20 thoughts on “Political Disengagement: An Apologia

  1. Don’t feel bad. I have to disengage, too, because it all just hurts my head. I know what’s going on and what I believe in, I know who I’m voting for, but I don’t see any reason to participate in the internet fighting (you know, barring the occasional snarky debate tweet). I wish it was different, too. I wish the candidates (and other people) would recognize that it’s about what’s best for our country and it isn’t about personal attacks and one liners, or people just trying to get elected for the sake of being elected. Liking the concession speech says good things about you. It means you like the part where the masks come off and it all gets real. If only people would be that real BEFORE the election.

    • Exactly. I am not above a snarky tweet myself when I am not busy getting aroused by Biden’s tie. I think I should concetrate on making my corner of the world sweeter, more authentic and happier. And politics just doesn’t fit into that.

  2. I think your use of the word “genuine” is key there. I feel that genuineness is what is missing from the political landscape, and the lack of genuineness is really what makes it hard to feel a part of it. Maybe we all could stand to be a little more genuine.

    • I know. I am working on a blog post that I am challenging myself to write genuinely and it’s hard. It’s really hard. And I am not as exposed as the candidates are. But I am willing to put my money where my mouth is.

  3. You are so damn good at this – funny, interesting, charming and genuine. And you noticed Stepford Wife McCain! You have my vote!

    Also, I admire all you do to keep informed. Mike and I had an argument about Romney the other day and I pretended I was up to speed on the nuances of various healthcare issues after reading one op ed. Chances are good Mike was pretending too. Scary.

  4. As you noted, if not YOU then WHO? As disheartening and obnoxious as modern politics is, we cannot leave it others, especially when “others” usually means white men with money. Knock on a few doors or write a check. Drive people to the polls for a few hours or hold a button or bumper sticker making party. I personally find it is easier to stay positive about the process when I keep my efforts local.

    • What Kelly said. White men with money have no business telling me what to do with my person.
      I follow politics, perhaps too obsessively, and feel very invested in this election.
      I should add that I don’t live in a swing state, so I don’t have ad fatigue, but I also feel a bit powerless. My guy will win my state handily. Driving a few oldies to the polls here won’t matter.

      • I don’t watch TV commercials so I don’t have ad fatigue either. Come to think of it, I don’t wany any men or women telling me what to do with my body. But I am finicky like that!

    • Driving to the polls….I could do that. That sounds fun. I had so much fun making buttons and bumper stickers with you in ’08. I think we conceived Sadie that weekend so it’s obviously very good to get involved! You are a shining example of that.

  5. We are cut from the same disengaged cloth, girlfriend. I am with you 100% and try to be savvy enough to make it through a cocktail party, but can’t really jump in with both feet. I did put up my first-ever political yard sign this month, though. It’s for Marriage Equality which is the one area that I’ll soapbox my little heart out for. Although when it comes to presidential candidates, I am still patting myself on the back for my “just Biden my time” quip on Twitter last week. That counts as engagement, yes?

    • I just snorted my steamed milk at Starbucks, so thank you. Twitter engagement is engagement. Just look at the Arab spring. That was fucking nuts and it was all about Twitter. Or that’s what I read on Twitter.

  6. This could be about me (but Biden’s tie doesn’t do it for me, ha!). I just get tired of the bashing and misdirection. I think there should be more debates about issues and no advertising allowed. The whole thing is so sleezy. That’s why I’m on the low side of engaged. I know who I like and what I believe. I could just do without the drama.

  7. WTF? I’m not getting your posts by emails anymore. Good thing I just come around and check this place every night. It’s not good enough — I need my outlaw mama to be served piping hot. WordPress, what’s up?

    You and your comments have really hit it all. The lack of genuine is painful to me. I refuse to feel bad. I don’t engage all that deeply in sports either and if everyone followed suit several multi-billion dollar industries would go under. Different strokes.

    • That same thing happened to me with Sara Lind and about a zillion other people. It sucks. Wait. Did that happen to me with your blog? I better friggin didn’t….. Oh, I love the sports analogy. I don’t follow that either and other than being ostracized in many respects from my Texas-sports-loving family, who cares?

  8. The only way they’ll be honest and sincere is if we demand it. But the people who want that are disengaged. They’re sick of hearing the distortions and the sound bytes. Only the hardcore read the long articles written with depth and sincerity. And no politician is willing to be sincere for 30 seconds because the other side will tear that middle 5 seconds apart.

    So you have to demand sincerity. Write a letter about it. Send it. Find one issue you care about and read both sides. Then tell other people. You don’t have to know every bit about every issue. You have to know what’s important to you, then you need to hold the politicians accountable for that issue.

    Along the way you’ll find two or three others. You’ll find resources that aren’t shouting and aren’t misleading. You’ll get more and more information from them until you have a grasp on what you think, why, and how to convince someone else.

    And that, my friend, is the ideal voter. Knows both sides about the issues, knows which one is closer to her truth, and holds people accountable for making the world better.

    Start small. One issue. Get a base of reliable resources. Then learn more.

    You have to. Otherwise they keep talking in mistruths and sound bytes because they think it’s the only thing they get to tell you.

    • It sounds do manageable to take one issue. If I have to master them all, I will get overwhelmed and shit down. But one issue? I can do that.

      Great feedback. Thank you.

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