When I look back at myself as I was a decade ago, I shake my head in weariness.
I was not just a member of the Democratic Party, but I was a member of my state’s Democratic Committee, my county’s Democratic Committee, and my town’s Democratic Committee. I was gung ho for Howard Dean, and then John Kerry. I gave money, but also organized fundraisers at which I urged others to give money to Democratic candidates, and to the Democratic Party in general. I wrote, and I spoke, in fervent support of the Democratic Party, and can remember telling people that they couldn’t fairly criticize the Democrats
A year later, when Barack Obama gave his convention speech, my heart swelled. I actually believed that Barack Obama would bring the United States back to a free, honest, and peaceful course, if only he were elected President.
When the Democrats did something to contradict my hopes for what the Democratic Party would do, if the Republicans were put out of power, I put my concerns off to the side and clapped around with the crowd. It felt great to have a crowd to clap along with.
I was gullible, and naive.
I realize why I was the way I was, but at this point, I can’t help feeling bitter about this period of idealistic devotion to the Democratic cause. I wasted a huge amount of time and money. I gave my heart to an organization that turned out to betray most of what I believed in once it obtained power.
For some time I tried, in reaction, to give my support to the Green Party, but found that the Green activists I came across were either profoundly ineffective or linked to paranoid, ignorant conspiracy theories. Even Jill Stein’s 2012 campaign became touched, eventually, with this sense of warped reality.
The Occupy Movement, for all of its ability to gain brief and burning attention, suffered many of the same problems as the Green Party.
At this point, I can’t think of a single political organization that has my trust. I look at the field of potential presidential candidates in 2016, for all the political parties, big and small, and shudder.
I remember how good it feels to have something to believe in. I don’t have that feeling any more.
Can anyone out there give me something to believe in? Can you convince me that there’s an organization or individual that deserves my trust?