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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  1. Anonymous6:43 PM

    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.

  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.

  3. Anonymous4:56 AM

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

  4. best to stay above the fray.

  5. Anonymous10:57 AM

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

    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.

  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.

  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.

    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.

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

    Freeze me in carbonite until Advent.

  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.