I am so tired of listening to otherwise intelligent people go batshit right now because a few stray right wingers have decided to substitute their judgment for that of the courts. Within the last few days, I’ve heard several people declare our democracy over and done with and our political system a failure because some people have decided to circumvent the processes we have in place to honor the basic premises of the Constitution. There is even a hashtag/meme running through Twitter in which people say #Igiveup because there are a scant few people who choose to run with their own version of the Constitution and ignore reality.
These people can’t be so historically ignorant to believe that such a thing is unprecedented, can they? Do they not realize that the arc of history always bends toward justice, and it’s bending that way right now, even though one major political party has been taken over by an ideology that can only be described as morally and ethically bereft of humanity? Do they even realize that the backlash to the Obergefell Supreme Court decision, which actually represents a major sea change to a major component of our society, is probably the mildest we have ever seen for such a monumental decision? I mean, if they are so hysterical over a few cranks trying to claim the law doesn’t apply to them, they need to review the history after the Brown v. Board of Education decision. There are no governors standing at the courthouse door and refusing same-sex couples entry to get a license. No National Guard troops have had to be called to quell riots; hell, the polls even show majority support for same-sex marriage. In what way are we looking at the “death knell for democracy?”
I really hate cynicism.
I know some have convinced themselves it’s a sign of intelligence, but it’s actually pretty much the opposite; it’s second only to bigotry as an intellectually and morally bankrupt thought process. It’s intellectually lazy to throw your hands up and declare everything over; anyone can do that; hell, cynicism is the main premise for Fox News Channel, for crap’s sakes, and it doesn’t get much more intellectually bereft than that. Their entire shtick is about convincing the stupidest people in the country that their stupidity is warranted.
Unfortunately, cynicism makes for great click-bait. Cynicism attracts people who are looking for someone – anyone – who will validate some sort of nonsense that they desperately want to believe with all their heart. But it’s not reality, and this blog, unlike others, wants to deal in reality. Believe me, if I wanted to make a lot of money from this blog, I could be a typical pro lefty and tell screaming far lefties exactly what they want to hear. But I have chosen a different path, in which I tell you the truth and try to back it up.
Our system is in no way “broken.” In fact, it’s less broken than ever. Far more people have the vote now than had the vote when the republic was formed; only landed white men could cast a vote, and they couldn’t vote for Senators at all, remember? If there’s a problem with “the system,” it’s that not enough people use it to its greatest benefit, and I’m not only referring to people who don’t vote; I’m also referring to people who will vote for any “third party” candidate who says whatever they want to hear, even if that candidate has zero chance of winning. I mean, you can laugh at Donald Trump all you want and call the people who support him “morons,” if it makes you feel better, but the fact of the matter is, Trump voters will fall in line behind the GOP nominee when the time comes, while many of those doing the laughing will, when Bernie Sanders loses the nomination, look for any “third-party” candidate to support and will denigrate Hillary Clinton and Democrats in the process and give those GOP voters more power than they should have. I know this, because the same people happily supported Nader and denigrated Gore and Kerry and gave us two terms of the worst president in US history, and the same people withdrew their support for the guy who replaced Bush within a month of his taking office because he saved the economy from complete ruin, rather than do whatever they imagined a “black president” would do when he got into office.
If there is a problem with “the system,” it’s that too many people who should know better engage in an active effort to make people want to stay home on Election Day. For Republicans, it’s a political strategy; they can’t win without doing that because they’re a minority party. But for anyone from the progressive side to do it is pure cynicism combined with a breathtaking ignorance.
I mean, there are people actively wasting their time to make sure Chuck Schumer doesn’t become the next Democratic leader. What for? First of all, the Senate Leader doesn’t have that much power; it’s nothing like Speaker of the House. It’s also about 17 months before that will even become a factor , so they’re cynically wasting their time on that garbage right now, rather than making sure everyone knows what a disaster the Republican Party is, to a candidate, and has been for about a half century.
Stop the cynicism. If you would bother to take a deep breath and look around, your “Eeyore” act is really misplaced. A half century ago, a few presidents had to send troops into towns to make sure court orders on desegregation were honored. Now, we have a single idiot clerk in a small county in Kentucky who thinks her “freedom of religion” means she can impose her religious will on someone else. Same-sex marriage has become legal reality with lightning speed and almost no one is objecting.
The system isn’t broken, you are. Cynicism has no place in a democracy. Lose it.