After five years of regular posts in Foolocracy, it’s time for a break. I need time to recharge some batteries and rethink the direction where I want to go. I’m not sure when I’ll be coming back to post in Foolocracy. There will be an occasional article, but regular posting will need to wait a month, maybe two, maybe even three or a bit longer. I can’t see it going longer than that, though.
I cut my teeth in politics when I was 9 years old and campaigned door to door for my father. I’ve had an interest in it ever since. Yet I have to say that there are only so many crazy things from the mouths of Michelle Bachmann, Louie Gohmert and their likes that I can tolerate. Throw in Rob Ford and Anthony Weiner-like antics, and the disillusionment increases.
We are in a critical point in this country and world where technology has far outpaced the cultural, social and political institutions of modern civilization. People see a conspiracy everywhere because no one can fully grasp how a modern society operates. The education required to be an expert in anything is extensive and, ultimately, the field is narrow. No one but an expert can truly understand climate change, but everyone has an opinion. A large number of those opinions go against the 97% consensus among the experts. Like the caveman who hears something mysterious rustling in the bush, our first inclination is to think the worst. That works great when it comes to avoiding being eaten by a tiger in the wild. It isn’t so great when that same thinking is used to elect public officials and run governments.
Attitudes towards the Obama administration has become a manifestation of what is wrong in politics. There is a lot to be disenchanted with in the President. Many of the most noxious Bush administration policies on national security have been continued. The NSA is just one instance. Despite his promises to be the most transparent administration in history, there is a strong case that Obama has created one of the least transparent. He flipped on medical marijuana only to partly flip back to letting the states run their own show. (At least, I hope that is the case.) Obama pretended to be more conservative on gay rights than he was. (He backed same-sex marriage in 1996.) Yet it took him several years to come out for same-sex marriage as President. There are no profiles in courage here.
Having said that, once Obama’s opponents are considered, then he looks pretty good. The birther issue is a prime example. There was always the stench of racism or playing politics with the Constitution in the accusation that Obama was unqualified because he was born in Kenya, for which there is zero evidence to prove. Now that Ted Cruz is being considered for the presidency, and he admits to being born in another country, the same standards are not being applied. Instead, when the United States elects a black man to be President for the first time, some people question if he is really an American or even three-fifths of one.
The Affordable Care Act is a horribly written, complicated piece of legislation that needs major fixing. Having said that, the current health care system is even worse. Yet, Obama opponents want to label Obamacare as a socialist takeover of 20% of the economy. All Obama has done is roughly copy the plans designed less than 20 years ago by the conservative Heritage Foundation’s response to the Clinton’s efforts to health care reform. Of course, it is a close copy to Mitt Romney’s heath care legislation in Massachusetts. I have yet to find a real socialist call Obamacare socialism.
Of course, there are also Congressmembers playing chicken with the national debt who think a default is an acceptable idea. When there are people like that on the other side, it’s hard not to look at all the failings of the Obama administration and still feel thankful that he is in office.
For myself, I don’t feel satisfied only to draw attention to some of these things whether it is at the federal or state levels. I feel a need to go deeper into some of the distortions, demagoguery and deceit. The current format at Foolocracy doesn’t give me that opportunity. I’m looking for a better format.
One of my goals here has been to confront conspiracy theories. While there have been legitimate conspiracies –- the Lincoln assassination and Watergate are two — most of them are just ramblings from cranks, contrarians and kooks. If only we can apply a little science, reason and common sense to the debate, then we would be on the path to real solutions.
I’m not sure which direction things will go in. I may be back on Foolocracy or on another website. I’m exploring a number of avenues. I’m not averse to passing this website onto someone else. It’s well established and would give anyone who wants to be a blogger some immediate visibility, but I can’t promise that I’m willing to let it go either. I’m open to a discussion in case anyone is interested.
With the holidays coming up, it seems this was a good time to take a pause, but it will not be a silent pause. As I said, there will be an occasional post, but I will back with more energy, in some form, at some time.