It's easier to dismiss something in anger than actually try to think rationally and logically about it. Last week I realized that this is what I was doing with the Catholic Church. And today I realized that I'm doing it with politics. It's very easy to do when there's so much to be angry about. But something doesn't feel right about it. Like I'm short-changing something. But trying to confront the issue brings a fresh wave of anger.
We went to church about a month ago. And it was a nice liturgy. The homily seemed perfect for welcoming us back, the community seemed great, the priest reminded me of the good guys from my Germany days. But we haven't been back since. A couple weeks ago we even got in the car and were halfway there before I asked Mark to turn around. Our nice clothes had been dirty, so Mark and I had been forced to wear jeans - an article of clothing I was taught didn't belong in church. Plus, I just kept getting more and more pissed about the idea of going to Mass. I didn't want to bring that into the church. So we drove back home instead.
Last week, Teresa posted about the lengths to which Bush and Co will go to create a good image. Usually when I see her post about such things, I avoid commenting. I've gotten the impression that she believes the Florida Election Fiasco was a Republican conspiracy to get Bush into office and that Clinton didn't quite manage to walk on water but only got his shins wet instead of falling in. That's probably horribly unfair to Teresa. I may be guilty of lumping her thoughts on those subject in with a lot of sentiments I read along those lines because of similar language and/or ideas. Instead of trying to figure out, I try to just ignore the subject entirely when it's brought up in her blog. And we had that great chat at Colorado Gold, I did my best to bite my tongue and help the conversation move on to something else.
But I just had to say something about the post I linked to because I found it ridiculous to accuse Bush of pandering/creating a public image and imply that Clinton didn't do the same things or it at least wasn't so bad when he did it. I made the mistake of bringing up Clinton's infamous $200 haircut at LAX. Instead of taking my point and working with that, the haircut business became the topic of debate. It didn't really happen that way...It was all Limbaugh Lies....You've fallen victim to the right-wing malice machine...etc, etc. I honestly had no idea that the disruption the haircut caused was minimal at best and blown out of proportion by the press. OK, I got that point and acknowledged the error on my part. But it's like I was expected to absolve Clinton of any wrong-doing simply because the press decided to warp something. And that's when my anger slapped me in the face. I want to hate all politicians: Clinton, Bush, Cheney, Gore. Hell, even Nader. It's easier. By far. There's too many jackasses involved in politics. Forget "diamonds in the rough". Try "cubic zirconia in the dung heap". As someone pointed out in the comments, is it really worth my time to sift through tons of shit to find a small, cheap, knock-off imitation that may look pretty but will never be the real thing? No, it's easier to just say that all politicians are selfish imbeciles who should be in jobs as far removed from public office as possible.
And, thus, anger wins.
OK, so I've seen my problem. I'm copping out of my religion and my nation's politics due to anger. Probably not the smartest or the best thing to do, but it sure keeps my stress level down and my sanity intact. There's got to be a better way. One that allows me to participate as necessary in both but without having my idealism trampled to bits on a regular basis. Does anyone have any ideas?
They say that admitting is the first step. Well, damn it, what's the second one?