Not too long ago, a person with whom I had worked in a partisan political organization many years ago but whom I had not seen in ages contacted me to request some advice and assistance in a specific political matter involving the 2007 election campaign of another individual. It was the first time since our association those many years ago that I had heard from that individual, who had relocated way back when and had not informed me of whence that person had gone.
None-the-less, I was pleased to hear from that individual and was hopeful that our once close working relationship and friendship would be renewed. When I was contacted for help I gladly delivered, even though the individual had informed me that the word within the specific partisan political circle in which the assistance was requested was that I was considered a loose cannon.
Loose Cannon - that was the phrase used to describe me and was the reason given why the other individual who was seeking elective office had not contacted me direct. No further information was provided me about the “loose cannon” label; I was not told who was using that phrase to describe me, nor was I informed of how many persons may have been using the phrase. “Oh, well” I said to myself at the time and proceeded to assist as requested. After all, I enjoy that type of thing; people are people and think whatever they want; and I believed in the “cause” being presented.
Whatever. I did my political thing and helped the long-time acquaintance that had contacted me last summer and helped the person seeking elective office. Consequently, the candidate was successful in being elected and has since been sworn into office.
I still do not know exactly what was or is meant by the use of the phrase “loose cannon” to describe me. However, I interpret the phrase to mean “a person who looses composure and goes off in tangential directions in an attack mode without regard to facts and concurrently losing focus on intended goals to the detriment of the intended goals.”
Here is the definition of “loose cannon” that I found in the Encarta World English Dictionary: “someone who behaves unpredictably or indiscreetly, often causing trouble for colleagues or associates (slang).”
Incidentally, I have not heard from the person who was elected since the night of the election. Nor did I hear again from the long-time acquaintance who had initially contacted me and with whom I had hoped to renew a friendship UNTIL the past week when that individual contacted me as a result of a public comment I have made about the elected official.
Hmmm. Now that I think of it, I guess I can figure out what “they” (whoever THEY may all be) meant in saying I am a loose cannon! My new interpretation of “loose cannon” as used by the politicos in describing me is as follows: A person who doesn’t “toe the line” regardless of principles, who is not a “yes person” and does not blindly follow the “leader” without regard to individual thought, who does not “go along to get along” for the sake of selfish convenience and expediency, who does not speak or act in a less-than-honest manner in order to obtain personal advantage or to the benefit of a special interest group, and who does not “play the game” for the political advancement of self or of another without consideration of the best interests of the community as a whole.
If that is what “they” mean by using the term “loose cannon” in describing me, then I am proud to be a loose cannon! Gee, it’s no wonder I have not gone further in partisan elective politics!