So I'm visiting my folks today on my day off and I've been spending some time surfing the various news sites. CNN, MSNBC, Huffington Post, Drudge Report. I've been to all of them, catching up on the latest stuff. I've read a lot of commentary and watched some video. I've also seen some very depressing headlines.
I don't write about politics much. Once upon a time, I might have, but nowadays, I'd honestly rather write about pop culture and things that I'm doing with Anna and Heidi. Heck, I'd rather write about religion rather than politics. The reason for the lack of political talk on my blog is because I guess the world really doesn't need me spouting off unintelligently about the way of the world. But mostly, it's because I have really lost my faith.
Once upon a time, I really believed that politicians could change the direction of the country. I remember 1992 and Bill Clinton's victory over Bush I. It was the first election that I was old enough to vote in, and I watched every move of both the candidates, getting caught up personally in the outcome of every debate and watched the polls like a hawk. And when Clinton was victorious, I was so glad! Granted, a portion of that joy was because I didn't have to see Marlin Fitzwater on TV anymore with his glasses sitting on his face crooked. But it seemed like a new day in America. Finally, things were going to go right.
And for the most part, they did. I don't know that the world will ever know if Clinton's policies guided the great economic times of the 90s or if he just had the great fortune to preside over that which was already underway. Either way, they were good times. Yes, the Clintons attracted scandal like flies to honey, but overall, I was very happy with his performance as president.
For the 21st Century, under the regime of Bush II, I have watched as my belief that a single person can change the way the world is run fade. Well, at least in a positive way. In 2003-2004, Heidi and I threw ourselves into the Dean campaign like we have never been involved in politics prior because we believed that he said what needed to be said and was not afraid of the truth like so many other politicians were. In the run-up to the Iowa caucus, Dean was ahead and it seemed like he might actually pull off a real win in the caucus, which could theoretically propel him to the nomination. Instead, Democrats went with a safe choice and nominated Kerry. I didn't really like Kerry, but a purple turd running against GWB would have gotten my vote.
We all know that Kerry did not beat Bush, even though he should have. The politics of fear were used so effectively in that campaign, as was voter fraud in Ohio if you go for those sorts of things. Anyway, I came out of election night disillusioned and depressed. Four more years of Bush, the worst president ever? I didn't know if I could take it.
So here we are nearly 4 years later and for the Democrats, this is a no brainer. They should be able to win this one with their hands tied behind their backs. But never underestimate the ability of the Democratic party to mess up a sure thing. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are locked in a bitter fight for the nomination, more interested in attacking each other than John McCain. The worst attacks have come out of the Clinton camp, with Obama attempting as best as possible to run a civilized, on the level campaign. But when mud keeps getting thrown at you, you eventually have to respond in kind. This kind of fighting amongst the Democrats does nothing but make the possibility of a President John McCain all the more likely.
Currently, Obama is ahead in pledged delegates, but Clinton keeps on playing the politics of uncertainty, saying things like "pledged delegates can change their minds." At this point, there is no way that she can win the nomination without cheating or subverting the will of the voters. Yet, I see headlines like "Clinton Pulls Ahead of Obama Among Democrats" and I just shake my head. Who cares about that at this point? There's no way for her to pull ahead of Obama in delegate count. What she should do now is realize the inevitable and pull out.
But she won't. Her ego won't let her. She will risk Democrats losing the White House for the sake of personal pride and ego. That, in my opinion, is completely reprehensible. And it has been the final straw in my already tenuous belief that the politicians can change the world.
As Fox Mulder would say, I want to believe. I desperately want to believe, but I just can't anymore. When the Democrats can't stop fighting amongst themselves and see that the real enemy is the Republican Party and years of endless war and gifts to corporate interests, I lose my ability to think that anyone can make a difference. Mostly, this election cycle has just depressed me and even though Obama is inspiring and would be my choice for President, I wonder if, once he got into office, he would just get sucked up by Washington politics.
So who knows? I sure as hell don't.
That's me in the corner.