I will admit that since the mid-term elections, I have had real difficulty posting about anything political. The combination of feckless Democrats and nihilistic Republicans (and their supporters) has just been too depressing to engage in a way that I want. I even considered shutting down this blog.
I don't think that I was as mentally prepared for the "age of Obama" as I should have been. The echoes of the "age of Clinton" are certainly there, but I was in the throes of graduate school during almost the entirety of his presidency. My focus sharpened, politically, during the Bush administration. And, as I've noted on this blog, I made the mistake of investing too much into an individual politician, and took my focus off of actual issues that move me.
But something else has happened that makes American political discourse more painful than fun now. I think that many within the American electorate have abandoned actual arguments and meaningful discussions of our important political issues. I also think that we have one party (and those who support it) that has decided that there is nothing of worth from the other party, that Democrats have no legitimacy worth respecting, that liberals have no ideas worth serious consideration. That is fucking crazy.
No single party, no single political philosophy, has all of the answers. It is impossible. The issues facing this nation have been, are, and will continue to be complex, and they will require thoughtful political discussions and ideas to begin to resolve them. With that said, I am also a political independent and a liberal, having belonged to both the GOP and the Democratic parties about the same amount of time. Neither party really fit. Yet, I recognize that there are some things that I agree with from both, and that both parties have thoughtful political ideas worth examining. I have come to believe that a wide swath of the American electorate will not agree with the sentence just ahead of this one.
I remember talking with a friend from high school who is a conservative Christian Republican (self identified), and the discussion was President Obama's citizenship. He remains convinced that the President of the United States is not a natural born citizen, and that his presidency is not legitimate. Absolutely nothing I could argue would convince him otherwise. I feel like too many people on the right, and you can pick and choose among the issues, come at issues like Obama's citizenship in a similar fashion. And I want to pull my hair out sometimes when I encounter non-arguments like this.
Ultimately, I decided not to close this blog. I think I just needed some time, not thinking too much about anything political (I have since watched all of three seasons of "Avatar: The Last Airbender," re-viewed of all of the extended versions of "The Lord of the Rings," and saw the latest Potter film). I do, however, believe that we should all prepare for next to nothing happening in Washington that will help the country.