I used to adore politics. The rush of vicious argumentativity, the biting commentary of overly intelligent people who were passionate about particular issues, seeing the lines etched in the sand with strong opinions and rich arguments on both sides. (I used to love being contrary for the sheer joy of pushing other people’s buttons, too.)

In the last year, I’ve lost patience for all of that nonsense. Part of the reason is that I now save every thread of my argumentative mind for debating public health policy with my colleagues, and don’t have a lot of energy to spare on vanity idealism, which is what much of the political debate actually is.  The other part is that I’ve grown up – a lot – and no longer mistake loud-voiced opinions as leadership.

In spite of having no time, no patience, and no interest in “politics,” I still have an enormous amount of interest in important issues, and am looking for information and commentary about them.  Healthcare — what is the *real* value of public vs. private care, single-payer vs. employer-provided insurance plans?  The more I learn, the less satisfied I am with any one option as an absolute, and the less convinced I am that anyone working on policy has an real, working solution.  Marriage Equality and the Definition of Family — frankly, there isn’t a damn thing about this issue that I consider debatable, and I don’t entertain more than two words from anyone attempting to convince me otherwise.  Love is love is love, and marriage is a financial and legal contract between two people who have every right to enter into an agreement to be responsible for each other. That’s it, end of story.  And yet I’m still interested in hearing about the dialogue, about the activities happening around the nation.

Ever heard of Rachel Maddow?  I’ve caught her radio shows, subscribed to her podcasts, adored her color commentary during election seasons — all sporadically over the last six months.  But I’ll say this: the more I hear and see of her work and the more I read about her interests and actions, the more impressed I am with her — and the more engaged I am in talking about the role policy should play in our lives (rather than just dismissing it altogether).

I don’t like John McCain.  I don’t like Barack Obama.  Frankly, at this point I don’t plan to visit the polls in November.  But Rachel Maddow just might be able to make me care about what those men and their people are talking about.