Wednesday, January 7, 2009
depression and politics
I never wanted to be one of those cry-baby bloggers who bitch about every little detail of their lives, but I feel some explanation is necessary for why I haven’t been a) posting as much lately, and b) haven’t been posting as much political crap.
Part of it is because I went through a bit of a nasty depression just before leaving for the holidays, which is something that is difficult for me to admit for a couple of reasons.
One, I am a Tough Guy. I don’t typically have a whole lot of sympathy for whiners, and tend not to be one myself. At least I like to think so. :) While a major goal of my psychic life in recent years has been to consciously break away from my ancestors in the middle west, those stoic folk who refuse to admit to ANY feelings whatsoever, and instead find myself a way to feel, I have nonetheless inherited some of that stoicism. I was joking with my friend J about this some time ago, about our parents being the type who, even if they were on fire, would say something like, ‘Oh, no, no, everything’s fine! You go ahead! I’ll just sit here and be engulfed by flames! The heat is actually kind of nice!!’
Point being, I do have a streak of that ‘Everything’s fine’ mentality, especially when it comes to, well, mentality. :)
Another reason it’s hard to admit I was feeling depressed is that I simply have no good reason to feel that way. I don’t have a job I hate, I don’t have a spouse I hate, I’m personable, I go out with friends and have fun, I’m fairly productive when it comes to writing -- there’s really nothing wrong with my life. Nothing wrong, that is, that doesn’t sound like whining.
But I haven’t felt much like writing here. I’ve been working on other things, but as far as the political writing I had been doing prior to November 5, I just felt kind of listless -- still do. So WTF? We won, didn’t we? Shouldn’t I be crowing, enjoying the squirming and mental gymnastics that the right(wrong)-wing pundits are putting themselves through?
Alas, the news to me is pretty fucking grim. As I talked about in the ‘salting the earth’ piece a while back, these douchebags aren’t going to be satisfied until they use every means at their disposal to ensure that the Obama Administration’s options for dealing with the messes left behind by their predecessors are as limited as possible. From the economy to the environment to foreign affairs -- you name it, the Bushies are stealing the proverbial W from the keyboards of state, only in a much more malicious, petty way.
And as far as looking for bi-partisanship in terms of getting bills passed in the future, don’t hold your breath. These guys are clinging to their old models and they can’t see that the world truly has changed. To wit: deregulation doesn’t work. Foreign adventurism doesn’t work. Cutting taxes for the rich doesn’t work.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that the Bush Administration has done yeoman duty in proving that not a single tenet of post-Reagan Republican thought has any real-world value whatsoever.
Not that they’ll learn anything from this preponderance of evidence. They will fight tooth and nail against any and all efforts the Obama administration makes to improve the lives of people in this country, because if they succeed at doing so, it will only point out in even starker terms just how bereft of ideas and even simple human decency the Republican party has become.
The Republicans WANT things to get shittier. That’s the only shot they have at reclaiming power in four years. And that’s also how shallow and pathetically addicted to power they are: they do not give a shit about your mortgage, your granny losing her house, your unemployment benefits running out, or your kid’s school falling apart. All they care about is power.
Voters: please take a mental snapshot of where we are today. Perhaps clip a few headlines and op-ed pieces from various online newspapers and blogs. And please pull out this little scrapbook in three and half years, and remember: this is the type of country you get when government is run by people who don’t believe that government should exist, or who at least don’t believe government exists to help ALL the people, not just those with lobbyists and cronies and connections.
So, depression. Getting out of town for a few days helped a lot. I’m still having trouble getting back into being fully engaged with the political world right now. Hey, at least we can assure ourselves that there is at least a chance things will improve under Obama. If McCain had won...
Shudder. I think I just pooped myself a little bit. :)