Monday, January 25, 2016

Standard Bears

Only days until Iowa and New Hampshire! Every four years especially I think of the summer 2003 - fall 2004. I had just moved to Connecticut and was using the proximity to volunteer in NH and PA nearly every weekend. My first ever snow happened while I was canvassing for Howard dean. I Burma shaved my heart out. I cared so very much. 

I don't know where that person went. 

It's really disheartening. I will concede that a large part of my lack of involvement is a direct consequence of full time job status (see post in my draft folder about giving $ versus giving time). But in 06 and 08 I had a job too but with each subsequent election cycle I was more and more sick of it all. Canvassing went from a really fun way to meet and engage with neighbors (ok, in 04 they were state neighbors) to a completely painful drudge. Phone banking went from tolerable to torture. 

In 08 the nastiness within my own party during the primaries was the final nail in my getting involved coffin. I was just so sick of how ugly and expensive it had all gotten. 

What really makes me sad and slightly ashamed is that as my participation dwindled so did my paying attention. I feel like I do such a poor job of keeping up these days. I'd rather read blogs and see what people post on Facebook than stay on top of the issues. 

As with everything I assume that if being an active participant is really important to me then it will come back in time. But as each election cycle comes and goes I have a little sadness that I'm losing part of me that I was proud of and was important to me. 

I'm as terrified now as I was then, if nnot more, of the future if republicans take control of the white house. Especially with the lunatics they're parading out as their standard bearers. I will certainly vote, I will possibly contribute, but I just don't have the passion I had. 

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I feel very much the same. I was never as active as you, probably because of my terror of strangers and deeply introverted nature, but I was very, very engaged and informed. I watched the PBS News Hour religiously. I read articles voraciously. I marched in a protest after Bush was elected, and I once chose to stay in to watch the debates on an extremely rare two-night vacation. Now, if I know what's going on it's only because I have NPR on the radio twice a week out of habit... and sometimes I change it to a music station because I just don't have the heart. I thought my enthusiasm might come back this year, but it didn't. I like Hilary and Bernie. I am very, very alarmed by the dogma the leading Republican candidates are spouting. I'm worried about the world in general and disheartened by my fellow citizens in too many cases. I think I'm hiding my head in the sand because it's overwhelming and so depressing. Maybe it's age, maybe it's an insane workload, but I just don't think that's true... Sigh. At least I'm not alone. Although that might be the saddest part! ;)