this ain’t good

23Nov09

An interesting conversation over at Historiann’s in which I’ve been properly roasted has reminded me of what’s becoming a really ugly part of my personality: the degree to which I’ve become unbelievably jaded and cynical.  I used to be cheerful and optimistic but that’s long gone, courtesy of huge traumas my senior year of high school and the aftermath. I’m an incurable pessimist. On a good day, I’m a realist, but that’s as good as it gets.

This trait of mine popped up over at Historiann’s in a conversation about what the left’s to do in the face of the Democratic Party’s routine selling out of progressive interests. I don’t actually disagree that progressive interests aren’t being served but I’ve given up on politics. Something happened over the summer as I watched the “death panels” panic from afar; politics in the US is broken. The fact that we still think it’s acceptable to have a debate over whether it’s all right to leave tens of millions of people without any access to healthcare tells me something’s gone horribly wrong. I don’t expect much from our system so I’ll take what little’s coming.

If I were just cynical about politics, maybe that’d be fine. But I’m this way about pretty much everything. That can’t be good.

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2 Responses to “this ain’t good”

  1. 1 historiann

    Hang in there, thefrogprincess. Cynicism is underrated, especially since it’s very popular these days! (I don’t think anyone meant to “roast” you, just to argue with you a bit. I hope you didn’t feel too beat up by it.)

    Here’s an article that suggests you’re not the only person to think that something is seriously wrong: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/nov/23/us-government-tax-reform-crisis

    I had hoped there would be more Dems who would have the guts to do what’s right, and damn the electoral consequences. But everyone in Washington is looking for the quick-and-dirty solutions that please the voting public, instead of having the courage to do what’s right. I had also hoped that Obama would have the guts to use his political capital to sell Americans on his programs and inspire a renewed confidence in government. Sadly, I think that ship has sailed, now that he’s polling below 50%.

  2. 2 thefrogprincess

    Thanks for the link, historiann. Given that the guardian has been my news source for much of the past year and a half, it’s probably no surprise how much my views align with his.

    I’m with you on the “quick-and-dirty solutions that please the voting public”. It seems like we’re most crippled by the fact that all of the House goes up for election every two years. There’s no room for people to get settled in their jobs or for policies to get set in place before congresswomen and men are back facing their publics. And since in the end, politics at this level is all about power rather than public service, what’s right gets lost. This is where I think the parliamentary system of a country like the UK gets things right, although that system has its own serious drawbacks.

    And no worries about the conversation yesterday. I’m new to the feminism thing (having grown up Southern Baptist and all that) so I’m still finding my way, which can only be done with some good ol’ fashioned civil debate.


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