Is This Defeatist, Short Sighted, Naive or Realistic?

 

So many aspects of what is “normal” today would have only been imagined in Eastern Europe or South America 40 years ago. The America of my late teens (1977) when I enlisted was something to be proud to defend. Today I have stopped even looking at the news cause I can tell you what’s going to happen on about any issue without having to follow the details. It really doesn’t matter anymore who I vote for cause either they’re going to get destroyed or I’m going to find out that when the chips are down they fold or switch sides. Is it obvious to anyone else besides me that we are already living in a one-party socialist state? My parents would be shocked to see what we have made of what they left us.

I still vote in the hope that I’m wrong but each day tells me otherwise. Declared a party affiliation this primary season just so I could vote against a carpetbagger candidate running for senator here in PA. Looks like I’m on the losing side as usual. Will probably change back to independent again although I don’t think I’ve voted for a Democrat in over 40 years. Haven’t found one yet I can trust. Not that the stupid party has provided much better they just don’t all hang together in a solid block unless they are voting for something the other party wants.  Was not a Trump fan but I think he did some good and am still amazed at how much was done by my fellow federal government employees to deliberately undermine his administration. Another example of the difference in 40-50 years. If Nixon had been treated like Trump there wouldn’t be a prison big enough to hold all the federal employees that would have been sent to it.

So what is one to do? I live and die for my family and my faith knowing that it’s going to be ok “in the end”. In the meantime, I treasure friends, a job I truly enjoy responding to natural disasters, all the humor we can fit in a day, and my continuous expeditions in the kitchen. The little things like watching birds and squirrels that hop around my trees, sitting out on my front patio just enjoying the weather or a late-night fire, the feeling of satisfaction after some not so often enough manual labor, and the comfort I get in prayer (started praying the Liturgy of the Hours). There’s something about knowing you are praying the same as thousands maybe millions around the world.

I’ll ask again defeatist, short-sighted, naive, or realistic? What say you?

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  1. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Most of us sentient beings on the right are appalled and have little hope for our nation.  Welcome to the party pal ! 

    • #1
  2. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    I’m an optimist by nature.  But I find myself struggling a bit as well.

    The Biden Administration is going much better than I anticipated so far.  But it’s early yet, and things could go very badly very quickly.

    I’m trying to spend less time following national events as well.  Which, of course, is exactly what leftists want.  But they’re wearing me down…

    • #2
  3. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I live & die for my family & my faith knowing that it’s going to be ok “in the end”. In the meantime I treasure friends, a job I truly enjoy responding to natural disasters, all the humor we can fit in a day and my continuous expeditions in the kitchen. The little things like watching birds and squirrels that hop around my trees, sitting out on my front patio just enjoying the weather or a late night fire, the feeling of satisfaction after some not so often enough manual labor and the comfort I get in prayer (started praying the Liturgy of the Hours).

    I’ll go with “necessary.”  “Wise” also works.

    • #3
  4. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    I feel like I’m living out my last days of peace and prosperity. Somehow I thought it would last longer. Sad for my daughters and all young people.

    I’m trying desperately to avoid the rage. I have lost some close friends – and not really from anything I said or did, politics just got too ridiculous and they were over-fixated. I must say I have lost respect for them in some ways, so that’s part of it. 

    I take out my political passions here. It’s like therapy. And maybe sometimes I’m blunt and mean. You are all just Avatars to me LOL! Seriously I’m much more cordial and accepting in person. 

    I think your feelings and thoughts are absolutely justified and normal.

    • #4
  5. Foghorn Coolidge
    Foghorn
    @Dave Rogers

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Most of us sentient beings on the right are appalled and have little hope for our nation. Welcome to the party pal !

    Yeah I figure I’m a bit late to the party but I’ll blame that on my attempt to be optimistic. The optimism has been waning.

    • #5
  6. Foghorn Coolidge
    Foghorn
    @Dave Rogers

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    I’m an optimist by nature. But I find myself struggling a bit as well.

    The Biden Administration is going much better than I anticipated so far. But it’s early yet, and things could go very badly very quickly.

    I’m trying to spend less time following national events as well. Which, of course, is exactly what leftists want. But they’re wearing me down…

    If you call this administration being better than you anticipated I’m not sure I want to know what you actually expected. This is already bad enough.

    • #6
  7. Foghorn Coolidge
    Foghorn
    @Dave Rogers

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I live & die for my family & my faith knowing that it’s going to be ok “in the end”. In the meantime I treasure friends, a job I truly enjoy responding to natural disasters, all the humor we can fit in a day and my continuous expeditions in the kitchen. The little things like watching birds and squirrels that hop around my trees, sitting out on my front patio just enjoying the weather or a late night fire, the feeling of satisfaction after some not so often enough manual labor and the comfort I get in prayer (started praying the Liturgy of the Hours).

    I’ll go with “necessary.” “Wise” also works.

    I certainly wouldn’t call me wise but I like “necessary” cause it really is. Too many people still counting on me and I keep the house laughing which helps us deal with all the other stuff.

    • #7
  8. Foghorn Coolidge
    Foghorn
    @Dave Rogers

    Franco (View Comment):

    I feel like I’m living out my last days of peace and prosperity. Somehow I thought it would last longer. Sad for my daughters and all young people.

    I share that thought. I too am sad for my daughter and all the young people I know. Don’t think they will ever know the country I grew up loving. 

    • #8
  9. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    Foghorn: If Nixon had been treated like Trump there wouldn’t be a prison big enough to hold all the federal employees that would have been sent to it.

    Imagine if Obama…   we’d need to turn Australia back into a prison colony to hold all the perps.

    • #9
  10. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    I find myself in agreement with much of the original post. Things do look rather bleak, but then I recall some of the past challenges this nation has surmounted despite this being a fallen world: the Revolution, the myriad financial collapses and crises over the decades, the Great Depression, WWs I and II, the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations, the 1968-70s rise of the extreme New Left, the malaise of the Carter years, and more.

    Then I think maybe we might just pull it out after all. And I pray for our Republic, the only nation I know of that was founded on natural rights and human liberty. Not yet perfected, but a lot better 200+ years’ track record than sinful human nature has any right to expect.

     

    • #10
  11. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Fritz (View Comment):

    I find myself in agreement with much of the original post. Things do look rather bleak, but then I recall some of the past challenges this nation has surmounted despite this being a fallen world: the Revolution, the myriad financial collapses and crises over the decades, the Great Depression, WWs I and II, the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations, the 1968-70s rise of the extreme New Left, the malaise of the Carter years, and more.

    Then I think maybe we might just pull it out after all. And I pray for our Republic, the only nation I know of that was founded on natural rights and human liberty. Not yet perfected, but a lot better 200+ years’ track record than sinful human nature has any right to expect.

     

    I see politics (even history, if you want) as cyclical.  The worst, and essentially selfish, thing I can think of is that I won’t be around when things turn for the better–but I’m betting that I will.  Our “enemies” always overplay their hand (hence the cyclical), which provokes the proverbial “equal and opposite reaction.”  I bet it’s coming, starting in November.

    • #11
  12. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    I don’t worry about me.  I worry about my grandchildren.

    • #12
  13. Foghorn Coolidge
    Foghorn
    @Dave Rogers

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    I see politics (even history, if you want) as cyclical. The worst, and essentially selfish, thing I can think of is that I won’t be around when things turn for the better–but I’m betting that I will. Our “enemies” always overplay their hand (hence the cyclical), which provokes the proverbial “equal and opposite reaction.” I bet it’s coming, starting in November.

    I pray you are right which is the optimistic side of me that still votes.

    • #13
  14. Foghorn Coolidge
    Foghorn
    @Dave Rogers

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    I don’t worry about me. I worry about my grandchildren.

    The optimistic side resides with Fritz. The other side agrees with you although I’ll never have grandchildren. 

    • #14
  15. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    I don’t worry about me. I worry about my grandchildren.

    Similar. I really don’t care what happens to me at this point (which is why I ignored Covid and refused any accommodation as the oldest in the family) but I lay awake at night worrying what world my grandchildren will live in. 

    The two books I can’t get out of my head is The Giver and This Perfect Day. Both have a manufactured conformity. And This Perfect Day predicted Amazon, wherein at some point in the future they’re your only supplier. And they can refuse your business based on your ESG score. 

    • #15
  16. Foghorn Coolidge
    Foghorn
    @Dave Rogers

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    I don’t worry about me. I worry about my grandchildren.

    Similar. I really don’t care what happens to me at this point (which is why I ignored Covid and refused any accommodation as the oldest in the family) but I lay awake at night worrying what world my grandchildren will live in.

    The two books I can’t get out of my head is The Giver and This Perfect Day. Both have a manufactured conformity. And This Perfect Day predicted Amazon, wherein at some point in the future they’re your only supplier. And they can refuse your business based on your ESG score.

    Annefy,

    I’m with you in that I don’t really care what happens to me. I’ve got to a point where I actually expect to be persecuted or prosecuted for my beliefs be they faith or political.

    As to the other point we don’t need Amazon to do that. We saw Canada freezing bank accounts of those that were protesting in Ottawa. The government will just shut off your accounts. Also I’m retired military and a federal government employee so I expect my job to be in jeopardy as well as my retirement income.

    • #16
  17. hoowitts Coolidge
    hoowitts
    @hoowitts

    The common thread from OP and comments seems to be a palpable fearfulness for the next generation (or two) balanced by an underlying optimism that the cyclical nature of history will somehow keep the ship righted.  And they are intrinsically related which presents a problem.

    History doesn’t just ‘work itself out’ without those willing to sacrifice, struggle, fight-for, (insert your favorite word for endeavor) what is right. What is good. What is true. What is beautiful. And it also does not happen overnight. Maybe we don’t even see the finish line in our own lifetime.

    And never forget the “other side” is motivated and unwavering in pursuit of their future vision. We must believe them when the messiah of the Left says they want to fundamentally change the USA and they are on the right side of history.

    The Left’s advantage? Their motivations are unconstrained by compassion and lack any moral compass. They are shameless, uncivil and indecent. This creates an unlevel playing field. In addition they currently control many levers of political and cultural power today. These are not permanent. And yes: Republicans barely seem an improvement.

    But the Left’s greatest weakness? Their vision is a chimera. Their expressions of good, true, right and beautiful are illusory…and destructive. The annals of history bear this out. It will fall apart but…not without a dissenting alternative. We are part of that dissension but it cannot just be words. We must live out this dissension in full view of everyone to see, especially who we would consider our enemies.

    This is not meant to be pollyannish in anyway. I sympathize and recognize my own frustrations as Annefy, Foghorn, Fritz, DrB, etc. expressed. And the rage Franco mentioned? Yup. I feel you man.

    But I’ll offer a dissension to Buckpasser and Annefy: we must care about what happens to us. Even living for the next generation our current lives matter as examples. That flirtation with Nihilism toward oneself will not go unnoticed, even by the most distracted generation. If you don’t seem to matter, then what hope can they feel?

    I think Dr B hit on something vital: reject the national/worldwide narrative. Not asking you to ignore it. But living in my everyday life, meeting everyday people (in D.C., Sedona, Raleigh, Chicago, JMU and rural VA in the last 60 days) civility begets civility; hope begets hope; kindness begets kindness. We must continue to fight the good fight in the face of perceived hopelessness. OK that was cheesy but nonetheless true

    • #17
  18. Foghorn Coolidge
    Foghorn
    @Dave Rogers

    hoowitts (View Comment

    But I’ll offer a dissension to Buckpasser and Annefy: we must care about what happens to us. Even living for the next generation our current lives matter as examples. That flirtation with Nihilism toward oneself will not go unnoticed, even by the most distracted generation. If you don’t seem to matter, then what hope can they feel?

    I think Dr B hit on something vital: reject the national/worldwide narrative. Not asking you to ignore it. But living in my everyday life, meeting everyday people (in D.C., Sedona, Raleigh, Chicago, JMU and rural VA in the last 60 days) civility begets civility; hope begets hope; kindness begets kindness. We must continue to fight the good fight in the face of perceived hopelessness. OK that was cheesy but nonetheless true

    Maybe cheesy but I agree with the concept which is why I still vote & don’t just give up. I don’t care what happens to me not in the sense of hopelessness but in the sense that I haven’t given up & expect to pay a price for it but I don’t think it will turn around until well after I’m gone. I’m willing to pay that price simply because I think it’s a hill worth dying on.

    • #18
  19. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I have hope for our nation.  While people are easily fooled (Democrat voters and never-Trumpers), most of them eventually get it right and put the right people on office.  Sure, they’ll fall of the wagon once things are fixed and vote Democrat again, but that’s typically an American thing.  I once heard it said that Americans need a kick in the teeth before they take action (think Pearl Harbor and 9/11).  Today, the kick in the teeth is the lack of law enforcement (surging crime), the violation of our children by the state (LGBT grooming), and runaway inflation (high gas & diesel prices being key).

    • #19
  20. hoowitts Coolidge
    hoowitts
    @hoowitts

    Foghorn (View Comment):
    I don’t care what happens to me not in the sense of hopelessness but in the sense that I haven’t given up & expect to pay a price for it but I don’t think it will turn around until well after I’m gone. I’m willing to pay that price simply because I think it’s a hill worth dying on.

    Preach brother! Love it.

    But I detect a hint of martyrdom that requires a cautious nature. It was a part of my personal maturation as a soldier half-a-lifetime ago and now in my faith. History has shown humans have great difficulty elevating martyrdom for the sake of martyrdom. Thus becoming an idol.

    A willingness to pay the price should never become a desire to do so. 

    • #20
  21. Foghorn Coolidge
    Foghorn
    @Dave Rogers

    hoowitts (View Comment):

    Foghorn (View Comment):
    I don’t care what happens to me not in the sense of hopelessness but in the sense that I haven’t given up & expect to pay a price for it but I don’t think it will turn around until well after I’m gone. I’m willing to pay that price simply because I think it’s a hill worth dying on.

    Preach brother! Love it.

    But I detect a hint of martyrdom that requires a cautious nature. It was a part of my personal maturation as a soldier half-a-lifetime ago and now in my faith. History has shown humans have great difficulty elevating martyrdom for the sake of martyrdom. Thus becoming an idol.

    A willingness to pay the price should never become a desire to do so.

    Not going to make a saint or a very good martyr. As for idol, too many stupid things in my past to ever make that grade. I’d like to live out my life in quiet anonymity. Walks on the beach with my wife & listen to a minor league ballgame on the radio at night I’m content.  But at the speed of things I don’t know if I’ll make it.  I hope your cyclical idea is right.

    Back towards the end of my active duty career I met a survivor of the Bataan Death March & we talked about what it takes to survive something like that. I’d be scared stiff to have be put to that test as I am now about what I see coming. He told me it was the ones who weren’t scared who folded. Read Viktor Frankl, even the survivors aren’t proud of some the things they did to survive. Really don’t want to find out. I’m just praying that the pendulum swings back in the other direction far enough to forestall the future some of us see.

    Now this is getting way too heavy & brainy for me. I’m gonna go back & reread some of Mark Alexander’s meme posts. 

    • #21
  22. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    hoowitts (View Comment):

    But I detect a hint of martyrdom that requires a cautious nature. It was a part of my personal maturation as a soldier half-a-lifetime ago and now in my faith. History has shown humans have great difficulty elevating martyrdom for the sake of martyrdom. Thus becoming an idol.

    A willingness to pay the price should never become a desire to do so.

    So true, and your last sentence is priceless wisdom.

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The prayer will take you a long way. Not only are you praying with millions who do your order of prayer, but all of us who rely on prayer and find strength in it. Hang in there.

    • #23
  24. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    Unfortunately I don’t think any of what you say is wrong, I just don’t have any other option than to behave as though you’re being short sighted. Definitely not naive, though. Young as I may be, I’m pretty confident that, if I’m lucky, the satisfaction I’ll get out of this life will be mostly private. By the standards most of you can point to–and I think you’re correct to hold to those–I won’t live in a good country. We’re probably a few generations off from good. But I find some motivation there, and the alternative is to watch everything burn in a way that we can only imagine.

    I think this is winnable in the long run. We’re probably looking at the best in the right’s had since the late 70s. The left used to offer the youth a misguided good time and self-love, now they offer bitterness and “affirming” plastic surgery. The question is what we can offer them as recourse.

     

    • #24
  25. hoowitts Coolidge
    hoowitts
    @hoowitts

    Foghorn (View Comment):
    He told me it was the ones who weren’t scared who folded. Read Viktor Frankl, even the survivors aren’t proud of some the things they did to survive. Really don’t want to find out.

    So much this. Courage and pride are rare bedfellows

     

    Foghorn (View Comment):
    Now this is getting way too heavy & brainy for me. I’m gonna go back & reread some of Mark Alexander’s meme posts. 

    But even more this! Ricochet’s very own Eminem (Mark’s Memes) brightens my day several times each week.

    • #25
  26. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Foghorn:

    So many aspects of what is “normal” today would have only been imagined in Eastern Europe or South America 40 years ago. The America of my late teens (1977) when I enlisted was something to be proud to defend. Today I have stopped even looking at the news cause I can tell you what’s going to happen on about any issue without having to follow the details. It really doesn’t matter anymore who I vote for cause either they’re going to get destroyed or I’m going to find out that when the chips are down they fold or switch sides. Is it obvious to anyone else besides me that we are already living in a one-party socialist state? My parents would be shocked to see what we have made of what they left us.

    You could look at things in a different way.  You could be living in Brazil or Iran or Turkey or Nigeria or a host of other places in the world where things are arguably much, much worse than they are here in the United States. 

    I know that many people on the Left argue that Denmark or Sweden or Canada is a better place to live than the United States.  That’s their opinion and one wonders why, if things are so bad here in the United Statas and so good there in Denmark, Sweden or Canada, that they don’t move there.  

    Also, I was in grade school in 1977 and things seemed like they were going bad back then too.  Jimmy Carter was the new president and talked about our inordinate fear of communism . . . . . until the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 apparently changed Carter’s mind.  

    Also in 1979, when I was in junior high school, Iranian radicals took our diplomats hostage for over a year.  

    People were waiting in line for an hour in order to fill up their car with gasoline and often the gasoline stations would sell out of gasoline about 2 hours into their workday so they would be closed for most of the day.  

    Things are bad now.  But they weren’t that good back then either.  

    My opinion is that people will gripe when a Republican is president and people will gripe when a Democrat is president.  But in reality, Americans get to enjoy really good lives, lots of great music, great sporting events, kayaking, tennis, golf, surfing.  

    So, while I think those who gripe about things have a point, who told them that heaven was on earth?  

    • #26
  27. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Things are bad now.  But they weren’t that good back then either.  

    My opinion is that people will gripe when a Republican is president and people will gripe when a Democrat is president.  But in reality, Americans get to enjoy really good lives, lots of great music, great sporting events, kayaking, tennis, golf, surfing.  

    So, while I think those who gripe about things have a point, who told them that heaven was on earth?  

    Sorry to inform you that things weren’t as bad – not nearly as bad – as today. I was already an adult in those days. At the time of the hostage crisis, I was living in Cairo.

    Yes, America is infinitely better than Egypt BTW.

    I did recently spend a couple weeks in Italy. I was quite envious of their lifestyle, I have to say. 

    Apparently you missed the phoney pandemic that lasted for two years – and may return, You missed the political prisoners being held in DC as we speak. You missed the censorship and deplatforming of political opponents. You missed that in 1979, we had something of a working press and an honest media. You’re missing the insanity of “climate change” and transgenderism. You are missing the riots of Antifa and BLM, the newly developed narrative on racism and “white supremecy” . You missed Trudeu a friend of American Democrats, seize bank accounts of ordinary Canadians citizens in effect claiming that protesting is a form of “terrorism”. I could go on.

    As to competence, I’ll take Jimmah over Joe any day of the week.

     

    • #27
  28. hoowitts Coolidge
    hoowitts
    @hoowitts

    HeavyWater (View Comment):
    You could look at things in a different way.  You could be living in Brazil or Iran or Turkey or Nigeria or a host of other places in the world where things are arguably much, much worse than they are here in the United States

    My opinion is that people will gripe when a Republican is president and people will gripe when a Democrat is president.  But in reality, Americans get to enjoy really good lives, lots of great music, great sporting events, kayaking, tennis, golf, surfing.  

    So, while I think those who gripe about things have a point, who told them that heaven was on earth?  

    Short answer – there is no heaven on Earth.

    But I would ask this question: WHY have Americans enjoyed the really good lives? WHY have things been much worse in, as you mentioned, Brazil, Iran, Turkey or Nigeria? (BTW, that’s an awfully short list when comparing where things are much worse)

    The point isn’t that each side complains about the other. Yes, they certainly do. And right now conservatives are complaining about both sides.

    The point seems to be this: so few of our leaders on either side are interested in conserving the ideas and policies that created an exceptional America.

    You seem to express a shine to these things that make America great. I enjoy them also. How do we intend on keeping them?

    • #28
  29. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Fr. Sirico of The Acton Institute tells my favorite story relating to American and western civilization decline. When he moved into the rectory where he lives, there was a tree in the front yard with leaves and blooms only on part of the tree. He called in an arborist to advise him on how to improve the tree’s health. The arborist took one look and said, “that tree is dead.” Fr. Sirico argued with him and said, “no, look there are even blooms on one part of it.” The arborist replied, “it’s living on last year’s sap.”

    That’s America and the West generally. It’s living on the legacy of its Judeo-Christian sensibilities and capitalism. But, it’s in the process of using up all the nutrients from that past and then it’s all over. Slowly at first, and then quickly.

    I don’t know that the Chinese are in any better shape, in reality. But, I don’t think it matters much. Without a return to virtue, this civilization cannot be sustained. And that’s entirely a bottom-up effort — one conversion to reality and truth at a time. In the meantime, “parents” (and I use the term loosely) are taking their kids to drag queen porno dance bars in Dallas. Can’t. last.

    I’ll finish with this:

    “To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” — Confucius

    • #29
  30. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Foghorn: The America of my late teens (1977) when I enlisted was something to be proud to defend.

    The 70’s also gave us the atrocious Roe v. Wade decision.  For most of my life I assumed overturning it was an impossible dream, but now after decades of pro-life activism and building up the conservative legal movement we’re on the verge of achieving the impossible, God willing and the creek don’t rise.

    That alone ought to be grounds to reject defeatism.

    • #30
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