Why it’s Hard to Remain an Optimist

It can be very difficult when people like Victor Davis Hanson give good rational to the bad ju-ju I’ve been feeling ever since Obamacare held.

Some excerpts. First of five reasons for conservative’s need to be cautious this election season:

1. The so-called Obama crash. I believe that Obamism — 41 months over 8% plus unemployment, anemic GDP growth, serial $1 trillion deficits, unsustainable rates of new aggregate debt, the takeover of health care, record numbers on unemployment insurance and food stamps — is not only strangling the country, but in the long run will be seen as such by most Americans. Obama is incoherent — castigating the Supreme Court’s right to overturn a law, then himself suing to overturn state laws, while simply ignoring federal laws. Abroad, even his supporters cannot claim the Russian reset was a success. What was so hard about supporting the Iranian dissidents in the spring 2009 demonstrations, or expressing support for secular democratic movements in the Middle East rather than praising the Muslim Brotherhood? Why treat Israel or Canada worse than Turkey? And was it worth the administration chest thump to risk the security of the United States by leaking classified information about Predators, the cyber war against Iran, the Yemeni agent, and the bin Laden raid?

Sometimes when I watch Fox News, listen to talk radio, or read the blogs, I fear too many are in a strange bubble: the Obama embarrassments are tallied, his crashing defeat predicted — but no one seems to say, “But hey, he is still after all that ahead in the polls!” And to the extent someone might point to polling, he is met with “But the polls are biased!” Perhaps they are by 3-4 points.  But right now, given the power of incumbency, the changing nature of the U.S., and the no-holds-barred methods of Barack Obama, the advantage is still all Obama’s — and almost all the polls show that. And we should remember that fact rather than be told simply how bad Obama is.

And from the conclusion:

None of us know what November brings. We all imagine the race will be far closer than 2008. We worry that eight years of this administration will institutionalize what we saw during the first four years. That said, every person worried about the direction of the country will have to vote, donate time or money, or offer public or private commentary. We are going to see things in September and October that we have not quite seen before in an election, as our modern Borgia pulls out all the stops to do whatever is necessary to win.

We have a president who was not truthful about his prior associates and pastor, raising taxes, the Bush-Cheney protocols he once demonized, and promises to follow the law. The law now is followed largely to the degree that it is judged most progressive for most people. On a mundane level, a president is up for reelection who, by common assent, made up almost all the key details in his own memoir, claimed on his own bio that he was born in Kenya, jokes with his middle finger on his chin, laughs about Predator assassination drones protecting his daughters, offers a double-entendre about a sex act with his wife, and links “BFD” T-shirts to his website. From the fundamental to the ridiculous, Obama is sui generis. After all, we have a man of the people in the White House who has set presidential records for golf outings and fat-cat fundraisers, while running on them/us class warfare — to the delight of 50% of the country.

A hard lesson of being a news junkie and amateur political analyst is that the majority of one’s country is not as in-tune with events as one’s self. The internet has changed this decisively and has largely sidelined the TV ‘mainstream media’ – but it stands that news is apparently still boring to people until it affects them.

Maybe that’s why politics is so shallow and flashy these days. It’s effective towards those who don’t pay much attention or don’t really care.

I need some freaking coffee.



More negativity! It’s freaking disappointing having it hit home that politics happened in the supreme court, not constitutional judicial review.

Well, fine then. Politics has always been shallow but it’s still frustrating!

Update: Threw in some excerpts of the Victor Davis Hanson piece, since people aren’t clicking links. Tsk.

Update Update: In which another blogger reminds that opinion polls aren’t necessarily elections.

About TheDougem

A budding writer and amateur podcaster, TheDougem has been an active presence on the internet for roughly four years in various mediums including livestreaming, youtube, blogtalkradio, and others. An avid fan of strategy games, discussing current events and conservative philosophy, as well as a bit of storytelling on the side.

9 Responses to “Why it’s Hard to Remain an Optimist”

  1. Makes me very glad I’m not living in America right now.

  2. What makes me pessimistic about America is most of the articles on PJ Media.

    • And I still find that ridiculous, especially since you’re very light on specific critiques. What, for instance, is wrong with the Victor Davis Hanson piece I link in this article?

      • Well not this one this is one of the better ones. Then there is things like this:
        I also have no idea why every last writer on that website feels a need to write about Obamacare, everyone. We get it you don’t like Obamacare, but does every last person need to write about it.

      • Well not this one this is one of the better ones.

        I am very selective about the articles I share here, especially lately.

        As to the flood of posts regarding Obamacare – this is a rare case where the law and the decision literally is that titanic in how it affects the people of this country. It’s a big freaking deal. This isn’t simply petty ‘obamacare suxxorz’, on one hand there’s the bill itself, and the fact that a conservative chief justice was more concerned about legacy then law – and on the other, there’s the very real financial and health impacts it will have on the middle class – and everyone else. This has people very riled up.

        There’s also a deep frustration that myself and others feel that conservatives are continually having it shoved in our face that it is -very- difficult for us to get things done, especially for reformists. Right now, liberals (and the conservative establishment for that matter) enjoy a monopoly on making important decisions in government with little to stand in their way and it hurts.

        As to the article –

        Allow me to cite the conclusion of said linked article:

        Note to the reader: When I first began writing this piece, I had intended to develop a somewhat facetious argument, a kind of satire on the hijinks of the Democratic Party. But as I progressed, I soon realized that my proposal to mobilize a team of election observers could justifiably be taken seriously. The American political scene oscillates between vaudeville and tragedy. The vaudeville inheres in the outrageous antics of the political left, as if we were witnessing something out of the Theater of the Absurd or the Commedia dell’Arte; the tragedy resides in the spectacle of a great democracy coming to resemble in its electoral affairs the modus operandi of a decadent, venal, and unprincipled third-world polity. As a result, I remain uncertain of my intentions. Am I joking, or am I in deadly earnest? Am I writing tongue in cheek or watching a tragedy unfold? Is inviting a group of international monitors to sentinel the election a mere caprice or is it actually validated by the circumstances?

        One thing is undeniable: the Democratic thespians are putting on a risible but disgraceful and ultimately menacing performance. That the governing administration of a bellwether liberal nation should strenuously oppose fair voting practices and cry “racist” to intimidate those who advance a clear and sensible proposition is almost beyond belief. Perhaps in order to avert tragedy, we must acknowledge that caricature and burlesque have no place in the electoral life of a country. A properly conducted election furnishes the opportunity to hoot the farceurs off the stage.

        In other words you’re reading something that’s meant to be, at least partially, tongue in cheek!

        I would encourage you to take note of specific authors on that site and avoiding those you don’t like, and trying to find a few you do – and I will make note of who wrote what in future citations I make! There are many dozens of writers and columnists on PJMedia. Diversity of opinion – even if it’s slanted so you see -mostly- diversity of conservative opinion – is something that should be celebrated, not taken as a grim sign of American decline.

  3. Bullshit, that quote was from an entirely different piece, one commenting on Democrat Strategy, not the one you linked. Get your facts straight, man.

    • never mind, I thought you meant the first one. Sorry for the rage there.

    • kudos are due for making me burst into laughter by bringing this XKCD strip to mind

      And also for reminding me that comment formatting on wordpress really sucks and I have to be more careful reviewing it!


  1. It Ain’t Over till the Fat Lady Sings, But… | The Skeptic Conservative - November 7, 2012

    […] Myself back in July commenting on a Victor Davis Hanson Piece and fretting about a low info voter oriented Obama campaign working […]

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