Thursday, January 26, 2017

Political Samsara

In 1999 I remember so many conservative friends talking about how awful Bill Clinton was for the country. Then around the summer of 2000 that line of GOP reasoning stopped, but it was strangely picked up by left-wing Dems who began using the same talking pts against a sitting Dem president, weakening the enthusiasm for Al Gore as both 'more of the same' and 'not as good as Clinton." And by October 2000, GOP politicians were talking about how much they were going to miss Bill Clinton...the guy they had impeached. A year ago so many of my conservative friends on FB loved posting about how awful Obama was: Iran Peace Treaty, how much he 'hated' Israel (with that record-setting aid package to them), how weak he was. Then about six months ago after RNC and DNC convention that line of reasoning stopped. Then around Sept and Oct, conservative pundits started talking about how they'll miss Obama and how dignified he was...but Hillary Clinton was both 'more of the same' and 'not as good.' And a murderer. And demented with Parkinson. But also a diabolical mastermind. And a secret lesbian. And, least we forget...her emails. Her heinous treasonous emails. And here we are again: in a devolving cycle of lies, rage, historical omission, amnesia, post-election regret/mourning, nostalgia for 'the other Dem,' rationalizing that the 'it' won't get that bad despite all the evidence, 'it' actually getting worse despite all our wishes. It's the same Orwellian recipe with a few added dashes of overt racism, xenophobia, and misogyny that always existed within neoconservatism as an implied subtext but has now become the highlighted in all CAPS.

We all get amnesia, wander off, dissipate. Conservative friends start claiming they were never that much into politics, delete tweets and online banners, and post inspirational cat videos while their man sets the world on fire. Samsara. The cycle keeps happening. Only one way to get out. 

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