We are drowning in cynicism. Cynicism is killing us! Cynicism is destroying our way of life! Honest! You’ve gotta believe me.
And the poster child for cynicism murdering American democracy is the whole Donna Brazile accusations of the Clinton campaign of kidnapping the DNC and hiding the nomination from Sanders just as he was scooping it up in his hot little hands.
A quick aside: This post is one of an interrelated series on (a) the corrosive toxic effect the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s use of chaos and misinformation (Deflecting to Clinton), (b) the ways social media is changing our culture and interactions (Brain Hack: the Looming Disaster), and (c) how all this is likely to affect the future of our country. The series includes posts and memes. Unfortunately, it means that general information like the Illusion of Truthiness (with apologies to Stephen Colbert) is spread throughout as it is used to explain and illustrate phenomenon.
Do you hear that fapping sound? That’s the sound of millions of Hillary haters fapping to Donna Brazile’s confessional in Politico… oh, and, all the conservative trolls screaming Cry! Snowflake, cry!
In the excerpt from her soon-to-be-published book, Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House called Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC, she wrote,
The agreement [the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America] —signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.
Do you see this part rightcher?
Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff…
That’s the cum shot. That’s the part that all fappers want to be hitting when they arrive at the sweet spot because they just KNEW the Hilz and all things Clinton was as dishonest as the Ol’ Pussy Grabber always said they were.
Now, I know that the water flowing under that bridge is very muddy on the other side now that Senator Warren has weighed in and the agreement in its entirety has been released and millions have exchanged tweets, updates, rants, memes, stickers, and #Hashtags on all the socializing mediums. So, before we get into all that and more, let’s just take a look at cynicism.
What is Cynicism?
I loves me some meanings numbering two and three here, don’t you? Contempt for accepted standards of honesty or morality. Right now, as it stands in modern American politics, we ain’t got not accepted standards of anything. It seems like it started with Tricky Dick and his Watering of all the Gates and the Walling of all the Stones on his way to beating impeachment by resigning and subsequent pardoning by the bumbling Ford. It worsened a lot with Ronnie Ray-Guns and his Contretemping the Irans and the Laughing at all of us Curve-based Trickles of Pee Economics and Welfare Queenies buying all the Cadillacs. Then, we had the em-bare-assed-meanie, W’s illegal war based on cooked up weapons of mass destruction intelligence — the only weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were those we brung with us and used! — and torturing of prisoners in contravention of international agreements.
Jesus Howard Christ riding Jiminy Cricket down the Chimney! What “scandals” did we get from the Dem presidents in that time? Carter’s Office of Management and Budget director, Bert Lance was indicted for and acquitted of misdeeds at the Calhoun National Bank and the failed attempt at rescuing the Iran hostages. Clinton’s infamous blowjob and denial — hell who wouldn’t lie under those circumstances? no one! And, Obama’s you can keep your doctor promise because he didn’t think to spell out the caveat of unless it is part of your junk insurance. Fucking nitpickers.
See what I mean about not having standards any more! We get genuine earth moving criminality with the Repube presidents but we can’t both-sides-do-it to the Dems because they is so squeaking the fuck clean. A blowjob in the Oval Office is the worst of it! How is that even fair? How is that a standard?
Clean up on aisle three! Clean up on aisle three! Somebody bring the mop and bucket cause we gotta whole lotta sarcasm to mop up.
First class sarcasm, ain’t no cynicism. So first, up cynicism erodes our standards for honesty and morality, especially when they involve actions that exploit the scruples of others.
Contempt for Accepted Standards
This is the firstest in its class cynicism right over here: the free press felt put upon when the Repubes first began to scream like stuck pigs about how there was a liberal bias in the media and that’s why the Repube presidents and Congress folks seem like they all flunked out of used cars sales school instead of the Occam’s Razor explanation of they is all just more prone to criminality and their steadfast belief that the ends (enriching themselves ) justifies their means (fleecing the middle class).
Now, we get Donna Brazile’s contempt for accepted standards of honesty and morality by bringing us only half of the story about Clinton’s Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America. She coulda quoted the part of the agreement that said it would not “…violate the DNC’s obligation of impartiality and neutrality through the Nominating process” and that “all activities performed under this agreement will be focused exclusively on preparations for the General Election and not the Democratic Primary.”
And as the esteemed, Joy Ann Reid points out in this Twitter thread, what could the DNC do to compel people to vote for Clinton over Sanders or actually influence the election? They couldn’t even organize and fund themselves much less rig all of the primaries.
The question is: what does the DNC actually do, and can it, even if it wanted to, rig 50+ primaries for any given candidate?
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) November 3, 2017
By exploiting the deep disappointment that Sanders followers feel — and god wasn’t Sanders run a heady dizzying can he do it moment in American politics? No matter who you supported or what your politics are, that was a truly remarkable run. The movies have conditioned us to believe that the underdog pulls it off in the end and the establishment is venal and corrupt. But, in case you hadn’t noticed, this ain’t the movies.
So, in some ways Brazile is being just a bit dishonest here. The cynic in me would assert that she has one eye on the truth and the other on book sales… but that might be eroding our accepted standards for honesty and morality, right? Okay, mom! Yes, that too is dishonest, but you know people are thinking it!
Bitterly or Sneeringly Distrustful, Contemptuous, Pessimistic
Let’s move on to meaning number three, bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic. I don’t think that Brazile or Warren are being distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic. I think they are both being self-serving politicians, especially Warren. I think we make a huge mistake in idolizing and canonizing our celebrities. Warren, like Brazile and Clinton, is a good woman. She fights for us every day, but she is human and she’s a politician. I ascribe her role and motivation to courting Sanders voters for a 2020 run. I ascribe Brazile’s motivation to book sales. But, what of the other commentators, especially the masses mixing it up on social media?
Cynicism Corrodes Motivation
Cynicism is toxic and corrosive. It has its worst effects on motivation. By believing that the Democratic system was rigged against as stirring and inspiring a candidate as Sanders, it causes pessimism. What’s the point of voting, volunteering, or donating, in short, of participating in the political process, if it is rigged. It will literally keep people home in 2018.
We are truly facing a 7-2 conservative split on the Supreme Court by 2020. We are looking at a federal judiciary packed with incompetent and heavily biased judges by 2020. Not just biased liberal or conservative but biased authoritarian who believe God’s law supersedes the Constitution. We’ll have Roy Moore-types ruling on the Constitutionality of our laws if the Dems don’t take Congress in 2018.
One of the worst things that Sanders did was carp on the system being rigged against him. More than anything else, it saps people’s will to participate. Democracy dies without a well-informed participating electorate. This kind of controversy just kills the electorate a little more and that in turn kills democracy.
The Repube promotion of all politicians are the same: corrupt and out for themselves does the same. The Russian inspired propaganda that there was no difference between Clinton and The Ol’ Pussy Grabber did the same.
If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.
— Often attributed to Mark Twain, but not (Snopes)
The Snopes article uncovers a citizen editorial in the Lowell Sun published in September 1976. It is pretty cynical:
If voting could change anything it would be made illegal! There is no way any politicians can legally represent anyone because he was elected on a secret ballot by a small percentage of voters. He then claims to represent the people who voted against him and even those who wisely chose not to participate in such criminal activity.
— Robert S. Borden Lowell Sun
Anger Begets Anger
When we are faced with anger, we are most likely to answer with anger. When people are contemptuous of our views and thoughts, we are likely to be contemptuous of them. Ironically for liberals, progressives, and lefties, this is the precise reason given by white rural conservatives for why they vote to condemn themselves to living in Cancer Alley and to being sold like a common cheap natural resources to be exploited to industry giants so regularly. Unbelievable, but true. White rural conservatives think lefties think of them as the great unwashed, uneducated, hillbilly hicks. They don’t like it, so they close their hearts and minds to any all messages from the left and value vote to keep women that they don’t know from getting abortions for reasons that they are suspicious of.
Seriously, cynicism is killing our democracy. The cynicism of politicians who seek to exploit issues and office for personal gain. The cynicism of political commentators and reporters who kowtow to both-sides-do-it-ism, even though there is ample evidence that both sides do not do it corroding our trust in the content of the news. And, the cynicism of our citizens who would rather exchange tweets, status updates, memes, GIFs, stickers, and #Hashtags and content themselves that their petty exchanges on social media count as engaged informed politics.
We cease to see each other as well-meaning if sometimes poorly informed people and are sure hat the other side is out to trick us into giving up what little we have for the undeserving other be it the lefty belief that we’re being ticked to enrich the wealthy (It is true!) or the righty belief that we’re being tricked to supporting the immoral and lazy people of color (It is not true!)
It is keeping us from engaging in our democratic system, from educating ourselves on the issues, from respecting the views of the political minority. I grow increasingly fearful that it is too late to save the American experiment and build a more perfect union.