Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Another blogger's brilliant burnout

Times are tough all over for those of us pouring heart and soul into shaking our keyboards at the Right. I wrote about burnout myself some weeks back. Now, John Emerson, who blogs with several collegues at the blog "See The Forest," writes:

"I won't be posting for awhile while I'm thinking things over. In the past I've always come back eventually, but I'm not promising anything.

"I really dread the next four years. I expect the worst from Bush -- specifically, war fever plus McCarthyism. There have been a number of positive changes in the Democratic party, but Democrats as a group still don't seem prepared for what's going to happen, and it may be too little, too late.

"At the beginning of my blogging career I was happy just to vent, but over the last year or so I've tried to figure out a way to make something of my political writing. That really hasn't happened -- I still seem to be speaking to the same small audience of people who basically already agree with me, without really getting my message out [to] the generic Democrats or the big-time bloggers -- much less the party leadership."

That is the fear of most bloggers - that not only most but almost ALL of us - no matter how eloquent, temeritous or hardcore - are tiny fish in a huge, tepid sea, adrift not in the dawn of a web and blogger/free speech revolution but actually fester in the backwash of a media glut. People can only take in so much information - even those whose daily hobby and passion it is to "stay fully informed."

And these days, with such sour news for progressives, a few hours' reading can render one disheartened, debilitated, even devastated. Some of us feel the need not just for commisseration but for meds and therapy.

Mr. Emerson gives a brilliant summation of his newly re-kindled burnout. His terse and efficient critique of the current political conundrum makes for a must read:

Mr. Emerson writes:

"I think that the academic and administrative roots of most Democratic leaders disable them for the hoodlum politics of today. They're used to describing reality as it is at a given moment, "managing" things, keeping the lid on, and judging people by their credentials. They're cool and civil and don't know how to respond to deliberate provocation, or to people whose goal is to shake things up and change things.

The Republicans, by contrast, hire semi-criminal entrepreneurs and give them a chance to show what they can do. And the Republicans win.

The whole 'reality-based' slogan is utter crap. Democrats deal with the world as it is, and Republicans deal with the world as it can be made to be. That's why the Democrats are always blindsided, and why the Republicans always win. The Democrats are yesterday, and the Republicans are tomorrow. 'The point is not to understand the world but to change it.'

"And for those who don't understand it yet, 'character' means, among other things, macho. The can-do hands-on do-what-you-gotta-do thing. The academic habit of discussing everything to death is not what you're looking for in the man in charge."

Emerson is right. No guts no glory. And it's high time we got back some guts and some glory - make that Glory! with a capital G and an exclamation mark.

So who's it gonna be? And not just who him or who her but who THEY and who US?


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