I never thought I’d say this, but:
I’m. Tired. Of. Politics.
Whew. That’s a weight off my shoulders. Really.
I don’t think any of you who haunt this poor little blog know me in real life (I could be wrong, please correct me), but if you did, you’d know I am a very political creature. I have had strong political views since the day I declared that Reagan was one of the worst presidents the US ever had at around fifteen or sixteen. I got involved in some political street theatre shortly thereafter — at first tame, but then increasingly outrageous. I toyed (and still occasionally toss it around in my head) with what Robert A. Heinlein called “rational anarchy”, described elsewhere in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, but can probably be boiled down to:
I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Don’t read too much into that; I’m no libertarian either, but I found this quote described my personal outlook quite well and it aligned with my thinking when I was a teen (I read the book later in life, stood up and shouted “Yes!” when I read it).
I’ve been spit on for trying to suggest that gays, bisexuals, lesbians and trans folks deserve the same rights as straight people (before it was openly acceptable to do so), and for performing a “marriage ceremony” on campus between two gay men (when it was an outrage and illegal). I’ve railed against the first Iraq war, as well as the second, and had my life threatened for my position. I marched against the installation of a garbage burning facility located in a minority neighborhood against their will (and that was known to likely add dioxins to the air and soil in the area) and stared down threats to jail me for making a stand for the people in my neighborhood.
I looked at Abbie Hoffman’s suicide (Steal This Book and Revolution for the Hell of It) as loss of a valuable counter-culture voice in the world that kept the old guard somewhat in check. I’ve engaged in lengthy debates (and arguments) with friends and strangers over the value of one political system or another, over candidates, and issues.
Always with the idea that the world can be made better for more people when these things were daylit and discussed openly. I was a political creature who thrived on trying to make change happen through debate and discussion.
But the last four years have just wearied me to no end. I don’t need to tell you when exactly the inflection point came around. I’m sure you’re smart enough to figure that out yourself. It’s wearying, the lack of change, the lack of courage, and the constant repetition of things that would have been considered beyond the pale twenty years ago.
Since that inflection point, I’ve been amazed at the lack of honor and values of leaders around the world, at the levels of hate for people who are not of a specific tribe or another, or who don’t have the same lifestyle as a particular group. I’m tired of the lies, the subterfuge, the tribalism, the “win at any cost” mentality, the disrespect, the killings, the mendacity of everything, the idiotic responses to a worldwide pandemic… Everything.
I’ve cast my ballot. I did my duty.
But I’m so sick of the whole process that I think I might turn off the news. I’m tired of all of the arguments for one way or the other. I’m sick of politics.
For once, I am going to drop out now that I’ve done my minimal duty.