23 September 2012

Why no more politics?


My abrupt declaration--No More Politics--needs some explanation. . .

During several recent discussions about the upcoming election, I found myself becoming increasingly cynical and angry about the current state of American politics.  

Every conversation quickly falls into a scripted high school drama.  Same props.  Same clumsy staging.  Same bad actors.  Same lame director and playwright.  Over and over and over again.  The. Same. Old. Lines.  

I also found myself jumping almost immediately into questioning my discussion partner's motives for holding his/her particular views as well as doubting their good will.  Can we all say, "Lack of charity"?

Two minutes into the conversation and we're getting nasty; I mean, really nasty.  Not obscene, of course, but accusatory and dismissive.  This is not how a Dominican "theologian" and philosopher should engage in a disputatio.

It started to feel to me like the Bad Old Days of lit grad school when we made a sport of ripping each other to shreds over asinine things like one's preference for a certain kind of poetry or literary theory. Many friendships and professional relationships were ended, for example, over whether or not critical-literary theory had a legitimate place in literary studies.  

Basically, I'm an idealist with a strong attachment to reality as it is.  This is a deadly combo b/c it leads very easily to cynicism. Politics is no place for an idealist who flirts with despair.  

So. . .I'm out. 
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13 comments:

  1. An idealist with a strong attachment to reality, you say? Come to the libertarian side then! ;-)

    PS: I don't mean the wacky Libertarian Party, but to the Rothbardian libertarianism.

    PPS: no, Rothbard wasn't right about everything, especially when he put his foot in his mouth trying to defend the indefensible: abortion.

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  2. Yes, I think you'd make a good libertarian, Father.

    BTW, I'm abstaining from Facebook for a similar reason... it's driving me nuts, and you can't have a real conversation on FB anyway.

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  3. Libertarianism looks like liberalism with more sophisticated mental gymnastics...now I realize I'm going against the spirit of the post...

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  4. best to stay above the fray.

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  5. Apropos: "Myths and Truths About Libertarianism" (http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard168.html)

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    1. Thanks for the link. Good stuff. Unfortunately, my reading in economic and political philosophy is pretty thin, so I really can't say much about this. It's basically what I've always thought libertarianism is about.

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  6. Gregg the Obscure12:01 PM

    Thanks for focusing more on the better part. I've had to drop off from several of my favorite blogs lately because of the toxic political atmosphere. I have a bad temper and it's set off by politicians and the inanities they promote.

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  7. I gave it up for Lent.

    IMHO, there is an undeclared Civil Cold War going on in America. (And if Thomas Sowell is correct, a racial intifada in the last few years.) Been going on for the last 50 years+. That's why so many of these political interactions --hardly ever real conversations, as you say-- are so bitter.

    I understand the impetus to leave the nasty stuff alone. Rise above the fray. Tend to your own soul. Stick to churchly matters. (But even there I think you know that the above mentioned Civil War is carried on under other rubrics.) I have to say, though, that your engagement with politics was the reason I started reading your blog.

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    1. USMSF, I will likely still write about policy issues as they affect the Church. . .abortion, HHS Mandate, religious freedom, etc.

      What I'm tired of is the silliness of campaign rhetoric, talking points, and the complete lack of reason in the overall discourse.

      On the horse-race issues, I can out-snark the snarkest Snark alive, but it's tiresome and pointless. And nothing ever seems to change.

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  8. One thing I wish that was real about the Star Wars universe....

    Freeze me in carbonite until Advent.

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  9. what were you expecting? the world is corrupt you know this. it is how it is enjoy! being depressed about politics is as useless as complaining about water being wet.

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    1. God made me an Idealist. . .sigh.

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