A friend replied to a FB post that I was perpetually critical of others’ comments on issues without venturing to post my own ideas. That’s probably true. As for example: In regard to the current Supreme Court, I feel that proposals to impeach several justices or to pack the court are utterly futile and will ultimately turn progressives against the current Administration for “doing nothing,” and while I agree that something should be done, I have no idea what. The fact is that I’m as critical of my own ideas as I am of others’.
I do feel that a great deal of what passes for political dialogue is at worst posturing and at best howls of rage. I tend to vote straight Democrat though surely aware of the party’s shortcomings. I prefer the lesser of two evils rather than the greater of two evils.
And quite true: I avoid confrontation. Until about the time I was in fifth grade, I was in a lot of fistfights. I rarely came out on top. Worse, I rarely remembered what started it. There followed a lifetime of acting and writing for the stage, which confronted me daily with the immense complexity of human behavior. In the pieces that moved me most strongly, the political statement was an impossible dialectic. The characters who most appealed to me were those for whom I felt an equal measure of empathy and revulsion. I could only “take a stand” at the expense of my notion of hydra-headed truth.
Yet I can see that critiques of others’ efforts can have the same depressing effect as posts that urge utter despair or claim America has a record of evil unique in human history—kind of reverse spin on “American exceptionalism.” Better, many would feel, to drive your car into the swamp than just to sit in the parking lot.
Bottom line is that I don’t know what I’ll do till I do it. I think the criticism is just, but I doubt I’ll ever learn to play the piano or some other desirable things. Probably the best I can do is to give more thought to the practical implications of whatever I say out loud and, with that voice in mind, to choose to say it or not.
It is a very frustrating time, to be sure. I don’t feel like the activist I used to be, although I have marched and held signs my share. The real work is grass roots organizing like the conservative right has been at for decades and I don’t have the heart for that kind of action. I suppose I’ll just read and write and talk to those I encounter, which is maybe the easy way out. Right now, I feel most effort needs to go into climate catastrophe activism, because we are out of time, whereas the political problems are so long term they might be irrelevant when Miami and the New York subways are under water, and our California giant Sequoias are all burned up.
Conrad i think one can get a good idea of where you stand on various issues from your postings. I personally appreciate both the content and the way you express yourself. Right now i think SCOTUS “court packing” is needed but don’t know if attempting it would succeed, not to mention potential backlash at election time. This country… Now that I’ve passed my ¾ century i don’t need any more major frustration in my life. Since then i have concentrated on trying to build a better Milwaukee and a better Wisconsin, and all my activist & charitable activities are local, which yields actual visible satisfaction.