Monday, November 24, 2008

Cold Fear

I tend to be optimistic about America's future. I imagine Obama will do any number of things I disagree with, some even destructive to the country, but we'll muddle through. We survived the Civil War, FDR, and Rosie O'Donnell, after all. I have even breathed some relief at Obama's initial appointments and actions - not terrible. I thought this would be a good opportunity for those on the left to be reminded that governing is hard, and a president has to take many things into consideration, not just what you want. Each department is sure it has the key to how the country should be run, each branch is sure it should have more power, and each faction is sure it isn't being listened to. I have hoped that this would all be a gradual coming of age for the left, and for that reason feel disposed to be cautious in my judgment of Obama's decisions.

Today the cold fear struck me: what if it doesn't work out that way? Conservatives are shrugging and saying well, with solid Democratic majorities in the House and Senate they'll have no one left to blame. This assumes rationality on the part of their supporters. What if that is a poor assumption? What if they blame the right anyway, despite the illogic? People can work themselves into all kinds of frenzies under pressure. It's what creates conspiracy theories - the belief that hidden forces have sabotaged what should have gone swimmingly.

It is not that I believe liberals to be inherently more stupid than all the rest of us. But illogic feeds on itself, and the messianic tinge to this campaign might increase if thwarted, rather than abate.

8 comments:

copithorne said...

How much responsibility do you take for losing two wars, an American city, the worst financial catastrophe in anyone's living memory, trillions of dollars of debt, torture, executive branch criminality, and the destruction of America's reputation in the world?

Not much? I didn't think so. We know from human history that ideology is frequently a more powerful force than self interest.

I always presume that when Republican are talking about Democrats they are always engaged in projection.

But take cheer, it will get worse, but there is little way for the government to destroy this country more than it has already.

jlbussey said...

When did the Republicans lose an American city? I must have missed that news report...

Assistant Village Idiot said...

What two lost wars are you referring to? We won in Iraq, Afghanistan is in stalemate. It's not the worst financial catastrophe in anyone's living memory, no torture by my definition, and I don't think our reputation in the world is any different than it was ten or twenty years ago. And oh yeah, what executive branch criminality?

You did get the trillions of dollars of debt right, and I'm not happy about it, but I assign the Democrats at least as much blame - especially in our current crisis.

As a therapist, you should know the dangers of the word "always." It tends to signify a person who is emoting rather than thinking.

Erin said...

AVI, you know what they say about assuming...

I'm a pessimist; I have no hope of either side coming to terms with their own shortcomings in a blaze of glory and humility. Individuals, maybe, but not the parties as a whole.

james said...

I think copi's missing American city is New Orleans, innocently built below sea level and malignantly destroyed by a hurricane attracted by the Haliburton Weather Control Division.

copithorne said...

"Liberals are shrugging and saying well, with solid Rebublican majorities in the House and Senate they'll have no one left to blame.
This assumes rationality on the part of their supporters. What if that is a poor assumption? What if they blame the left anyway, despite the illogic? People can work themselves into all kinds of frenzies under pressure. It's what creates conspiracy theories - the belief that hidden forces have sabotaged what should have gone swimmingly."

So, now you know about excuse making, blame shifting and goal post moving from the inside. You don't need to look elsewhere and speculate. You can look inside and report definitively on how this process works. That would be really worthwhile.

For me, I will prefer peace and prosperity and choose policies that promote those aims.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Because of course, no one else wants those things, copithorne.

Carl said...

Well said AVI. Liberals and conservatives largely share the same goals, albeit differ on how to achieve them. It's difficult to debate lefties that presume otherwise and demonize the other side