Monday, March 05, 2007

The Spectators

Dom Eggert over at Sentiments of Rationality writes on a subject I’ve been relating to for years, i.e. ever since I really started paying attention. I’ll define that as engaging, since I find the best check on my opinions is the act of writing them down. You’d be surprise how much idiocy I neglect to share.

For as long as I can recall, I’ve dismissed the obvious shortcomings of our system of government as simply a necessary evil in making sure the wheels of change don’t turn so fast that any one ideological swing can ruin this country. Basically, I’ve taken the long view. Looking back I see that this country has come a long way, often slowly, but somehow inexorably, and so although our current state remains less than ideal, I’ve trusted that the pattern will continue, and who am I (a short lived beneficiary) to question its plodding pace.

Pragmatism seems to be a bent that can accommodate just about every philosophical swing, since I’ve certainly not been consistent over the past 7 years, yet my pragmatic underpinnings have remained a constant. That is, until lately. There’s cynical, and I’ve been that since high school, and then there is truly resigned, and I’ve been on the path to that since Bush won reelection. I do need to qualify it a bit further, since I really don’t want anyone asking me what took me so long. What I mean by truly resigned is: I have no trouble condemning America for its idiocy, never have, but the depths of idiocy I’ve witnessed since becoming engaged has managed undermine my identity as an American.

I’ll put it to you this way. My country betrayed me when they reelected Bush, and they betrayed themselves as undeserving of the benefit of the doubt. Rather than continuing to distance myself from the majority, I simply had to accept that I’m not in the majority. Not anywhere close to the majority. There are simply no two ways about it. And I’m not talking strictly of the worst of the lot, the religious right. Bush needed and got plenty more than just them to vote for him in 2004. I’m talking about a majority of this country being so slow, so afraid, so utterly moronic, that it took the hyper established facts of Bush’s failures and deceits an additional two years to sink in. Sorry, but that’s fucking dense. It’s a bit like running for a touchdown after the game is over. You’ll forgive me if rather than applaud, I wince out of embarrassment.

I think this helps to explain why some of the best commenter out there are becoming increasingly distant. It’s a bit worse than not caring for the future of the country. It’s a measure of distaste at the thought that Middle America and the Right deserve a better future when by all accounts they frankly don’t. Better to be ignored and obscure than compromise one iota on the off chance that your ideas will be put into the service of the establishment, and possibly help to squander more of the future on these superstitious, blinkered, shallow people and their petty ideologies.

Perhaps it’s as trite as retiring from the human race. Or possibly it’s an imbalanced and transparently self-serving laziness. Certainly, I have strong suspicions that there’s nothing here for me to be proud of. Nevertheless, it’s saying something that I find myself more than indifferent about the future of this country beyond the day that I stop breathing.


august said...

An "aha" moment for me was when I realized that we are in a permanent state of war, with all the incumbent constitutional caveats. There seems to be no mechanism for getting us out of this mess.

You once famously posted about real estate opportunities in Hell. It's a growth market.

Claude Scales said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Claude Scales said...

Check out IOZ, who thinks it was all pretty much over with the Louisiana Purchase.