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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Is There Hope For Hopefulness?

I am hearing a lot of denigration of pragmatic politics as a course in cynicism right about now, and I am hearing a lot about dried up middle aged liberals who are presumably contemptuous of youthful idealism they should instead be celebrating. Well, I for one think it is the height of cynicism and not idealism for candidates participating in politics at the highest level to indulge in loose talk and to make false promises about incredibly difficult desired outcomes. Worse, I think it is a recipe for disastrous generational demoralization and cynicism in those admirably hopeful young people who believe the loose talk when false promises fail to materialize. America needs all of our idealism and energy and creativity, because our problems require generations of sustained effort, through knots of parochialism, prejudice, greed and error. Politics is almost always too slow to bear, it is compromised and heartbreaking and hard as hell. Shame on those who know better who are willing to make promises they can't keep at the expense of honest assessments of the difficulties in the way of our shared goals and those who indulge in self-aggrandizing spectacles of purity theater at the expense of lifelong advocates with battle-scars to show for their accomplishments, especially when that "purity" is enabled by their own comparative insulation from the scrum of contentious politics. It is education, organization, planning, and sustained effort that makes me hopeful. Hope without fight is just hype.

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