although I am more open about it. If you read my doctrine (above), and you've lived through the last twenty years or studied American history in school, you may understand why I don't consider myself a Democrat. In many ways I am conservative. On Social issues, I may be more of a socialist. I still yearn to return to a (perhaps imagined) time where political debate could be civil, and where people could find common ground, even if they have conflicting views on other issues. I believe in working towards a common good and to not infringe on the exercise of individual rights that do not harm others.
Over the years, I haven't regained much respect for the American electorate. George Bush Sr. became President in 1988. Bill Clinton became President in 1992, only by acting like a Republican. George Bush Jr. was declared President by the Supreme Court of the United States in 2000, and the American electorate finally elected him to the office in 2004.
I don't hate Republican's who truly believe in what their party is doing. They have a right to their opinion and their vote. I have no respect for, and in fact pity, people who vote for Republicans because they don't understand or bother to learn what is really going on. The only group I really hate, are eligible voters who refuse to register to vote or otherwise fail to vote. If you can't bother voting when you have that right, then do not subject me to your complaints about the government or what's happening with our country.
Oppose the Flag Desecration Amendment