I heard the honking through the night, honking, shouting, people cheering.  Sometimes this happens, I hear the cheering late at night, from the bar down the street, and I think to myself, we must have won something, must be a big one, I should look in the paper tomorrow morning and not be so hopelessly out of it.   But this time I knew what it was, it wasn't a sports event, it was an election, it was Cambridge and the streets were full of people long after the speeches were over and California had been declared and we knew that we had a new president.  Change was coming, finally.

And I'm glad that we are past the boy from Texas.  That needed to happen.  But change, real change, well, I know and you know that really hasn't come.  And I'm feeling more cynical about politics than at any time in my life. 

I don't really like cynicism, I don't really approve of it, it's wasted emotion, it doesn't push on and make things happen, it gives in.  But I'm feeling cynical, it's been creeping in, its like a low level virus, like regret, like vengefulness, the feelings that don't really do much for us, but there it is.

The fierce advocate for LGBT issues does nothing about gay soldiers, does nothing about the defense of marriage act, urges activists to pull out of Maine where they are fighting for marriage equality and give him a hand with a billionaire Democratic governor in New Jersey who has lost his own constituency.  I mean, we knew he didn't support gay marriage, but didn't we think he really did, he just wasn't telling?  And the leader who says our economic health is linked to reform of the health care industry gives away the store, leaves us with a bill the insurance companies love, and requires everyone to give in to those insurance companies or else pay a fine to the government.  I mean, didn't he keep telling Hillary he couldn't support a mandate on people too poor to pay?

And the man who receives a Nobel Peace Prize too early, he isn't humble as one might have expected, he doesn't say, wait, this is wonderful but please, give me time to achieve what I want to achieve, no, he goes to Stockholm, this man of peace, he accepts this prize he knows comes too soon and his address, one half of it, is devoted to war.  A justification of war, a man recieves a Nobel Peace Prize and defends his war.

To be really honest with you, I don't know where to turn at this point.  That's where this feeling of cynicism is arising from, this sense that we did what we could and here we are.  Stalemated.  No place to turn.  Who should I vote for next time?  Who should I make phone calls for next time?  Who should I send my money to next time? 

I used to live in Holland.  In Holland, in my days, you could tell something about the person sitting next to you on the tram by the paper he held in his hands.  There was a newspaper for everyone and you could choose your public identity by your selection of a newspaper.  You could the same thing with your political party.  There was something for everyone.  It didn't mean you got what you want, not at all.  But it meant you had somewhere to turn.

I don't like thinking this way, I don't like it at all, I prefer the cheering and the honking horns and the feeling that change was on its' way.  Cynics told me he wasn't going to change anything, he just wanted power, he wasn't even a progressive.  But I was cheering nevertheless.  And now I'm not so sure.  Not so sure at all.

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Anonymous said...

I feel that to run for president one must be utterly and completely insane. That being said, how can anyone expect too much from a crazy person.

Eduardo Guize said...

unfortunately, as you say, that feeling is spreading like a virus...

Anonymous said...

This is basically exactly how I feel as well. Thank you for putting it to words more publicly than I can and for stating it so succinctly. Its almost like hopelessness, when the whole thing is a sham.

Tom said...

7:26 said it well.. and, since it is a sham.... do you really think it matters much who is elected?
They are all puppets and the folks behind the federal reserve are holding the strings.

Anonymous said...


Jeff here..48 married 5 kids just starting this process (God help me!). Enjoy your new blog.. any chance of reading your old one or completely destroyed? Spent an entire day reading Chris' blog at My Journey Out and it really helped. Anyway... your new blog shows me that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

paul said...

Old blog is not destroyed, just lying dormant. There is more than light at the end of the tunnel, there is a new life that is not separated from the old life, and there are a lot of things you cannot even imagine now but which are already on the way. Thanks for writing, Jeff, and best of luck.

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