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While I can enjoy a good debate, politics is not something I want to dominate my life.  It's just not a good use of the limited time one has in one's life, compared to most of the other paths life offers.

That's why most people have never been involved in politics - they don't want it taking time in their limited lives.  

People do care about political matters - they care about the debate, but living life is much more important to most people than mucking with the political framework around that life they want to be living.  

Yes - politics matter.  But it's not being lazy to not want to spend a large part of one's life involved with it.

And it's REALLY not motivating to see the issues being promoted by either side as alternatives.

Support for wiretaps/whistleblower punishments, overwhelming insufficient healtcare, rewarding corporations with massive bailouts then allowing unemployment to lapse, escalating wars, and loss of legal protections for the accused... and those are the "good" guys pushing for these changes.  And those are just a start, without even getting into social issues.

I'd love to see more/better progressives - but why on earth should I devote a portion of my very limited lifespan to what we've been actually getting?

Why is it only the good guys are expected to compromise on every issue, then still work just as hard for what ends up being NEGATIVE progress on most of the important issues?  When even those politicians with some guts to actually accomplish progressive things are shouted down half the time.

I'll be off on the sidelines, along with most people - waiting for something actually worth the sacrifice, living my own life.  When it looks like there's something that actually may gain traction against the circumstances again - I'll get interested again.  

I'm certainly willing to listen to any arguments to the contrary - but only if they actually address the full issues involved, instead of being the usual provocative insults for caring about different priorities, or boilerplate slogans that only advocate the same end result.

Standing alone and being crushed on your own is at least more enjoyable than joining together, giving up most of what you care for, then accomplishing nothing with all that time.  I completely understand why the politicians and their cheerleaders do what they do - and I don't see it as a good use of time.

Originally posted to Ryan in FL on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 03:44 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Your frustrations are entirely legitimate. (0+ / 0-)

      We have a political system that makes real reform impossible.  Reformism is mostly a dead end.  The only time it ever works is if it's given motivation by a militant, non-reformist mass movement working from outside the political establishment.

      The key is not to conflate politics with bourgeois politics.  Join an anti-capitalist group.  Start talking with your neighbors and co-workers.  Do whatever you can to make things as difficult as possible for the ruling class.  Don't give up on politics.  Give up on the people that run this shit.

      The supremacy of finance capital over all other forms of capital means the rule of the rentier and of the financial oligarchy -- Lenin (1917)

      by GiveNoQuarter on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 06:25:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  because (8+ / 0-)

    why on earth should I devote a portion of my very limited lifespan to what we've been actually getting?

    people like you, who donate their time and energy to being educated about the issues are our frontline against turning the US into full blown corporatism. Its easy to get discouraged, but don't for one second think that keeping yourself educated is unimportant...

    You're watching Fox News. OH MY GOD--LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU

    by rexymeteorite on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 03:55:07 PM PDT

    •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nippersdad, MRA NY, FiredUpInCA

      Oh, I'll keep myself educated - I enjoy that for its own sake.  I'm just trying to be rational about my use of time in my limited existence, in terms of expecting a result from my actions.  

      And thank you for being the only poster (so far) who didn't respond to honest emotion by belittling my stance, and post an insult.  That sort of response was all I really expected, I guess - nice to see a more humane reaction.

  •  Hmmm, that's what the people in Bell, CA. (9+ / 0-)

    were doing--not participating, sitting on the sidelines. Only about 400 people out of a population of close to 38,000 voted when the city became a charter city in 2005. Being a charter city allowed the city council, city manager, and police chief to make outrageous salaries. Yep, sit back, don't get involved, and let the shit storm get worse.

  •  I don't want to be involved in Facebook, (5+ / 0-)

    so I neither have an account nor post there.
    Why did you post this diary on a site dedicated to electing more and better Democrats?

    I had a brother at Khe Sanh, fightin' off them Viet Cong, they're still there, but he's all gone. The Boss

    by DaNang65 on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 04:05:13 PM PDT

    •  I've been involved. (0+ / 0-)

      Simple - if folks want others involved to help, I thought they deserved at least an explanation on why others are deciding not to.  

      It's not goodbye, just I'll be back when it makes sense to be back - for exactly the same reasoned progressive issues that everyone cares about here.

    •  You should be more understanding (3+ / 0-)

      If you believe the diarist is wrong, then why not explain why.  Apparently you didn't understand the question.

      Here is my take on what the diarist was asking.

      If electing Democrats doesn't yield progressive policy, why should I divert my time to help elect Democrats?

      Right now there are a lot of people asking the same question.  Republicans are offering far right rhetoric.  Democrats are offering centrist rhetoric.  Why shouldn't someone on the left find a less depressing pursuit?

  •  I have two questions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Ryan in FL

    What do you plan to do with the time you are not spending on politics?

    and

    Why does it have to be all or nothing?

    The Teabaggers are the GOP base

    by stevej on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 04:13:37 PM PDT

    •  Time (0+ / 0-)

      To not have politics take up a timeslot in my life for now.  That alone is worth it.  

      Politics, in this environment don't seem worth the portion of time they usually take anymore.  My life is in a normal state, I guess - but I don't feel like spending time pushing a car further away from the road.  If we aren't going to come up with a good plan to get the car fixed, it's more rational to just walk away from the broken car.

  •  uh... (0+ / 0-)

    why on earth should I devote a portion of my very limited lifespan to what we've been actually getting?

    I'm so very sorry you see no value in small victories.  They add up over time.

    I guess you can just surrender and stand on the sidelines because you prefer major victories.

  •  to quote a dead old white guy (14+ / 0-)

    "Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber." Aristotle

    Decisions are made by the folks who show up.

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 04:32:04 PM PDT

  •  The thing is, while you're taking a time out, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Whimsical, MRA NY

    decisions are being made that will affect your life, without your having any say about them. It's better to keep abreast of things so at least you know when to jump back into the fray. For your own sake, if no one else's.

  •  Very simple. (3+ / 0-)

    Because you don't get what you want all in one go.
    You build it, brick, by brick, by brick.

    You don't lay a few bricks down and go "Fuck it, it's not a house YET? I'm done."

    You keep fighting as hard as you can not just to lay more bricks, but to make sure the forces of evil don't take back the bricks you've already laid down.

    Or you wake up one day and you wish you had.

    It really is just that simple.

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 04:58:08 PM PDT

    •  That is also a lie (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GiveNoQuarter, nippersdad

      You build a house according to a plan.  If you are following that plan, you can trust a house will be the end result.

      When you start seeing divergence from where the bricks are being placed, you should ask the foreman for the new plans.  After all, you might not like the new house being built.

      •  To continue using the House analogy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State, Whimsical, MRA NY

        ....but if you do nothing and quit, the GOP comes and tears down everybody's house.  Paul Krugman said: "Obama may not be the President of your dreams, but the GOP is the party of your nightmares."

        •  If that is, indeed, the case, I am still waiting (0+ / 0-)

          for the alarm bell to ring and wake me up. Krugthulu's a great guy, but I think the author said this well:

          Support for wiretaps/whistleblower punishments, overwhelming insufficient healtcare, rewarding corporations with massive bailouts then allowing unemployment to lapse, escalating wars, and loss of legal protections for the accused... and those are the "good" guys pushing for these changes.

          You have to admit that this is no Democrat's wet dream. Why any Dem pol thought it would be is quite simply beyond me.

          "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

          by nippersdad on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 08:58:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  But you don't stop laying bricks altogether (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MRA NY

        that just allows the forces of evil to lay the bricks however they like, rather than in a way that benefits you.

        "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

        by Whimsical on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 08:28:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Politics for Poltics Sake is Garbage (4+ / 0-)

    I'm of the opinion that no one should get involved in politics.  Politics is a process, not a pursuit.

    People should care about issues, which effect them.  Never work for the Democratic Party.  Work for something you care about on the Democratic Platform.

    My frustration with the Democratic Party right now is their platform seems to be holding onto a Democratic majority.  Once a party begins down that path, they lose their way.

    The Republican Party is actually at war with conservatives and libertarians over this very concept.  For 6 years they watched their issues replaced with political strategies.

    I haven't decided yet if I'll vote or not.  I'm still waiting for someone to address the issues I care about.  Past that I'm not lifting a finger to help anyone get elected.  My email inbox fills with requests, but they are saying all the wrong things.

    I don't spend my time fighting Republicans.  I spend my time advocating good policies.  When the people running for office can no longer tell the difference, they no longer need my help.

    The fact that this point of view earns me nothing but insults does not change my position.  Bullying someone to agree with the party line is evidence of a organization without the ethical standards to be in power.

    Parties should earn votes.

    •  Well done! (0+ / 0-)

      The fact that this point of view earns me nothing but insults does not change my position.  Bullying someone to agree with the party line is evidence of a organization without the ethical standards to be in power.Parties should earn votes.

      I think that that is my primary problem with the Democratic Party today. Had I wanted to vote for people to expand wars, run interference for war criminals and give the Treasury to Wall Street, I damn sure would not have thought to vote for a Democrat...until recently.

      "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." Oscar Wilde

      by nippersdad on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 09:05:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i offer support for your thinking.... and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ryan in FL

    encouragement for re engagement.  because i see things as you do.... lots of work for many years yields some  improvement in some areas,  but none for other significant issues.  you said,

    Standing alone and being crushed on your own is at least more enjoyable than joining together, giving up most of what you care for, then accomplishing nothing with all that time.

    but truly, unless you have chosen not to have children, you have an investment in the future of your children.  and so, stepping away from the political process leaves your offspring vulnerable to people who don't have the awareness of your consciousness.

    i've been very discouraged lately by events and by the relative disinterest in significant aspects of our world reflected by many around me.  but for me, a woman, connected to the future through my beloved children and grandchildren,  not caring isn't a palatable option.

    and so, consider the semi colon ; whose job is always to remind us to pause   and begin again.

  •  What do you mean by "being involved"? (0+ / 0-)

    Spending every spare dollar donating to campaigns, and every spare hour volunteering to knock on doors, phone bank, etc?

    Maybe writing letters to the editor on specific stories/issues, putting a yard sign out for a statewide candidate (and putting a bumper sticker on your car)?

    Or how about staying informed about issues and providing knowledgeable input to conversations around the water cooler at work or over the cookies and punch at the PTA meeting?

    Or maybe a total withdrawal - watch ESPN and American Idol, read the comics in the local paper, and only realize that it's election day when the local TV is posting results - an hour after the polls closed?

    Which level of involved/not involved do you desire?

    "I want to apologize for that misconstrued misconstruction." Rep Joe Barton

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 05:42:26 PM PDT

  •  People not getting involved has led us to the (0+ / 0-)

    place we are.  Believe it or not, you will be affected by politics no matter how you try and avoid it.  Doing nothing and then complaining, and you will, everyone does, is the worse alternative.  I expect that as you age you will reach the same conclusion, or maybe that is just my hope.

  •  Every election cycle... (0+ / 0-)

    I say I'm not getting involved for a variety of reasons. And every election cycle I end up getting involved. As election day nears, it becomes clearer and clearer if I don't do anything, and the people I voted for but didn't get out and work for happen to lose I'm going to kick myself in the ass until the next election cycle for not doing everything possible to effect the outcome. Like we hear on this site so often: "Elections have consequences."

    They sure do and I just can't live with any excuse I might come up with not to get involved.

    Not judging anyone who chooses to not to get involved. Just saying this is what happens to me every time.

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