In the world of political rhetoric and soon-to-be elections, many of us find ourselves getting all revved up; blood pressure rises, a comment turns into a rant, and then we’re attacking our most beloved friends and family members because we disagree on party politics. Have we allowed ourselves to be herded into a gang-like, “us vs. them” tango? What does this political dance look like through a different lens? Frank Meeink, Kindness Not Weakness Warrior and author of Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead: the Story of Frank Meeink, offers this fresh perspective that begs consideration.
(Editor’s Note: Originally published as Frank Meeink: The TNB Self-Interview at The Nervous Breakdown)
Your political views have obviously changed over the years. What are your views now as compared to what they were?
I am a hard line independent now; I was extreme right then — not normal far right, but for an all white, Christian-only America with a government dedicated to protecting the country and our values from infiltration by other races and religions.
How do you view the political process?
I am fascinated now to see how similar the world of politics in the US is to the world of gangs. It’s not enough for our politicians to label themselves Democrat or Republican — they have to wear a blue or a red tie, our states are classified as red states and blue states. They are all wearing gang colors, and our country is represented as a turf map, red vs. blue — it’s like the Bloods and the Crips. I used to use the state of politics to motivate gang members and divide “us” from “them”; now I see how political parties and the media use the methodology of gangs to divide and motivate the country. It’s not enough to be loyal to your gang, you have to hate all the other gangs.
In this analogy, who are the gang king pins? Who are the foot soldiers?
Oh for sure, the king pins are the lobbyists. You would think it would be the president or the people, but the lobbyists and special interest groups are the baller-shot-callers, they control every law and policy that is passed. Everything they do is motivated by profit; the bottom line. The politicians and the media are the foot soldiers/drug peddlers, working their states like a dealer works his corner — selling people what they want to hear, convincing them that this new brand of drug is what they really need, when ultimately, it is just lining pockets up the chain of command. We’re the bitches. We buy what they sell, get hooked on their rhetoric, and fight each other to protect our colors and turf.
Speaking of drugs, you used to have a drug problem. Does our country need an intervention?
One of the lowest points in my life was when a bunch of active crackheads felt compelled to give me an intervention because they were worried about my “unhealthy choices.” We have a bunch of unstable television pundits, addicted to fame and so desperate for their next hit that they spin issues out of thin air, telling us that we’re in danger as a result of the choices we’ve made through our democratic process. They tell us what to think and what to say. We’re so convinced that arguing with each other is empowering that we actually listen to these people, instead of deciding for ourselves what is good or bad, or if we even care. We need to step back and realize what a low point that is for all of us. Anytime you’re looking to the crackheads for advice, its time to re-evaluate.