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What Or Who Do You Believe In Anymore?

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?

11 comments to What Or Who Do You Believe In Anymore?

  • Jim Cook

    I don’t think “political organization” is synonymous with “political party.” Are there non-party organizations that deserve your trust?

    I can think of two right off the top of my head that I trust:

    American Civil Liberties Union
    Electronic Frontier foundation

    Also, if there isn’t an entire party worthy of your trust, are there individuals who are? Are those individuals organized in a looser, non-official sense?

    • J Clifford

      I’ve become more reluctant to support individual politicians, as I see them offer platitudes, and shift with the prevailing winds.

      Those organizations are good ones. I’ve lost trust in the major environmental organizations, which seem more interested in fundraising and keeping political ties to power than in doing environmental activism these days. However, I admire many of the things that Greenpeace is doing.

  • Charles Manning

    I too was a Democrat, and even ran for office. That went on for about 30 years, until Bill Clinton lied to his family and the nation (including me) about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. That was just too much. But what has become apparent since then shows that Clinton’s lies about Lewinsky were the tip of the tip of the iceberg. And that both parties engage in the same deceptions.

    I admire Stein a great deal, both for her stated positions and for her energetic optimism. But I discovered Rocky Anderson and thought him a better hope for actually getting something done in the electoral system. Alas, he fell flatter than Stein did, although I remain convinced that he would make a great president. Fat chance.

    Through all this turmoil and disappointment, I’ve come to know that there are a great many Americans – probably thousands – who could make a big difference if there was a way to galvanize them into action. I’m still hoping for that to happen. I look for someone else to challenge Stein for leadership in the “liberal” or “progressive” movement. I don’t want to dismiss either Stein or Anderson. We just need someone else who can really spark an uprising. Johnson had some good things to say. The last debate between him and Stein was much better than the first debates. We need such debates to get started NOW, in preparation for 2014 and 2016. That means others have to declare themselves as candidates. Stein has never wavered, but her poor showing in 2012 must raise doubts.

  • Tom

    Well don’t feel too badly about it J. Clifford, you could always drop down to my level where I don’t believe politics even works any longer to benefit the citizens of our country, state, county and town. Voting is a waste of time, our government is no longer a democracy (and hasn’t been for probably decades, if not longer), and we’ve ruined the environment in so many ways as a species that from my view it looks like we’ll be extinct (along with most other life forms) before 2050.

    Enjoy the time you have left and do the best you can with what’s left.

  • What exactly are the paranoid conspiracy theories and the warped realities concerning Occupy and the Green Party? You toss them off in one sentence with no explanation.

  • 9/11 Truthers are a big problem in the Green Party

    Truthers, Birthers, and Anti-Federal-Reserve conspiracists were mixed in at Occupy protests, along with miscellaneous “Capitalist Pig” rantings that sometimes stepped over the boundary between reasonable critique and conspiracy theory.

  • J, have you heard of the Party of Principle, the Libertarian Party? I used to be a Democrat because it was expected of my demographics, then I did research on politics by myself and became a Libertarian in High School. I would also like to add I think Gary Johnson did an excellent job in all the debates he was in. I completely support their liberal platform. I support things like marriage equality, drug legalization, choice ie abortion rights, non interventionism ie neutrality in foreign policy, immigrants ie open borders, capital punishment abolition, and various other positions.

  • J Clifford

    The party that would allow corporate lawyers to litigate ordinary Americans into submission? No thanks. That’s a principle I don’t believe in. I support a democratically-elected and strong government, kept honest by a responsible electorate.

    Besides, Libertarians have been among the weirdest conspiracy theorists I’ve seen, rambling on about the Amero, the North American Superhighway, and so on.

    I appreciate where Libertarians stand on civil liberties. It’s the other garbage that comes with that ideology that keeps me away.

    • The reply has a lot of incorrect assumptions in it. First, it totally ignores the non aggression principle. Two you don’t explain what litigating into submission even means. How would suing people only in defense of said persons negative rights and liberties which are the only legitimate reasons to use people qualify?

      I believe in liberal democracy that protects individual rights. I don’t really care for the strong part as strong governments are always tyrannical. I prefer night watchman states.

      Also, what is a responsible electorate versus an irresponsible one?

    • Have You Seen These 7 Vital Reasons to Join the Libertarian Party Now?

      1. The Libertarian Party takes action to reduce Big Government.

      Not just analysis of what’s wrong with Big Government. Not just news about abuses and increases of Big Government. Direct action to make government smaller than it is today through elections.

      2. The Libertarian Party is working to dramatically reduce Big Government spending, taxes, debt, regulations, bureaucracies, foreign meddling, and invasions of our personal freedoms.

      Not “reform” them. Not “replace” them. Certainly not add to them. That’s what Democrats and Republicans do.

      The Libertarian Party and its candidates are working to shrink Big Government. What will this leave? Individual liberty and a small, constitutional government that is limited to defending our lives, liberty and property.

      3. Without the Libertarian Party, the pro-freedom activists in the two old parties stand no chance.

      The Libertarian Party gives liberty-lovers within the Democratic and Republican Parties the juice they need to effect change. Neither of the two old parties will budge without the threat of a small-government competitor.

      4. Libertarian candidates take liberty all the way to the General Election.

      The Republican Party is especially notorious for working against and defeating its own small government candidates in primary elections. This was on display at the 2012 Republican national convention where party operatives changed and bent the rules to deny Ron Paul delegates their hard-earned right to nominate their candidate from the floor.

      In contrast, most Libertarians make it to the general election to challenge Big Government – when voters are listening.

      5. The Libertarian Party is consistent and principled.

      Libertarians work for everyday taxpayers, workers and voters – not Special Interests. Not to be part of the machinery of Big Government. Not to get government jobs. Not to grab “our share” of the goodies.

      Make government small, allow free markets to thrive, uphold personal liberties and keep our nation at peace. This will produce economic prosperity, safety, and opportunity – and make possible widespread, generous charity.

      6. The Libertarian Party is the greatest liberty recruiter and educator in America. Every election year.

      The Libertarian Party is the premiere political organization in America for going well beyond “preaching to the choir” and awakening ordinary Americans to the possibilities of liberty.

      Libertarian candidates reach everyday voters and taxpayers who never read liberty literature – and don’t even know it exists. Libertarian candidates show how low taxes, low government spending and much less government authority make life better for Americans.

      In 2012, over 15 million votes were cast for Libertarian candidates by voters who liked what they heard and said “Yes” to liberty.

      7. The Libertarian Party is the best-leveraged liberty investment in America.

      In addition to providing all the above benefits at a bargain price, the Libertarian Party is the most efficient and effective alternative party to the Democrat and Republicans. Ballot access is the key to legitimacy in elections and to challenging the Big Government status quo. For decades, the Libertarian Party has jumped through hoops to place more candidates on the ballot in more states and at the lowest average cost of any political party in America. Highly cost-effective activism for liberty.

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