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Whatever It Is, I’m Against It

January 27th, 2010 by Steven Gardner

If this blog has seemed inconsistent in delivering political material as of late, it’s largely because I have been immersed in a project story that will be out within a couple of weeks. When it comes out I’ll share how and why the project came about. For now I’ll tell you that it has to do with how people make major transformations or conversions in their lives.

Oddly enough there’s little, if any, political material in the piece, though when I started I thought there might be. There are pundits and politicians who migrate from one party or philosophy to another. Though I don’t really address it in the story, I think I might understand a little more how it happens. The conversions I’m dealing with are mostly the sudden kind, which I don’t think often happens in politics.

That said, 25 years ago when I worked as an intern in Washington, D.C. I became convinced that many of the unelected people on Capitol Hill working for elected people were mercenary. I also believed that few people in Washington cared about solving problems, it was more about winning. From my perspective, it’s way worse today.

You see above in the Kitsap Reader a Washington Post piece by Joel Achenbach called “The audacity of nope.” The piece opens with this:

“The state of the union is obstreperous. Dyspepsia is the new equilibrium. All the passion in American politics is oppositional. The American people know what they don’t like, which is: everything.

That sounds like nihilism, but they’re against that, too.”

My heavens, the piece is depressing, more so because it’s accurate, much more than it was when I was an observant intern in Senator Wilson’s office.

For me it makes sense now that there is an absence of political transformation in my story about conversion. When you get to thinking that Americans will be disapproving of whoever gets elected; and disapproving of the talking heads that discuss the politicians; and you recognize that your e-mail Inbox was once filled with calls for regime change in Washington instead of Iraq, but that now your Facebook page is filled with messages of calls to hand our leaders over to Haiti; you kind of wonder if changes in the political world really matter. The same people are yelling. They’ve just exchanged arguments. Well, the tone of them anyway.

I might feel differently tomorrow if I sleep better tonight.

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One Response to “Whatever It Is, I’m Against It”

  1. Karen Says:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/press/#press

    Maybe off-topic, but this link provides interesting information on the Digital Nation website and the Frontline story about technology airing Tuesday night. Click on the Your Stories link.

    Looking forward to the project you’re working on. Will it be about epiphanies or the road not taken?

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