It is a tough time to be anything

believe_0001It is an awful time to passionately believe in something. Be it liberal, conservative, or independent. No one is happy.

For all our freedom, America is a lousy place to be a zealot. Sure, you can talk the talk almost as loud as you wish. You can carry signs, march, demonstrate, blog, tweet, harangue, chant, argue, and pontificate – but in the end, it will be decided by politicians, pollsters and lobbyists.

  • Anti-war? 30,000 more troops are going to Afghanistan. We’ll assess the situation on the ground before bringing our troops home and it will take at least 3 years after that.
  • A hawk on defense? We are only sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and we’re getting out in 18 months.
  • Health care reform with or without public option? It won’t be a true public option and we’ll spend more because of it, but actually pay for it less. There is something in it for everyone to love and everyone to hate.
  • Immigration reform? We’re still building a wall with Mexico. There’s no path to citizenship for people who are here illegally, but we still pay for their emergency health care and now provide alternatives to detaining those who are caught.
  • Wall Street regulation? Tough regulation is planned, but it will take another meltdown to get it out of committee.
  • Deficit reduction? In this tough economy, we can’t cut spending or raise taxes – or won’t. The deficit doesn’t matter – or it does.
  • Unemployment and the economy stupid? We’ll extend the benefits for those who get unemployment; provide some food stamps, but little else for others unemployed or underemployed; give trillions to the banks so they’ll make loans which they won’t; spend hundreds of billions on works projects that are subverted by states to help their budgets; and do nothing to re-capitalize small business.
  • Alternative energy and domestic production? We bailed out GM. Wasted billions then abandoned Chrysler. We provided incentives to buy cars that get “at least 22 mpg,” continue to subsidize oil with taxes, but created no new tax or incentive to reduce consumption. We have provided some, but not much, stimulus money for alternative energy, conservation and light rail.
  • Equal rights and discrimination? We are still “studying” don’t ask, don’t tell. It is still okay to discriminate based on sexual orientation except where it isn’t. You cannot hire or fire someone because of their race, age or gender, but it is fine to do so if you can make up some other reason. Racial, religious and ethnic profiling is wrong, but okay if it protects us.

I could go on, but let me just ask: is there any issue anyone outside of Washington is happy with?

Mindlessness must be the route to happiness. Things are great as long as you don’t care. Stay away from the news and just watch another survivor or gossip show (or anything on television). Grey is the new black. Grey is the new white. We know the economy is making a comeback because fewer people lost their jobs last week. President Obama accepts the Peace prize the same week he announces escalation of the war.

“A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, ‘Huh. It works. It makes sense.’” – Barack Obama

“All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.” – Mohandas Gandhi

“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:16 (King James)

“Don’t worry, be happy” – Bobby McFerrin Bobby McFerrin - Best of Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry, Be Happy

4 thoughts on “It is a tough time to be anything

  1. Kirsten

    Yes… it might be a tough time to be “anything” and you are “anything” but a year older, especially in spirit and zest. Happy Birthday, Daddy. However, you may be a true curmudgeon now! Is being a curmudgeon your new thing? This remains to be seen, though I remain hopeful and dutifully yours. XOX

  2. Farmer Dave

    It is rare when I agree with you but I always read your columns. I like your style but not your politics. You hit the nail on the head this time. Our President’s approval poll numbers are in free fall and he may soon come to the realization that he cannot be eveything to everybody. You can fool all the people some of the time and you can fool some of the people all of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

  3. Lee Leslie Post author

    Thank you for reading and for commenting. Free speech, after all, can get pretty boring if only one person is talking.

    I really don’t know who is trying to fool who are how long they can do it, but I do know that people more often support, at least during an election period, a politician who talks the talk of their personal passions and is considered more likely to protect them from policies they fear will jeopardize their way of life.

    We are in a perfectly dreadful time in our republic. We got here because our politicians have systematically led us to be divided nation. We got here because our politicians were so desperate to be elected that they failed to keep our government clean of corruption and special interests influence so they could get campaign contributions. We got here because too many of our politicians stopped doing what was right for our country and only did what was right for their partisan political careers. We got here because many of our politicians systematically lied to us about what they were doing. We got here because our politicians stopped believing in us and believed their own spin. Our country is a mess, but Obama didn’t do it. It was a long process of corrupt and inept policies -- no individual nor political party is responsible for it all, but I’d happily offer a list of those who should burn in hell for their role.

    Now, I want my political passions legislated. But I also recognize, that during a crisis, my passions might need to be set aside to get things to calm down. In a crisis, albeit business, personal or political, cool heads must prevail. At this momentously critical time, our leaders need to calmly assess, listen, learn and govern based on what they believe is the path out of the crisis -- not save their political careers, not move forward my agenda, but to save us all.

    Political affiliation aside, our President is a brilliant man. He is also the only one we got. Because of the crisis we were in when he entered office, he knew and has acted as a manager of this crisis. A calm, methodical and patient leader. He is continuing to carrying out policies from the Bush years that he must deeply detest, because he knows that dramatic change can further undermine our path out of this mess. He has accepted the role of the manager-President, instead of the President he wishes to be.

    Yes, our passions are compromised (It is a tough time to be anything), but our path out of this mess is too dangerous to be overly partisan. We must suck it up and act like adults. To do otherwise, is anti-American and sociopathic.

  4. Brenden

    If the gov’t let you down and lied to you so much, why do you want to give them control over everything? You’ve rightly pointed out they’re causing more problems than solving, so maybe it’s time to cull their destructive, ruinous influence in our lives.


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