This was always meant to be a place for politics and government.
From the time I started this blog in 2005 and all the way into late 2008 to early 2009, I immersed myself with the state of American politics. At first, I strived to define my sense of political reason and rational government as it meshed with my personal sense of right and wrong. I was surprised initially at the interest I received, both in favor of and against, sometime vehemently so, my thoughts and ideas. Little did I know then that I was a small part of a large wave that became known as the political blogosphere- a vast collection of interested citizens engaged in partisan conversation for no other reason than to persuade and/or cajole each other in a direct experiment of anonymous democracy. Anonymous for some at least. I have never been anonymous.
For the first several years, it seemed as if we political bloggers could, and sometimes did, make an actual difference. As individuals with similar frames of mind collected in the corners and cafes of cyberspace, they…we…defined an outlet of outrage. We were different from the street protests of an earlier generation, but seemed convinced that we too could change the course of events. Many of us felt empowered, often for the first time, and hopeful that our digital shouts would be even more effective than the marching banner holders of yesterday. I know I felt that way anyway.
Officially, on the political spectrum, I am an “independent,” registered neither democrat or republican or green or anything else. Realistically, I am more liberal or progessive on most social issues, but more conservative on normal fiscal issues. Take that for what you will, but in the political blogosphere I was more aligned with the “lefty moonbats” than the “right wingnuts.” And frankly, that was just fine with me. I cringed at Bush era policies and wrought my keyboard angst through one misfit blunder after another by people on both sides of the aisle. I was enamored by my own insights, emboldened by my co-warriors intuits, engaged with the issues of our time. It was tireless and transforming and important.
And then all of a sudden, my side won. Change would come. Reason would be restored. Hope rings eternal.
Except when it doesn’t. Or didn’t. Or wouldn’t.
Inertia is a terrible force, strong enough to wipe out even the best intentions and ideas. Stronger still when there are no courageous men or women to stand against its suffocating mass. Inertia is the power of the old guard refusing to gracefully leave governing to subsequent generations. Inertia is what overwhelms the fresh forces of democracy and ensures that the deeds done in the past continue to haunt the future. Inertia hides and dodges attempts to break it down.
American government is lost to inertia. Politics has replaced it. Elected leaders serve not to create a better tomorrow, they serve to feed the beast of inertia. They do not yearn to protect the masses, they live to protect each other, their benefactors, and their outdated vision of perfection. Politics has put the needs of inertia above the needs of the people. Governing no longer matters so much as perpetuating the status quo.
Sadly, too many people have lost sight of the fact that politics is not governance. Partisanship for the sport of it only exacerbates the worst inertia of the past, all but guaranteeing that any attempt to effect change is doomed and any claim to real change is little more than a shell game with a better name. Yet politics is what passes for governing in the minds of the elected and the electorate alike. Politics is not what defines us; it is what tears us apart.
Well, I for one am tired of politics, and am ever more cynical of even those elected officials I think could actually make a run towards fixing our perverted system. I tire of reading about it. I tire of hearing the spin from the left and the right. I tire of bad ideas or stupid acts of the past coming back and causing catastrophic destruction to people, places, and things. I tire of elected officials parsing words to make a point. I tire of pundits spinning the events of the day to inflame the partisan followers towards the latest outrage. I tire of a lack of governing in favor of all this nonsense.
For the last year, I have let politics fade away from this blog known as Common Sense. In fact, I have let the blog wallow in simple, sporadic posts that offer little to the reader and even less to the writer inside of me. It has been surprisingly easy to do too. And this admission from someone who wrote primarily in-depth posts on two political blogs up to 5 days a week for almost 4 years. As easily as it started, the need to examine and parse all things political just faded away. And while I still keep up on the realities of the day, I no longer feel compelled to pursue an opinion on every twitch of congress or sign every online petition that hits my inbox. I have run the gamut and feel no worse for the effort. But I also see little practical sign of impact-beyond that of the connections I have made and the mutual affirmation we all created for each other.
I’m not giving up writing on this blog though. It has been a productive outlet in many ways and it will remain my corner of opinion and thought moving forward. But politics? Sorry friends, I’m so tired of politics.
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