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Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I Hear You, Lenny

I am sick and tired of politics. I should be excited that Tom DeLay is resigning, but I really don’t care. I am too exhausted and disappointed to care. I tend to disengage when disappointed, and I think I have officially disengaged.

This country is currently suffering from the most abhorrent sense of apathy I have ever seen. And it seems I have caught the disease. I am officially part of the problem.

As Lenny Kravitz would say: “Does anybody out there even care?”

I used to. Perhaps somewhere in the recesses of my brain, I still do. But it is exhausting to care. Especially when bad things happen everywhere and instead of outrage, all you see is blank stares. Total apathy. I want to say to the American people: “Hello!!! Anybody home?” Again and again, times when the only logical response is outrage, all I see are blank stares of apathy.

Our leaders lied to us about reasons for going to war. Does anybody care?

Men and women are dying every day in this war. Does anybody care?

There appears to be a scarcity of honesty and integrity in politics. People are bought for political favors. Money buys people. Power shuts people up when they should speak out. There is a screaming silence of disheartening lack of conviction on all sides. A deafening silence. Does anybody care?

Civil rights are being eroded in the name of conveniently twisted religious ideas. CIVIL RIGHTS!!! Does anybody care?

The line between Church and state is being eroded and blurred. Does anybody care?

Women’s rights are being dismantled, tiny bit by tiny bit. Does anybody care?

Hard working people like you and me don’t have enough to retire on. Does anybody care?

Hard-won public safety nets are being systematically eliminated. Who will take care of people who have worked their whole lives, and still have nothing? Does anybody care?

What kills me is the certainty that people will start to care only when it’s too late. As if we didn’t see any of this coming. The lack of foresight frightens me to the core. When it’s too late, there will be much hand-wringing, lamenting and wailing. There will be finger pointing. Then I will have to look in the mirror and ask myself what I did. I felt helpless and apathetic and wrote about it. Big Whoop.

Do our leaders not inspire? Is that the problem? Or is the problem that we have become a country of people incapable if inspiration? Are we no longer capable of vision? It seems we have been running on fear so long, we forgot about other kinds of fuel. Fuels like hope and ideas and intelligence and courage and integrity and compassion and tolerance. Fuels like inspiration. Does anybody out there even care?

Frankly, I am having a hard time mustering up the passion to care anymore. That concerns me.

I hope our next leader tells the truth. I hope our next leader inspires people. I want to be proud of our next president, and frankly, I don’t care if they are a democrat or a republican. I just want them to tell the truth, to be capable of complex thought, and to have the ability to stand up for principles, even when doing so is personally inconvenient. Not only inconvenient for them, but also when it's inconvenient for their family, friends and business associates. I want them to understand what it’s like to work hard. I want them to know what it is like to be less fortunate and to be willing to level the playing field. I don’t want simple fear-based answers and finger pointing.

I just want someone to help me get back to caring.


Blogger Rude Cactus said...

For what it's worth, I care as do a lot of others. Unfortunately, our voices didn't carry in the last election but we can still change that. And, in the process, fix what this asshat has done to the country.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Barack Obama said...

Can I make you care?

1:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I don't know if the previous comment was a spam or what - but Barack Obama *does* intrigue me... I want an election where there is someone running that is head and shoulders above the rest, and not just the "lesser of two evils". I'd love to care more... I was disappointed with the outcome of the past two elections and though my vote might not have made a "difference", at least I don't regret my choice (which is more than I can say for some, since a certain-person's approval rating dipped below 40%. Some people have gotta be kicking themselves, I guess).

1:12 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

You still cared enough to write this impassioned post. Of course you're weary -- how could this clown be elected -- TWICE? I think many of us who gave the last election our all became weary when the other half of the country simply couldn't SEE.

My friend's son returned home from Iraq yesterday. She says last night was her first good night's sleep since he was deployed to Fallouja. She doesn't know how long he will get to remain stateside (he's a marine reserve and so has a six year commitment).
We can't let weariness stop us from doing what we can to stop the madness.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous ylm said...

I agree, it is hard to care....it has taken too much effort for too long. And we are still knee deep in this administration, and its disasterous policies. My only hope (and prayer) is that there are still some leaders who are realizing that this country has been trudging down the road to distruction, and they will wake up and be statesmen (women).

2:17 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I think that many have chosen what is easy - versus what is right. And if easy means padding your pockets at the expense of those less fortunate... so what.

Being from the solidly Blue Northeast ( Grew up in Vermont for petes sake)- I watch with suprise and incredulity. Don't people Sense when they are being lied to anymore? When questioning becomes treason? How did this line get moved?

I suppose my only comfort is that this pendulum swings back and forth.
And that it only takes one person to hang a jury.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

What an awesome post. And I'm with Rude Cactus. I care, and I like to believe my vote still counts and I like to believe that things will change because there are other like minded people out there too.

Thanks for writing this.

6:52 PM  
Blogger M said...

I love your post and empathize completely.

Hubba hubba! How sexy is Barack Obama when he wants to make you care?!

7:23 PM  
Anonymous roo said...

Thank you for this post-- for elucidating so clearly the same frustrations I've been feeling since the tenure of the worst President in American history began.

The downward spiral has been so encompassing that my mind reels at the thought of ever setting things right. I think this overwhelmed feeling is at the root of the blank stares-- there's too much shit going on to even begin to process it, much less fix it.

But earlier this week, I picked up some paperwork at Planned Parenthood, to find out what I can do as a volunteer.

After all, the women of Afghanistan were doctors and lawyers and educators and professionals of all sorts, able to drive themselves around town, able to own their own bodies, before the Taliban took all those rights away.

Our nation is starting to resemble its purported enemies.

Immense backward steps in progress are more than possible-- they're happening all over the place.

Something must be done.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Lin said...

I agree with Donna. You DO care. You wrote this posting.

A few days ago, and then again on Sunday, the L.A. Times ran some graphic photographs of injured American soldiers. People got pretty squirmy and uncomfortable with this uncleansed reality of war. I remember the newspaper and television coverage during the Vietnam War. It was harsh and in color and on the news every night. Very graphic. Graphic enough to make all sorts of Americans decide they wanted no part of it.

With the sanitization of this war, we all can go on comfortably with our lives, mostly untouched by the horror. That is what this administration is banking on...that we just won't question it or them too much. So far, the American public has been pretty obliging. Extraordinary, but true.

10:56 PM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

I do care; I'm just so discouraged. I can't rail against one party or the other, because I don't agree with either one of them. And the leaders on both sides of the aisle just make me shake my head - WTF are they thinking? Or is that the whole problem - they AREN'T thinking. They're too wrapped up in their respective agendas of making the other party look bad to actually DO anything.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous candy said...

Recently, my sister and I had an hour long conversation about our obscene property taxes and the corruption of our state government. Eventually she had to hang up. It was too depressing to go on.

I don't know how NOT to care, but I feel powerless. Mere voting isn't enough. It's a difficult thing, this land of the free.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Meredith said...

Really good post! There was a clip on the radio today from back in the 80s when American marines were killed in a terrorist attack in Beirut. It was Reagan talking and taking the blame for not having the troops ready to deal with such types of terrorists. It struck me so much because when was the last time we heard a president accept blame for anything? Certainly not Bushola. He is the king of the finger point. Sigh.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Michele said...

This post has stuck with me for several days now. I am so SICK of the news because it is just lies, after crap, after spin. I have become a disciple of The Daily Show because at least it makes me laugh. I dont feel any trust, hope or faith in any policiticians anymore (sorry Barack, I loved you on Oprah but right now you are still one of them).
I WANT to believe. I WANT to have hope. My mother talks about how exciting and thrilling and hopeful it was when Kennedy ran and I WANT to believe in a president again without waiting for The Smoking Gun to uncover some dirt on them.

5:13 AM  
Blogger Prego said...

I used to care, but right now I could really use a cup of coffee.

Yeah, I hear your rallying cry. Unfortunately, free-thinking Americans are a dying breed. We've been homogenized into a bunch of America's Next Top Model viewers.

I equate our culture to Ozzy Osbourne. Okay, so he's a limey, but regardless, when he was young, he had a little bit of an edge and bite (no pun intended). As that TV show aired, he was a mumbling, complacent idiot... much like us.

I threw in the towel once I found truth in the statement, "Never underestimate the stupidity of the American public."

6:54 AM  
Blogger Prego said...

PS - I think our country jumped the shark...

Long live LHOP

6:56 AM  
Blogger Amanda Marlaena said...

Meghan, you DO care! If you did not care, you would not have written such a rallying blog post. And "sitting around writing about it" is better than sitting around blankly staring about it.

You care. You're just a bit burned out at the moment. Happens to everyone who cares enough to pay attention to what is going on. You'll bounce back.

Until then, it's OK to coast on apathy for a little while.

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SHIT HAPPENS as the ancient yogi said.


12:59 PM  

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