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September 21, 2010

How Can One Lack Enthusiasm for the Democrats?

A good friend asked me on Facebook why I was lacking in enthusiasm for Democrats as another fucking Election Day approaches. My reply follows. Any similes or metaphors you would like to add?

You really can't understand a lack of enthusiasm for the Democratic Party? Really? Explaining it feels like having to explain a joke: once it's explained, it won't be funny anyway, so maybe it's not worth explaining. But I'll try.

Getting excited - not just doing my (dubious) duty and voting, but getting UP for it, fired up, ready to go and all that - for the Democratic Party is a lot like getting excited at the news that there will be a Matrix 4 movie.

It's like trying to get it up for a date who just told you she'd do you in spite of the fact that you smell kinda funny and the dinner you bought her is making her a little sick.

It's like learning you won a free trip to California, and then finding out it's for a Trekkie Convention in Modesto.

It's like learning you inherited property . . . in Española.

It's like getting excited about being on hold for only 20 minutes. Or like being excited about going to the dentist because you don't have to have ALL of your teeth pulled.

It's like Rosemary being excited about having a baby.

You can make a case for all of those things having upsides. (Hey, Matrix 4 means someone is working!) And you can say that these developments are better than bad news (say, a new Paris Hilton movie.) But getting excited about them requires a level of compartmentalization that seems unnatural - or maybe supernatural.

So, I've almost never missed voting in an election. I will probably, if only by force of habit, vote in this one. Unless, you know, it's cloudy or something. But no, I don't think I'll be putting streamers on my car and honking through the city at night. But if you feel differently, go for it.


  1. there will be a Matrix 4 movie: "Wow! I really felt that the Matrix had a lot of meaning about living a spiritual life and I'm excited that so many people besides myself recognized the need for meaningful movies that they've created an audience that the biggest megaphone in the world wants to tap into!"

    trying to get it up for a date who just told you she'd do you in spite of the fact that you smell kinda funny and the dinner you bought her is making her a little sick: "Wow, how very, very cool that someone wants to be with me, and is willing to bare her soul and share her innermost thoughts with me because she feels so comfortable with me. I am really blessed."

    learning you won a free trip to California, and then finding out it's for a Trekkie Convention in Modesto: "Cool! I've never been to Modesto and it will be fun to experience a new culture. Plus the Trekkie convention will be a wonderful, eccentric day among a group of people who aren't afraid to be themselves and experience their passions despite ridicule. I can learn a bunch from this experience and I'm grateful to have earned it."

    learning you inherited property . . . in Española: "How cool is this? Even if I don't want this property as a beautiful retreat, I bet there's a way to use it to benefit a cause I care about. Maybe I could turn it into a shelter for abused women or abandoned animals, or auction it off and use the proceeds to take that vacation I've been dreaming about. I feel so lucky!"

    getting excited about being on hold for only 20 minutes: "Wow, this is awesome. 20 whole minutes of peace while I wait -- 20 minutes in a busy day when I can just sit and be alone with my thoughts, and not feel guilty about it. This is fantastic!"

    being excited about going to the dentist because you don't have to have ALL of your teeth pulled: "I am so blessed to be able to afford to go to the dentist. There was a time in my life when I could barely afford toothpaste. Thank you, Universe, for the blessing of dental care."

    Rosemary being excited about having a baby: "Thank you for the gift of Life and the mystery of not knowing how it will turn out, and for the leap of faith and hope that all babies represent."

    Enough with the carping and the negativity. It's one of the reasons most people aren't interested in politics -- the toxic attitude that nothing is ever good enough and everything is always dire. Not so.


  2. au contraire.

    It's as Paul Krugman said, "Just to be clear, progressives would be foolish to sit out this election: Mr. Obama may not be the politician of their dreams, but his enemies are definitely the stuff of their nightmares."

    Mo Rage, blog

  3. Faith, your response makes my point. In some cases, it is painfully obvious that one must, as you do, bend over backwards to avoid seeing what is undesireable in order to avoid acknowledging the problems inherent in my similes. As I said in the original post, one can find, or manufacture, a good in any scenario, even those I posted. The problem with your response, and with the refusal to acknowledge the lack of inspiration provided by the Democrats and their droids (and the Republicans and theirs), at least during an election cycle, is that it insists that seeing one side of a coin, is better than seeing both sides. Being critical is a problem only if it is a habit of mind that limits one's ability to see the whole picture. It is the exact same problem as being a Pollyanna, just the other side.

    It's like rowing with one paddle because you are right-handed and it's easier on that side.

    It's like only looking through one eye because it's got the better vision.

    And so on.

  4. Hey, don't knock Espanola : ) It's the Oakland of Northern New Mexico. And I love Oakland. Seriously. Full of potential (often wasted, sadly) but hard to see when the negative comments about it become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Places like Espanola and Oakland need love, not digs.

    I don't know why I get so triggered by that, but I do!

    anyway, love ya, John!

  5. AAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!

    It was a simile! Everyone with a soft spot for Matrix movies, Española, Modesto, verbally abusive girlfriends, and whatnot, feel free to insert any town or neighborhood that you find to be an armpit into the place of Española, any bad movie into the place of Matrix 4, and so on, to make the same point.

    I'm going to give up writing and go back to punching holes in spiral notebooks.

    P.S. I used to live in Oakland. I love Oakland. Española is no Oakland.

  6. Don't give up. ; )

    Eagerly awaiting your next blog post.

  7. I am excited about voting for Diane Denish and the wonderful Brian Colon for Governor and Lt. Governor, for Hector Balderas for State Auditor, for James L. Lewis for State Treasurer and more. I am very excited to support excellent NM House of Representative incumbent candidates Ben Rodefer, Brian Egolf, Mimi Stewart, Nate Cote, Jeff Steinborn, Moe Maestas and many more. I am excited about voting for Congressman Martin Heinrich in NM-01 - he has made so many excellent votes and has grown by leaps and bounds in his first term. I am excited about supporting Congressmen Ben Ray Lujan and even Harry Teague because they, working with our great NM Senate team have worked to protect valuable but at risk NM lands and increased and expanded care for veterans. And so much more.

    We are not voting for The Democrats in this election. We are voting for individual Democrats who have worked hard against very bad odds to get something done while Rs obstruct and own the message machine. We are also not voting for Obama. Yet.

  8. TrekER! Trek-ER! Oh for a convention in Espanola.

  9. I lived and worked in Espanola 10 years, and gave birth to my two children at the Espanola hospital. Knocking it is easy, living there was a challenge I could have done better at. But I have to think more about the knocking issue, which we all are both perpetrators and victims of...we are biologically animals, of course, and maybe elitism is part of our imperative to survive in a competitive world. See you Friday with the Plewas.


Because I Need to Know If McAndrew Is Full Of It