Have tattoos when young, regret them later, but it is too late, the indelible stain is there for always. The kind of person you are in later life, not necessarily the kind of person who would have tattoos, has been compromised by the decisions you made while young. As a young man you might have, just for fun, tattooed H.A.T.E. on both sets of knuckles. Or had images of devils or guns or savage dogs or swastikas or "Hells Angel" or "Death to Sickos". And later, if you became the kind of person who might rather have L.O.V.E. on both hands, or Mary, or Mom, or "proud liberal", or "public option", or "Angel of the Morning", you will find it is all too late, no room on the body canvas.
America seems like a country trying to rise to its better self, but being doomed by the tattoos applied by Atwater and Rove, in hidden backrooms on sleazy alleyways, and Beck and O'Reilly and Coulter, up front and proud, advertising their wares on the main street. What is needed is some kind of process that would painlessly remove the old tattoos and make room for new ones. Give it a catchy name, oh, I don't know, the "Democratic process" perhaps.
Clean skin, no old tattoos, on The Watermelon Blog http://www.blognow.com.au/mrpickwick.