Monday, March 18, 2013


A friend of mine says that cynicism limits imagination.  When I look at what I am cynical about it seems to me that he is right.  For example:

Some hope that with a new Pope the Catholic Church will take steps to be more in line with 21st century values.  Yes, there is a chance that the tone will change.  But any fundamental changes?  No way.

Some think that the Newtown killings and frequent instances of angry or unbalanced people slaughtering innocents with guns will move Congress to enact some gun control laws.  At least some small steps will be taken.  Again, no way.  Laws that would actually make a difference won’t happen.

Some hold out hope that common sense and a commitment to the good of the country will result in politicians deciding to negotiate in good faith and break the dysfunction logjam that has rendered our government impotent.  Don’t bet on it.  It ain’t gonna happen, any more than . . .

Big money will leave the political arena, so that our elected officials can concentrate on doing their jobs rather than focusing on raising money and getting reelected.  If you think that’s going to happen you probably also think corporate and money from the mega-rich will stop corrupting our system of government.  Good luck to you.

Some hopeful observers of the Supreme Court think that maybe, maybe, the Court will not gut the Civil Rights Act on the basis that it is no longer necessary.  Sure.  Just like Scalia and Thomas will take the lead in promoting gay marriage.  Don’t hold your breath.

There are people who think that Israel will see that their survival as a democracy requires some accommodation with the Palestinians, preferably a two-state solution.  There was a time when I was one of those people.  I’d like to be wrong, but a settler mentality combined with righteous certainty will doom the process.

I could go on, but I’ll stop with one more.  As with Iraq, which was a mistake that cost thousands of lives and more than a trillion dollars, we will leave Afghanistan having produced neither a lasting peace or a functional government and only a minimal impact on terrorism.  What a waste.

So yes, I stand accused and plead guilty to cynicism limiting my imagination.


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