The Good Life in Austin Texas


At What Point Did Disagreeing with an Idea, Person or Concept Become Heresy?

Yelling at Clouds

I took one of those Facebook quizzes awhile back and was moderately surprised to learn that I was "Moderately Liberal" in my political leanings (If leanings is a word). Now if you were to poll a cross section of people who know me you would get some widely contradicting opinions about this statement. For those with whom I hunt and fish I am known as an avid outdoors-man, gun owner and property rights advocate. I am also considered to have a strong attitude toward fiscal policy and don't really care for an invasive and over large Government. Because of these ideas there are those who consider me more than a little conservative. On the other hand I agree with many that we live in a rich and powerful country and it's appalling that we have so much poverty and hunger in our nation. It's also apparent to me that because of the mindless greed and self serving attitude of many that we need to have regulations to curb and at least make some attempt to avoid the disastrous policies of the last eight years. Those ideas would make me a bleeding heart liberal in the eyes of many. Here is the thing, I AM NEITHER, my beliefs over the spectrum of issues in the world are very diverse and do not define me as right or left or in any way pigeon hole me with a particular ideology. In fact I believe that a large majority of the country is divided along a very narrow line and that we are actually very close to agreeing on almost all issues. Right after the election, I wrote a post entitled The Election is over...and we are still HERE! After hard fought primaries and a contentious election, it looked like we were going to experience some civility and maybe have some non-partisan attempts to compromise and even make some progress together. Unfortunately, nothing of the sort took place...

In my opinion, the attempt to divide or Balkanize the American public is the work of those who have an agenda that is not entirely in the best interests of our country as a whole. It is disturbing to me that based on one or two beliefs I find that people I know, pundits on the news, talk radio and TV "Infotainers" from both sides will excoriate me and a large part of the population for not being "American" enough to support them, no matter how ridiculous. To not agree completely and blindly with the various extreme points of view automatically demonizes anyone who does not go along. To vilify others based on a few differences of opinion is a cheap shot and reminiscent of the tactics of Joe McCarthy back in the 50's. This is absurd because issues are not black and white and that kind of thinking only exists in comic books. We live in a Democracy NOT a Theocracy. We have a separation of church and state to protect us from the same sort of ideology that resulted in the Spanish Inquisition and the Taliban. And it's just as bad when you hear the hateful ideas of any Minister or Preacher who takes something from any religious book out of context and uses it to promote a self serving agenda. Extremism is divisive and usually plays on FEAR. Unfortunately fear works, especially on those who are uninformed or find it easier to follow the claims of anyone who happens to have an"opinion du jour" without actually investigating the FACTS.

The use of distortion, obfuscation and outright lying by different groups in an attempt to manipulate the public and the elected representatives has become inexcusable. Like the man in the cartoon above, there is a lot of "yelling at clouds" and very little effort to deal with facts or work in the spirit of compromise. In fact I was always told that when the volume goes up the IQ drops exponentially! I find it alarming that the level of discourse in our debates has deteriorated to name calling, making false and misleading statements, shouting down the opposition and as my Grandmother use to note "displaying a complete lack of manners". When Rep. Joe Wilson screamed out "You lie!" I was dismayed and thought that it was, to put it simply, trashy behavior! And frankly, while I am on this soap box I am very disappointed in the so called leaders on both sides of the aisle in Congress who have failed to get anything done as well as the talking heads who continue to encourage the politics of "NO". It's as if we are witnessing the death of common sense. After all, the media hosts are in business to make money and maintain ratings. I read somewhere that Rush Limbaugh had a $400,000,000 contract. Heck I could probably keep people stirred up and would even do it for half the money?!?! And the left also has it's share of loud mouthed screamers! My cynical side wants me to think that BIG MONEY has paid EVERYONE and that as voters we are completely ignored. Think about this from a standpoint of how you live in your community, relate to your neighbors and how you conduct your business. In Texas we are known (for the most part) as having pretty good manners as well as for priding ourselves on our quality service. When a customer is not happy there are always consequences. dawdling [noun]: the deliberate act of delaying and playing instead of working. This is the kind of "service" we are getting from Congress. Click on the video below for an old school response to bad manners and "dawdling service". I admit that I get a perverse thrill out of the video but would never actually do that to anyone. It would just nullify anything I said as far as compromise and cooperation. BUT I will say that we all need to start treating each other with some RESPECT. And frankly if anyone acting like Joe Wilson showed up at my house yelling at me, I might just...well, I will leave it to your imagination. The other day I was having lunch with a very good friend who I think highly of and we were talking about some political issues about which we have very differing opinions. It was enough to make the conversation a little bit uncomfortable and we acknowledged this and actually laughed about it and went on and enjoyed a very pleasant time together. I guess it comes down to this, we just have to agree to disagree and continue to maintain friendships and working relationships based on the things we admire and respect about each other. Hopefully, in the long run, common sense will eventually return and we will NOT let media pundits, politicians and lobbyists continue to split us up so harshly. After all we may disagree on a few things but we are still neighbors, associates and citizens of a country that allows us to engage in any type of discussion in as heated a manner as we can without encouraging violence and that's something that will always make our nation great!

Let's remember the things that unite us and ignore those who would divide us for their own selfish reasons!


Russell M. LewisPage copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 

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80 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • October 07 2009 07:08AM


Hi Russell Very wise, hit the nail on the head words that should be heeded by everyone..great post..glad to see you are back.

I have been away for a while and it was great to find your post. I so agree with your stand.

Posted by June Lewis Realtor® Northwood Realty New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571 (Northwood Realty Services) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell!
I normally don't get through such an epic tirade, but you captivated me! Your "tirade" was right on and interestingly enough, something I have been giving quite a bit of thought to of late.  If I may be so bold as to add something that has concerned me...when did we start having to be so politically correct?  I mean, I am the first one to respect differences...and sometimes to actually enjoy them.  But now, I have to be careful of anything I say, in fear of offending someone. An example: a client and I were discussing a mutual friend. I said I have always liked her because she calls a spade a spade. Then, my very next thought was "I wonder where that saying came from...what does it mean...could it offend someone?"  Isn't that a sad commentary?  Anyway, thank you for a thought provoking post that I truly related to and enjoyed!

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunnigan, REALTORS (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) about 1 year ago

Russell, this is a longer and more complex post than I usually see and have to agree that people seem to be more mean spirited these day and it could be fueled by the media personalties that seem to gain ratings by creating controversy! I also concur that we are all not getting our money's worth from Congress!

Posted by Lynne about 1 year ago

Hi Russell, well I agree with you.  I don't like to talk politics with people these days - I'm not sure who is fanning the fire - but there is one for sure.  I like the idea of concentrating on those things that unite us.  As for the dawdling -- thanks for the video, Russell!

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR ®, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty) about 1 year ago

I agree that there are constant divisive measures at play. It's intentional. But it's not wise. How long do politicians think they can keep one "side" from talking reasonably to the other "side" by these childish means. That being said, IMHO most of those Facebook quizzes are way off base. I've seen some really bizarre results. =/

Posted by Lisa Hill (Daytona Beach Real Estate) (Florida Property Experts) about 1 year ago

Howdy there Russell

My friend, there sure are alot of folks out there, that only want to get any kind of controversy started up that they can. They do it in such away sometimes to get folks to think, and feel they are really out to help them, when they really are not.

Baker Home, Commercial Properties Inspections and Consulting AR Signature

Posted by Discover and Explore New Hampshire with Dale Baker (Baker Home Energy Audit & Commercial Properties Inspections ) about 1 year ago

Wow what a post.  Sounds like you are like most of America, three dimensional.  I two see both sides of the coin.  I get very frustrated when I read posts that are completely one sided.  Loved this one.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Kate Bourland Debt Settlement - Mortgage Acceleration (Financial Solutions Inc.) about 1 year ago

Goof morning, thanks for stopping by! I will be back to reply after I make some coffee!

June Hi there to one of my favorite bloggers, it's good to see you and I owe you a football email. Your Steelers' are doing so much better than our dysfunctional Cowboys!

Paula It's funny but I don't usually get off on any tirades, especially about politics. One a year in fact and this was more about the way the public are being manipulated and mislead. I am so glad you mentioned the dilemma of "political correctness". We seem to be so uptight on one hand and yet endure countless deceptions and tactics designed to distort our views of today's current issues! I am so glad you dropped by and always enjoy your addition to the dialogue.

Mary Hi there, I agree and I rarely talk about politics, as I mentioned earlier I've managed to keep it to one post a year. I am glad you enjoyed the video, it's rather old school and a fantasy of seeing bad folks get their just desserts!

Lisa I agree and hope that people will finally catch on and about the FB quizzes...right again!

Dale I like the fact that you just tell it like it is without trying to mislead anyone. We would all be better off if more folks had your great attitude!

Kate Thank you very much and I share your frustration with those people who insist that they have the only idea worth listening to!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell at some point in time I would have written a blog like yours. Mine would not have been as articulate or as comprehensive as yours. This is a wonderful post and I found myself agreeing with you almost 100 percent. Thank youfor your voice of reason and civility

Posted by All Mountain Realty about 1 year ago

Russell, the values you describe in the first paragraph are totally in sync with my own, and I am moderately liberal.  At this point in history, I think the Republicans have lost their claim to a love for small government and balanced budgets.  And now I'm getting annoyed with the Democrats for not going back to the 1992-2000 thing of actually reducing government and balancing the budget.  Now I have to go back and finish this one.  It sure started out good!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy (Evers & Company Realtors) about 1 year ago

I applaud Wilson's comment.....but he was speaking of everyone in the room as far as I am concerned.

As far as "talk radio" it seems that most Americans agree with their banter.  If this was not so, why is it that liberal "talk radio" fails every time someone tries it?

Posted by Edward Bachman Your Kingwood TX Realtor (EXIT REALTY SOLUTIONS) about 1 year ago

Thank you Russell! This is an excellent post my friend and thank you for showing both sides. You are right we need to remember the things that unite us and ignore those who divide us. We do need to get back to some common sense! The video is perfect..a great example of dawdling service!

Posted by Dorie Dillard: Canyon Creek & NW Austin Living (Coldwell Banker United) about 1 year ago

Russell - I've blogged on this topic a couple of times, and unfortunately, don't think we'll soon overcome the division and mean-spiritedness in our country.  The politicians and those concerned with their own self-interests will continue to maintain the division for it is the only way they can promote their agendas.  Until the majority of the people realize they're being exploited--and they'll never know as long as they're focused upon "Dancing with the Stars"--we'll continue stumbling along this path.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru ( about 1 year ago


This is an interesting post and I usually avoid political pieces on AR but I had to keep reading this. However, I will keep my political views to myself.

Great movie clip and I agree with Robert Duvall, Aretha Franklin and Rodney Dangerfield - We definitely could all do with a little more respect.


Posted by Claudette Millette - Metrowest Mass Buyer Broker (The Buyers' Counsel) about 1 year ago

A very thought provoking post, one that definitely needs a cup of coffee with it..Did you get the coffee made?

Posted by Judi Barrett ~ Integrity Real Estate Services ~ IDABEL, OK about 1 year ago

Hi Russell, Good post. Thanks for sharing.

Best - Sash

Posted by Sasha Miletic - Windsor Real Estate (RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd.) about 1 year ago

After reading some of the posts on AR recently I'd been thinking about writing something similar. Now I don't have to because you said it so well. I consider myself to be a social libertarian who believes in small government with a side of compassion and safety net, particularly for those groups who are marginalized the most in this county (can you follow all that without your head spinning?).

I find that many people who claim to be Republican or Democrat don't really even know what that means or don't have a coherent reason for their beliefs, they just latch on to the talking head that fires them up the most and then follow blindly regurgitating talking points.

I'd take a nuanced conversation with someone who really understands an issue but disagrees with me any day.

Posted by Julia Odom, Chattanooga Homes for Sale (Select Realty Professionals) about 1 year ago

Good morning Russell,

Can I just say what an awesome post. I could not have said it better myself. The video was priceless, maybe I should watch LD again (it has been many years). Also your last line is spot on!! I always thought I was a bleeding heart liberal until I got a little older and did not agree with everything. When people try to pigeon hole me as a Dem./Rep. I tell them I am a Humanitarian and I vote issue by issue not for the Dem./Rep. talking head de jour.



Posted by Betina Foreman-Serving Lake Travis, Lake Austin and the greater Austin area! ((512)771-6318 Prospect Real Estate Solutions, LLC) about 1 year ago

Morning Russell, I really enjoyed reading your very articulate and heartfelt post. I try to ignore the most of what talking heads are spewing out, most of it sounds like sensationalism and it only leaves me feeling unsettled. Rush's reported salary is what, what what???

I have friends who religious, and political beliefs are very different from mine and it can be uncomfortable at times to have a discussions but it's always done respectfully. Hey we are still friends! I can either be right or left depending on the policy at hand. I totally agree w/ Patrica above when she stated "At this point in history, I think the Republicans have lost their claim to a love for small government and balanced budgets."

Ohhh, love that Robert Duvall, now that's an actor with substance!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch ~ Redesigned Spaces ~ all round nice gal... (Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio) about 1 year ago

Charlie Thanks so much for your comment, it's very nice to hear that ther are many of us who are fed up with all of the noise that is trying to pass itself off as "insight"!

Patricia You make some excellent points and I think the Republican party is struggling especially if the party is paying attention o the most extreme elements. Most of the conservatives I know personally are moderates and thinking people. It will be interesting to see what transpires.

Edward I sometimes feel that way about the whole bunch too, Mark Twain often made fun of the congress and made a lot of sense. Ok, here is something to think about: Maybe the reason that so called liberal talk radio has not been successful is because liberals have more sense than to be led around by a bunch of loud mouths on the radio.

Okay...that was a cheap shot and I was just "bantering". I really do appreciate you adding to the discussion!

Dorie Thank you, I really do agree with you about basic common sense and I am happy you enjoyed the video!

John I appreciate your comments and your points are spot on. I need to check out your blog!

Claudette It's nice to know that it was interesting enough to keep you reading and I tried to write this post without leaning to one side or the other. Thanks for mentioning Robert Duvall, Aretha Franklin and Rodney Dangerfield.

Judi Thanks for your compliment and feel free to drop by for coffee anytime!

Sasha Thank you and you are very welcome!

Julie I think we may be on the exact same wave length and agree that many people take on a label without actually knowing what is being said and promoted. I like your idea about a real discussion as opposed to a shouting match!

Betina Thanks so much my friend! I like your attitude and Humanitarian is an excellent way to describe a person who really does care about the rest of the people in our world! I agree that if we are realistic we are hopefully, always evolving when it comes to our views and opinions!

Cynthia Thanks so much for your comments! I think the party is adrift without any oars, so to speak and because of this extremists fill a vacuum. Here is some info from the New York Time (That Socialist Rag?!?!) about Rush's salary:

"The A.M. radio host will be paid about $400 million to continue serving up his daily dose of conservative patter through 2016. His $50 million a year paycheck represents a raise of about $14.4 million a year over his current contract, which was paying him $285 million over eight years and was set to expire in 2009."

So I was not making it up and he HAS to create controversy to keep his audience...BTW I am also a big Robert Duvall fan and also Tommy Lee Jones!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

I was surprised to see you writing about this subject, it's not your usual cup of tea. What a refreshing change in the usual "my way or the highway" articles I see these days in the blogosphere and hear on TV and the radio. I am a little more left leaning or thought I was and really think I am more middle of the road these days. I agree that we need to have more sanity and less yelling.

Posted by Tom & Mary about 1 year ago

As a person who has known you for a long time I have to say that this is a very well balanced post and agree that, depending on the issue, people could mistake you for leaning towards either side of the spectrum of issues. I do not care for any groups who instill fear and hysteria in an effort to avoid the facts but it seems to be more prevalent these days.

Posted by Scott Harvey (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Your Grandmother hit it on the head.

Posted by Randy M. about 1 year ago

Russell, excellent post----there seems to be no end to what people will get their panties all in a bunch over----in the "mean" time there lives go sailing by.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle, WA, Home Inspector (Charles Buell about 1 year ago

Russell:  The two party system seems like such a HUGE distraction to keep voters from both parties fighting one another while corporations are lobbying both parties to get what they want.  Both sides are guilty, and in my opinion, also guilty of running this Country into the ground. We, the voters, need to find this nonsense unacceptable and elect people who want to run the Country instead of bowing to lobbyists and continuing the two party fight. 

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker (Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 1 year ago

Russell - Amen!  I just unsubscribed from a couple of groups because of all the non-sense, bickering, immature spats, etc. that were going on.  And hey, I took that same facebook quiz and also came up Moderately Liberal;)  Can I be your running mate?

Posted by Jason Sardi, Pretty Fly for an Allentown Guy (None needed;)) about 1 year ago

Well said my friend!

Any level of extremism divides people.

No matter which way someone slants, left or right, surely there is some middle ground to which everyone can agree upon.

Posted by Craig Rutman Raleigh/ Cary/ Apex area Realtor (Home Buyer and Seller Specialist) about 1 year ago

I am like you Russell people can't figure out my political stripes. I get email from the far left and far right....

Posted by Gary Woltal - Assoc. Broker REALTOR® SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 1 year ago

Tom & Mary Thanks for visiting my blog. I wrote this because I kept running into people who for the most part are very even tempered and balanced EXCEPT when it comes to political opinions!

Scott You do know me and also know that I have strong opinions but that they do not rest in any single school of thought!

Randy That is so true, she was a very forgiving person but did not tolerate a lot of foolishness and did not care for those who are dishonest!

Charles I am laughing so hard at your panties comment and you word play. It's nice seeing you here!

 Chris Ann You really make some excellent points and agree that there are big problems on both sides. Check out how much money the insurance companies have donated to politicians of both parties! The voters do need to demand accountability from those who are in office!

Jason You crack me up (as always) and I would be glad to join you on just about any ticket only I want to be VP behind you! Hey I did the same thing awhile back because I just got tired of listening to the incessant pleadings of people who are convinced they are right and feel compelled to convince the rest of us!

 Craig I do not normally get on a soap box but I've been inundate with so many bizarre opinions lately I just had to rant a bit!

Gary I think it's a good thing when folks cannot figure us out and it is funny when I get emails that are all over the  map!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

I try to stay out of heated discussions about politics as much as possible. People seem to lose their cool when they get all wound up and no one really expects another person to change their mind!

Posted by Jeannette Spinelli (Avenue One Properties) about 1 year ago

Russell, this picture say's it all in my book!The trouble with Congress

Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

I'm glad to hear it said. I think people are starting to wake up to these facts and I'm hoping real change will follow.

Posted by finskie about 1 year ago

Russell, I do think that there is a lot of noise on the airwaves these days and very little rational discussion. I did enjoy the video, if you were around back then you would have probably fit in quite well with those two cowboys!

Posted by Michelle about 1 year ago
Hey Russell! Sent you a comment this morning, and IT WAS REJECTED! I didn't even say anything off color! What??? I liked your rant & agree with all of it except I still get worked up & radical sometimes. I think we're all getting mellower. Keep up your good work! Suzy
Posted by Suzy Juncker about 1 year ago

I have to admit I fall fairly far to the right on the political spectrum, but agree with you wholeheartedly that by focusing on the issues that divide us, politicians keep our focus off them and the insane things they're doing on the Hill... namely enriching themselves at our expense. 

Posted by Fairbanks Alaska Real Estate Specialists Jesse & Kathy Clifton 907-699-6024 (Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS®) about 1 year ago

Jeannette I also stay away from political discussions and you are so right that few people want to even consider changing their minds!

Allysoun That picture is absolutely hilarious!

AJ I hope you are right, it would be refreshing to see some real change!

Michelle You are right, and noise is the best definition. And thanks for the comparison, I would ride with those two anytime!

Suzy I am not sure why you comment was rejected and BTW it's perfectly alright to get a bit radical at times because you are never mean spirited!

Jesse I don't mind people on either side of the issues but just hope for more with your attitude that understand the harm that divisiveness causes all of us! Thanks for stopping by, I need to subscribe to your blog!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell!  Well, you still haven't written anything that I disagree with so, I'm thinking that we'd probably see eye-to-eye on most everything--no conflicts here! 

My beef with some folks--it's almost as though they are brainwashed, especially in reference to their political views.  Raised a Democrat, always one, and visa versa.  I always challenge people after polling here--why would you pull a straight ticket?  SURELY there's someone on the other side that you agree with more than 'your' party's candidate!  Without naming cities/states, some politicians have done absolutely horrific things and they're easily re-elected--go figure!

And, I love your comment about the volume to IQ ratio!  Priceless!

Have a wonderful Wednesday...

Debe in Charlotte

Posted by Debe Maxwell - Search Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte NC Neighborhoods (Helen Adams Realty) about 1 year ago

Thanks for the post. Very sad that if you do not agree with someones point of view you are suddenly unamerican, a racist or whatever..

Posted by Pat O'Reilly (RE/MAX..214-289-6176 Irving and all of Dallas Fort Worth) about 1 year ago

Well now, Russell!  Very well said.  I have been shouted down more than once, more than 100 times, for my moderately liberal views.  I consider myself a moderate liberal, and I like to think of myself as fair minded.  If someone had shouted liar at President Bush on national TV, I would have been just as appalled as I was when Joe Wilson interrupted President Obama, and it's no secret how I felt about President Bush.  W, that is.  I think RESPECT is as important as breathing if we want to make the world we live in a better place.  Respect for others, respect for differing ideas.  I have lost my taste for arguing.

Just as in life, we need to concentrate on what we do want, and not on what we don't have.  We need to concentrate on what we do agree on, which is plenty.  Love of family, country, etc. 

As for Rush, I think he is an unmitigated. socially unacceptable bag of hot air (so much for fair minded!!).  I read recently that when the Clinton's were in the white house, he called their daughter Chelsea the White House dog.  That kind of mean spiritedness is totally uncalled for.  And he gets paid the big bucks.  What does this say about society?

On a lighter note, I loved Lonesome Dove, the books especially, and have read everything written about these two characters.  Great stuff.

Posted by Susan Mangigian, West Chester PA Realtor RE/MAX Preferred, ABR (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) about 1 year ago

Russell, I am somewhat late to the party, having navigated my way here via you comment... How eloquently and calmly you managed to say what's been on so many people's minds - how very necessary. 

I've often wondered if maybe all the lead in the toys or estrogen in the waterways are to blame for the immaturity of discourse in the last few years.  From John McCain's despicable "that one" to Joe Wilson's outburst, to the so-called pundits on both sides, who are we, as a nation, as a people if not a bunch of easily manipulated fools regurgitating that which we are fed.  Political discourse seems to have been reduced to a bunch of one-liners, just large enough to stick on a banner or a t-shirt; and just polarizing and cartoonish enough to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Sorry for the longish comment..and thank you again for this much-needed post.

PS: Hi my Susan:-)

Posted by Inna Hardison-ha media group Real Estate Marketing, Webdesign & Print (ha media group) about 1 year ago

Russel, I really liked this thought provoking post...and it gives me another insight on you as a person.  I agree with all you say....AND, I love the video.  thanks for sharing your thoughts with us,

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot Lewisburg WV Realtor (Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell...great rant! I lean that way politically too..but I DO NOT like to be pigeonholed into one or the other way of thought! What ever happened to "love thy neighbor" (no matter what!) I agree  with your Grandma, "Where have the manners gone???"

Love the video..need to watch those movies again..Peace.

Posted by Marie Valadez about 1 year ago

Debe I agree and frankly we both seem to agree on more issues than most. You know, if the rest of the world would do as we do...Just kidding but manners, truthfulness and basic common courtesy are essential elements to living and working in a healthy society. The problem is that many do not care for the majority but only a narrow self serving segment of their choosing!

Pat I really appreciate your comment because you've reminded me that the noisemakers DO use those terms to disparage anyone who disagrees with them!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Excellent post, Russell, and while the video takes the demand for respect to the extreme (Ya think? LOL) it makes a good point!


Posted by Debi Boucher - "Realtor Showcase" Real Estate Photography/Virtual Tours ( Real Estate Showcase Photography) about 1 year ago

I was raised in conservative Orange County, CA and did my undergraduate at UC Berkeley.  Things don't get much more diverse than that politically, which works for me as I find myself agreeing with somethings on the Right and some on the Left.

I also agree we would do better with a more respectful discussion of our differences.

Posted by Christine Donovan Costa Mesa CA Homes Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 (Donovan Blatt Team - Donovan Group Realty) about 1 year ago

Susan It's always a problem when people resort to shouting, lying or just ignoring others in an attempt to squelch the truth. Honestly we had some serious one party politics for the last eight years and it seems more than a little disingenuous when this claim is made against the current administration. I agree that the media pundits are PAID to keep ratings UP! Fear and deception are always good short term ways to keep people stirred up. In a funny way the internet, though it is a means of dispensing a lot of flawed information is also a way to find out actually facts! *WHEW* Let's just make some popcorn and rent Lonesome dove and chill for awhile!

Inna You are NEVER late and always welcome! I don't know if those things have contributed to a streak of immaturity but there is certainly damage being done because of the issues. I took my son to see McCain on a book tour two years before the election and the person who ran for office was vastly different from the intelligent, engaging and thoughtful man we met at the book signing. I think that the party has kow-towed to the noisier more excessive elements and that's proving to be a disaster. Why it continues is any body's guess and until a level of moderation and compassion returns more and more people will be put off by the extremists views. Polarization make for big headlines but little progress, no matter which side generates the trouble!

Rebecca Thanks, and I guess we are still on speaking terms, just kidding but we do learn more about each other through our blogs!

Marie I try and limit anything politically to just once a year! I do think there is a severe lack of manners these days but I am not advocating the punishment doled out in the video...HA HA!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago


This was a very well thought out post. Foe a differnet slant on the news try the Gloge and Mail or BBC on line. It gives the other perspective.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) about 1 year ago

Russel:  I think the lines of conservative and liberal beliefs have blurred.  The left is so left and the right has become so right....maybe that's why your answers were the way they were.  Most of us are in the middle now.

Posted by Jane Grant - Southwest Real Estate - Riverside County, CA about 1 year ago

Hi Russell, I am completely turned off of the level of noise and charges that seem to fly back and forth from both sides if the spectrum. Very few seem interested in really getting something done which only hurts those who need help the most! The voters are ignored by the very people that they put into office!

Posted by Sarah about 1 year ago

Russell, you've written an evenly balanced article here and I am so proud of the way you have focused on the fact that we need to concentrate on the thing that do indeed unite us! Oh and another thing I could sure see you riding with both of those cowboys in the old days. You fit right in!!!

Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Russell, what a WONDERFUL post. I would describe myself EXACTLY as you did yourself in your first paragraph. And I have hardcore right and bleeder left friends I don't see eye/eye with on many issues. But I respect their views.

Good shot old timer. (video) HAHA!

Y'know, I was in our local postal store yesterday and I needed a FedEx to go out ASAP

2 girls behind counter told me, FedEx truck has come and gone. Fine, get it there the fastest possible money is not an object, time is.

They were goofing off for a good 10 mins while I waited. I figured what the hey, I'll make a call.

The clerk then gave me ATTITUDE about being on call. THEY KNEW WHAT I NEEDED, I had the address and credit card out for them to finish the transaction and watched while they punched the numbers in the computer. THEY COULD HAVE HAD THIS DONE IN 45 SECONDS.

I wished I'd had those old farts with me.  But I guess never going back will have to suffice. :)

Posted by Candice A Donofrio, Broker Fort Mohave, AZ Txt 928-201-4242 about 1 year ago

Hi Russell!  Thought I'd stop by and check in to see what your commentors had to say.  I think that everyone is in agreement--in politics, there is no black and white.  Some folks just need to come to the "gray side" (or middle!) and participate thoughtful debate, as you so eloquently wrote!  Our nation would be so much better off if we all did that!

Have a great Sunday...

Posted by Debe Maxwell - Search Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte NC Neighborhoods (Helen Adams Realty) about 1 year ago

Russell -

I am so thankful to Pat Kennedy for alerting me your post.  Living here, just across the Potomac from many of the folk you are talking about, I have learned to keep my own counsel and it has served me well.  I listen carefully, I read widely and then I make up my own mind.  And no matter which way I vote I am a loyal American who loves this country very much.


Posted by Michael Bergin, Northern Virginia Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES ) about 1 year ago

Russell, i just heard about this post when I got to the office this morning and it's so well written. I always enjoy the way you manage to weave humor and sometimes silghtly crazy ideas into your posts that are stillarticulated in such a balanced manner! It would be nice if more people would take the time to thing before passing judgment or worse, jumping to conclusions.

Posted by Karen about 1 year ago

Wow! Wow!  You don't write often Russell but when you do you knock it right out of the ballpark - but I'm curious as to why you didn't post this is some of the political groups? Lol.........I would have loved to see the comment there! Now I wish we'd had more time to sit across the dinner table! :-)

Posted by Liz Moras ~Chilliwack Realtor, Chilliwack, Hope, Langley, Abbotsford (Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake) about 1 year ago

Hi Liz, I love hearing from you and after I finish replying to the comments I will try and post it in a couple of the groups you've mentioned, if I can do that! Next time you are in Austin we will have a repeat performance of the last time we got together with Jason. Have a good week my friend!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Bookmark for replies, back in a little while!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell - I don't have to agree with my friends about everything (as evidenced by the fact that YOU are my friend, right?).  Interestingly, I disagree with your comment in the post that we live in a democracy.  Otherwise, Al Gore would have been President in 2000.  We live in a republic at the national level.  I guess we do have local democracies, however.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 1 year ago

I forgot to mention this: for what it's worth, I agree that Joe Wilson's behavior was juvenile and in the wrong forum.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 1 year ago

If you put San Diego in Texas, we would out-liberal Austin, yet we are regularly seen as California's largest conservative city. On the other hand, if you put Austin in California, you would out-conservative San Diego, yet Austin is regularly considered the most liberal city in Texas. Amazing how the country is different.

I discovered after I was devastated after Nixon resigned, and then devastated again when Jimmy Carter was elected. I ultimately determined just what you did: We are still here! That's why I don't spend a lot of time and energy on political rantings and ravings. I read, write my legislators the first Saturday of each month, and move on with my life.

Posted by Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer (Russel Ray) about 1 year ago

That was funny - the video snippet.  I have to admit I don't follow much politics, because really, can you believe anything they say?

Posted by Georgina M. Hunter R(S) e-Pro Maui Real Estate Sales (Jim Sanders Realty Inc. - Maui) about 1 year ago

I gave up on politics, just lost my heart for it and any trust for those involved.  I love your post and video. You are a good writer. Ever think of running for politics?? I might get involved again!

Posted by Cathy Lee ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA (CL Design Services Home Staging) about 1 year ago

Russell, I read your blog whenever you manage to post, It's funny because though you are an excellent RE Broker, you don't write all that much about real estate in this forum. Thanks for helping us purchase a home thisyear. Your way of looking at politics mirrors you manner of doing business and that's why we will continue to rrecommend you to our friends! And I like the way you included that video, you are reasonable until it's time to put your foot down and that is an excellent illustration

Posted by Jonathan about 1 year ago

Yes we are still here, but experiencing things that were unimaginable 10 years ago.  Who could have dreamed the White House would become a personal attack machine against American citizens who don't walk lock-step with them?  Where are we headed with this... not only state-biased media but state-owned media? 

'Hope our children can look back in 20 years and say "We're still here!"

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation Services (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Crofton, MD) about 1 year ago

Debi I started laughing at your comment and well…yes. Like some of the things I do that illustration was just a bit extreme!

Christine That’s pretty amazing and you really have been exposed to the far reaches of the spectrum. It does not seem to have affected you because you still manage to maintain an open mind!

Terry thanks for the compliment and I will check the sources you’ve mentioned!

Jane Yes and that was one of my points. I still believe the majority of us are very closely aligned and have fewer disagreements than many would have us believe!

Sarah As I mentioned in the post, when the volume goes up the IQ goes down! And too, it’s disappointing when the voters are ignored or representatives just attempt to pacify us with half ass actions!

Allysoun Thank you for the comment and I take that as a compliment, I guess would have fit in with those characters way back yonder!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Jason to tell the truth, you are the person I was referring to when we were discussing politics and the universe in general at lunch recently. I do like the way we can agree to disagree and go on about enjoying our time together. As far as Joe Wilson being juvenile, it was way out of line and surprisingly there are a number of people out there who have applauded such boorish behavior! Too bad and oh well, so how about lunch again sometime next week?

Russel I believe you are right when it comes to location and perspective especially comparing Texas and Cali which is kind of funny in itself. I am a bit surprised by your particular leanings (there is that word again) but I do like the fact that you stay involved and engaged in the process. It's clear that you and I have a diverse view of things and do not take a far left or right position. Thanks again for stopping by and adding to the discourse!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

YooHoo!  Russell, we miss your posts!!  :-)

Posted by Debe Maxwell - Search Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte NC Neighborhoods (Helen Adams Realty) about 1 year ago

Dear Russell,

I am sorry to be so late to the party. I could not agree with you more on this post. I say you should spend more time on the soapbox, it suits you. Also loved Robert Duvall's character in LD, that bartender got what he deserved for being uppity and dawdling. His action was more drastic, than I would be comfortable doing. As for politics, I think both sides need to be actively working towards some middle ground instead of lowering themselves to insults and fear mongering. My hats off to you for such a well written post! Keep them coming my friend!


Posted by Betina Foreman-Serving Lake Travis, Lake Austin and the greater Austin area! ((512)771-6318 Prospect Real Estate Solutions, LLC) about 1 year ago

Debe I have a couple in the works!

Betina no problem I am always glad to see you anytime and thanks so much for dropping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago


When I saw that there were 70 comments, I was sure this had been featured!  You've touched a nerve, and I appreciate the post.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC) about 1 year ago

Mike thanks for stopping by, as I said in the post, I rarely write about anything even vaguely political and try to keep it to once a year! Have great week, I ned to get over to your blog and see what's happening in your part of the world!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell ... you always put so much into your blogging, I love it!    

Posted by Pippa MAC, The Woodlands TX Real Estate Remax Real Estate Spring Texas Realtor (Remax Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring) about 1 year ago

I am liberal on social issues and I am conservative on fiscal issues.  I sound like a mixed up cat but in reality I am a libertarian.  I have been called many names by both sides for talking my views but I am what I am. 

I think life would be so much better if the electorate grew a brain of their own and weren't so jaded by "boogyman" issues such as the scarlet "A" word and Iraq (at least this past year.)  Those are just "mandates" for reform which never happen.  It happens every election cycle, we get caught up.  Then the two major parties have to go around and the minority party has to trash the majority party pretending there are at least differences. 

Posted by Renee Burrows - Las Vegas Real Estate (702-580-1783) (The Force Realty -Realtor>Estate>Probate>REO>Short Sale) about 1 year ago

Pippa It's really nice to see you back around the blog world again and Thanks for the compliments. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Renee We are obviously cut from the same cloth and have the same attitude on both sides of the issues. One of my best friends and running partner told me I was a Libertarian a number of years ago and I thought he said Libertine and when I told him I was not a hard sore "Hedonist" he just laughed and explained it to me and yes you and I both fit the description! It is frustrating that as The Who have said, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss!"

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago


I saw the word "Point" and knew it would be okay with you if I typed this strictly for the points :)

Hey. At least I'm honest about it :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryant's Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell,
I missed this earlier--can't a Conservative be compassionate?

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) about 1 year ago
Russell, It is such a shame that politics have fallen so low with both sides fighting and getting nothing done. the voters are squeezed in-between and we suffer the lack of any progress from our so called leaders on both sides. I vote Republican but lately feel like I am being pushed aside by the extreme elements in my party. As a woman it's getting harder to find a candidate that cares about womens issues and I think that it's just going to take my party off the deep end. I still cannot vote for Obama though so you can see that it's perplexing for me and I am sure for many others in my party too. I like your blog and you can even write about the sensitive subject with a reasioned opinion. Keep up the good work!
Posted by Sally about 1 year ago

TLW I am just flattered that you stopppd by for a visit!

CynthiaOK, I am busted becauseI actually DO know a number of compassionate conservatives and it was a cheap shot at the more eatreme segment that seems to have np compassion for anything! Good point my friend!

Sally I have heard this same complaint from a number of people these days and the problem exists in any situation where extremist views are allowed to dominate the conversation whether liberal or conservative. My concern, like yours is that there is pressure to move the "middle of the road" much farther to the right!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

I've pretty much had it, and refuse to walk around with an upset stomach every day over politics.  Obviously no one cares what I think about anything, so I'm doing my best to return the favor.  Now I listen to country music on the radio, watch HGTV and Law and Order reruns on TV, and count the days til I can vote again - the one place where my opinion matters at least a little.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation Services (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Crofton, MD) about 1 year ago

Margaret, in the last few weeks, i have pretty much adopted the same attitude and will semi-patiently await my chance to do the same and VOTE, I hope others do too! Thanks again for stopping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) 10 months ago


What does the graphic say?