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DemocratAholic Donating Member (156 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 11:00 AM
Original message
time for the healers to step up
I am going to talk about the way I am feeling right now. If you feel the urge to criticize me, please read through the whole thing first. Sorry for the length, but I hope it will be worthwhile to read through it.

First a little background. The first political campaign I volunteered for was when I was 15 years old. That was 30 years ago. I have been involved in some campaign practically every year since then. I am a die-hard Democrat. I live and breathe politics. I remember when C-SPAN first came on the air, I was in heaven sitting and watching C-SPAN as much as I could. Needless to say, my family thought I was a very strange boy. I'm probably a lot like many of the people in this forum because I know that many of you are as obsessed with politics as I am.

The happiest I have ever been was when Obama was elected president. I never felt like someone so represented my own ideals when it came to politics. I was so attracted to the fact that he was talking about how Democrats should take a stand on principle. Throughout the years, I have witnessed so many Democrats who didn't do that. Who changed their positions because of political expediency. I felt like this was the culmination of my hopes and dreams...on so many levels. Wow, racism has finally been put to rest, and we have made real strides on issues of bigotry. We finally have a President who actually has real empathy for gay people. A man who places thought and reason above religion. A man that really cared, and took the time to understand what it is like to be poor, or without health insurance, or struggling to to stay alive in a society that can often seem very cruel and uncaring. Who wasn't afraid to be sensitive. Who didn't feel it was necessary to denigrate others to make himself look better. I could go on and on about all the things that attracted me to his candidacy, but I am sure you get the point.

So...a lot has happened in the 2 years since he became president and I don't need to give anyone in this forum a history lesson about all that. A lot of disappointment about positions he was taking...failing to investigate war crimes, defending the Defense of Marriage Act, extension of the Patriot act... Okay, yea, it was all very discouraging. But I thought...I still believe in his integrity. I still know he is a progressive Democrat, and in his heart he believes the same things as me. I didn't understand why he was doing the things he was doing, but we were still going to make progress on other issues. I believed, in the end, everything was going to be okay. I was mad about these particular issues, but I didn't lose faith in him.

Something snapped inside me this week when he went into a closed room and cut a deal with Republicans. It is not the deal, per se, that had me so disappointed. It was the way he went about it. Leaving Congressional Democrats out of the process. Appealing to Republicans (the enemy) to pass this agreement. Not only a lack of concern for the way other Democrats felt, but basically telling them he didn't care what they thought. Calling them names, calling US names...calling us "sanctimonious." Then, while Bernie Sanders was on the Senate floor giving his speech yesterday, he calls in Bill make an appeal to WHO? I don't really know who he was appealing to. Independents? Republicans? But it was so odd, after all his criticism of Bill Clinton during the primary campaign, that he would call him in to give a news conference about the very issue that he was critiquing Bill Clinton for. Not standing up to the Republicans. Not standing up for our core values. Not having political courage.

I have felt a lot of political disappointments over the years, but this is far, far worse than anything I have ever felt before. The reason is...I never believed in a candidate as much as I believed in Obama. I feel so demoralized and depressed right now. I am this close to completely giving up on politics altogether. If this feeling doesn't change, I am never going to volunteer for anther campaign again. It isn't worth it to me to feel this way.

Before you start attacking me for saying these things, please try and understand...this is how I feel. I'm not trying to be dramatic or trying to say something to hurt Obama or this Presidency. Perhaps I'm too much of an idealist. Perhaps I shouldn't have put all my hopes and dreams into one man, or expected any thing more than what is happening right now. Maybe I'm a fool.

My purpose in writing this post is to try and explain why some of us are so upset and are voicing our frustration at the moment. At the heart of a lot of people's interest in politics is how they feel. I suppose you could argue it is not realistic or logical to feel this way...but I can't control my feelings. You feel how you feel. There is nothing logical about feelings.

For those of you who are attacking those of us for feeling this way, calling us names, saying we're not good Democrats...or whatever else, please understand...that is not helping matters at all. If anything, it is just making things worse. I really do understand that it is very, very difficult for many of you who are unconditional supporters of this President to see other Democrats voicing their frustration. I think that in our frustration and anger, a lot of us take it too far. I have done it myself. It's not because we're trying to hurt Obama. It is only because we are hurt and disappointed in the most profound way.

You may succeed with all the name calling and accusations in driving people from this forum or even from the political process altogether. I have personally been really shocked at the extent people will go to in attacking other people in this forum for expressing their frustration. The suggestions that anyone who criticizes Obama should be exiled from this forum...or their posts should be placed in a special section...the "bad Democrat" section.

You may not be upset with what is going on with Obama right now, perhaps nothing he could do would make you upset. I can understand that. But, we're not all like that. Everyone has their breaking point. Some break after 1 issue, for me, it took what happened this week to finally do it.

It's time for the "healers" in the party to step up to the plate right now. To try and bring some perspective and understanding and healing to a very bad moment for this Party. Remember how Bill Clinton used to say, "We don't have a person to waste." Well, we can't afford to lose any Democrats in this party. Our future as a party depends on us having empathy for our fellow Democrats, even when we disagree. Treating each other with respect. For every Democrat that slips away, so do the chances for our future as a party.

You may not like it or agree with the fact that I am critical of this President. But I am pleading with you, don't give up on me. Don't partake in this effort to try and drive people like me away, or make me feel like you don't like or respect me. I believe in the same things as you. I really don't want to give up on politics, or this Party. I see politics as a way to affect change about those things that mean the most to me. Without it, I am going to have a very empty feeling inside. But, I'd rather feel empty than feel like my efforts are turned against me in the long run.

I hope this post will be understood in the spirit it was offered. Everything I have said is from the heart, with the utmost sincerity, no intention to be critical of anyone. I am very, very depressed right now, and my skin is not very thick at the moment. I need hugs and comfort and hope, and I really can't handle anyone attacking me.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm still an Obama supporter - I always am mindful that I can't really judge
another's actions unless I am in that person's shoes. But this is the biggest disappointment for me thus far, too. Maybe the fact that he intentionally did the deal behind closed doors (although as others have pointed out, he did want to act sooner but was asked not to by Dem candidates who felt any action might affect their reelections).

I don't know who the healers are, but I agree they're needed.

I recommend your post. I can tell it comes from the heart.

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Big Blue Marble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
2. You speak very well the feelings that many of us share.
The visionaries, the idealists, are often cut down by the pragmatists. Yet where would society be without us? Society moves forward on dreams and ideas.
I think that this is so painful because we were deeply moved by a campaign deeply infused with idealism. Now we are watching the unfolding of an
administration deeply envolved in cynism.
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DemocratAholic Donating Member (156 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-10 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
13. brilliant comment
I think that this is so painful because we were deeply moved by a campaign deeply infused with idealism.

That comment says it all in a nutshell. The weird thing is, I never perceived it as being "idealism." In fact, I never really thought of it like that until I read this comment. I perceived Obama to be someone who was super-intelligent, with an amazing capacity to see things that others couldn't see. That his own life experiences had made him very sensitive, and combined with his intelligence, it produced this gift for being able to give a voice to, and make people understand, things that many of us are unable to express in words.

I have been accused on many occasion of being gullible. What I always say in response to that is...I'm gullible because I am very trusting of people. Because I don't expect my "friends" to be tricking me. For some reason, I don't know why...probably has something to do with my childhood or something, I have a very hard time being cynical towards people I like. God knows, I have gotten into trouble on many occasion for trusting people who were tricking me.

I recall during the campaign, especially from Hillary Clinton, that some people were saying that Obama was a "good talker" and things along those lines, basically accusing him of saying things he didn't really believe just for the sake of being elected. I didn't think that possible. I didn't think it possible someone could appear to be that sincere, have the capability to write and say those words...without really believing them.

Anyway, thanks for saying that, because you expressed something very succinctly, you really put your finger on exactly the way I am feeling. And the way you said it, it's like I can look at it from outside myself. It's like being in a psychotherapy session, and my therapist says something and a light bulb goes off in my head. Difficult to accept, but very helpful because it does explain why it is so painful. Really, thanks a lot, that was an incredibly enlightening reply and appropriate response to what I am feeling.
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Big Blue Marble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
3. dupe.
Edited on Sat Dec-11-10 11:13 AM by Big Blue Marble
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Big Blue Marble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Dupe.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
4. "first, do no harm" then healers are not needed. thanks for sharing tho nt
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
6. Thanks for sharing that.
We're all disappointed by politicians from time to time. Some are disappointed by them daily. What's important is that we stay strong, stick together, and work for the common purpose of defeating the real political enemies - sleazy teabaggin' repuglicans. Any "end game" other than that is counter-productive, at least... Destructive, at worst.

I have no doubt that our choices -- and the contrasting goals of "us" and "them" -- will become more clear these next couple years.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
7. I've been a political junkie all my life
as well. I remember fighting with my girlfriend in 2nd grade over Kennedy vs. Nixon. I distinctly remember Election Eve. I got to stay up late, but finally my mother said that the Election may not be decided until tomorrow morning. So I went to bed. I got up in the morning, ran down the hall shouting, 'Did he win? Did he win?' My mother turned the corner and said, 'Yes, he won.' I was so happy. And a few years later, I remember the moment when I learned of his death. I watched Oswald shot live on TV.

My moment of Truth/Betrayal came in 2007 when the Dems took the House and Senate....and no Impeachment, not even an investigation. It was then I knew we were just watching Kabuki Theater.

And after Citizens United, the deal was sealed. The Republic is done. The rich know that the Empire is in decline and they're taking the last of the money before it's too late. The money will go off shore into Hedge Funds and investments in commodities.

There is no moral leadership in this country. None. In fact, I see a political vacuum which can be very dangerous.

We have no hope...but we can certainly persevere. We are our own heroines and heroes. No one in Washington, DC cares about you...except for maybe a very small number of people, like Bernie Sanders or Sherrod Brown.

I believe that the more people who realize what you have realized, the better off we will be. Reality. Truth. Facing Facts. Then and only then can we move forward and persevere.

I remember how difficult 2007 was for me. I know how you feel. But believe me, 'The Truth will set you FREE!'

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CakeGrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
8. At least you didn't use insults.
You and everyone else here are entitled to their opinions about what's going on. The difference is that some will not or are incapable of discerning the difference between voicing disappointment in a civil manner and launching insult-laden attacks on a person's character rather than their actions, something that is not going to foster reasonable discussion.
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dgibby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
9. It's obvious that you're truly hurting right now,
and I empathize completely, so I'm going to share some advice that was given to me.

Serenity(emotional well-being) in inversely proportioned to expectations. The higher your expectations, the lower your serenity.

Someone you believed in, held in high esteem, did not live up to your high expectations of him, so now you're depressed and miserable, which are symptoms of a lack of serenity.

I found that by tempering my expectations, I'm a much happier person, and not subject to that emotional roller coaster I used to ride. :hug:
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FirstLight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
10. you nailed it
I share your sentiments and agree that we are the only ones who can take matters into our own hands.

For me, it's about community level work... I figure that the PTB will continue to do what they are doing and all i can do is handle things here on the ground. Can't wait for anything to change on the grander scale, the system itself is too corrupt and too big...hehe, to big to fail, right?

So next spring i am working on neighborhood gardening, sustainable living, self sufficiency, etc... I may not have a job but at least i can do something fact, when there's nothing else left, there's nothing left to do but create community.

I am healing my own community, because it is all i can manage right now. Scrapping for survival has taught me that our neighbors and friends are the ones that matter...
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
11. Never give up on yourself and your progressive ideas even if you have to
give up on politicians you believed in. Just remember that they are flawed human beings and it makes it easier.

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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
12. (hug)
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