Political Packrat

Featuring lucid and interesting commentary and reporting on current events in the political sphere, Political Packrat is, without a doubt, one of the internet's best kept secrets. In fact, I've been so consistently impressed by her work that I approached her the other day to do an interview that should shed some light into the workings behind the scene at her site, and provided for some downright interesting reading as well. Enjoy!

E.S. Wynn: First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

PP: I am old enough to have a long history and lots of memories, but I 'll keep it short. I grew up a military brat and had the good fortune as a kid to live in many parts of the United States and to spend some time abroad. After college I headed to New York and had various writing jobs-- mostly in advertising and editorial promotion.

This was back in the days of typewriters and carbon paper when the New York Times employment section was where you looked for jobs. It had help wanted "male" and help wanted " female" sections. The good jobs were always in the help wanted "male" section, but getting a foot in the door if you were a girl was a problem. Jobs for even educated women were all about typing. Nobody had even thiought of the internet back then, except maybe for Isaac Asimov :-)

Eventually, I married, had two kids, raised them in a Brownstone in Brooklyn where I got involved with all sorts of local community and political organizations. I think that is when I began to see the importance of participation in the political dialogue and what a difference just a few people could make. I left Brooklyn in the late '90's. My husband and I called it quits after 33 years of marriage and I have settled in a small, central New Jersey town on the banks of the Delaware River, near friends, family, and grown children. I live and blog in a beautiful place where I have access to clean air, good food and wireless internet. What more could a girl want?

E.S. Wynn: What prompted you to start Political Packrat?

PP: Political Packrat kind of grew out of my other internet activities. Let me start by saying that I first went online in 1993 and knew right away that this was something as big and as defining for humankind as the Gutenberg Bible. I was hooked right away. I had my first website in 1996. It would today have been considered a blog, I think. I ran it till 2002 and it taught me a lot-- most importantly, I learned a new way of thinking and processing information that I still find fascinating. I call it thinking in hyperlinks and my kids, who grew up with technology, know how to do it organically. I have the advantage though, because I can think in hyperlinks, but I can also think linearly and more deeply in the old fashioned manner of my generation. It gives me a kind of double whamee when it comes to political blogging. that I find useful.

I started Political Packrat because I am something of a political junkie and follow world events with keen interest. I was already writing on hubpages and doing two other blogs, but I wanted one solely devoted to my personal take on world affairs and American politics. I just wanted to share my thoughts and opinions, backed up by facts, history, and critical thinking rather than raw emotion. I was tired of reading whacked out angry political rants from both left and right and just wanted to restore some balance and maybe a sense of humor to my little corner of the political blogasphere.

E.S. Wynn: If you had to label your political stance, what would it be?

PP: Good Grief-- I don't know that I can label my political stance. I am a registered democrat and definitely tend towards liberal and populist points of view-- but not always and not in all things. In some ways I am surprisingly conventional. I guess if I had to label myself I would say I am an open minded free thinker. At least that is what I hope I am:-)

E.S. Wynn: What is your opinion on the state of the world as it is now? Do you have any advice?

PP: Oddly enough, I think the world is better off now than it was during the Cold War when I was a kid. I spent my whole childhood thinking the world might get blown up in a nuclear holocaust any day. The super power face-off was a very hairy time when two systems battled it out and nobody was talking to anybody. In America we thought the Russians were going to attack and I now discover that little Russian kids were afraid of the Americans. Governments had power in those days-- a power that the internet has broken forever.

The internet and the jet plane have brought us all so close together that we are going to have to work out our problems and that's a good thing. It's as if all the people of the earth have suddenly been put in one room. They are jostling and pushing each other and cursing at one another, but eventually they will calm down and get along because they have no other choice. We have serious political, religious and cultural issues, disease, pollution, climate change and over population but we are talking to each other which is more than we were doing during the Cold War.

The internet is the highway of truth and the path to learning. In some ways, the future has never been brighter. It's a great time to be alive.

E.S. Wynn: Anything else that you would like to add?

PP: Just thanks for reading Political Packrat. It's the ultimate compliment one writer can give another.

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