Watching a Slow-Moving Train Wreck

 

I’m surrendering. Well, I’m pretty close to surrendering. We had a lively discussion on my most recent post; I worked very hard to point out not only how unjustly the Republicans have been accused of the problems in this country, but also how feckless the Republicans have been in responding to the lies. And I was hoping that all of us could identify not only the glimmers of hope that we are already seeing, but also what positive outcomes could unfold in the future. To your credit, you were honest and direct with me.

There’s little to no hope.

The train wreck has been in process for many years, and for the most part, people shrugged their shoulders: it’s been bad before; we’ve always turned it around; we’ll take care of the problems once we’re back in power; and other assurances.

But the future looks pretty dark right now.

Republicans are still wringing their hands. When we make progress in some areas, we’re still playing a game of whack-a-mole—ban one CRT program and another appears. The Progressives have no reluctance about lying, whether they are describing inflation, the border, or crime. And when they run out of lies, they can always blame Donald Trump and his MAGA constituents.

So, here I sit after clearing my head by cleaning out my refrigerator. (That’s how desperate I was.) After over 1,500 posts, what else do I have to say about the state of our culture and country? Yes, I know I have other subjects I enjoy writing about (religion, personal experience and reflections, even a few fun posts), but I feel compelled to do something to make my tiny contribution to help my country.

But am I doing anything helpful?

My problem is that I can’t imagine not doing or writing anything about our state of affairs. But what’s the point? How does that make a difference?

*     *     *     *

I’m assuming that most of you are interested in current affairs, in particular, the state of our country and our politics. For myself, I read the WSJ, glance at the Orlando Sentinel and am not on any online platforms except this one.

How do you “hold” all the news in your mind and in your heart? Have you stopped reading newspapers? Do you discipline yourself to create a “news-free” zone in your head? Have you found a way to maintain a balance in your outlook and attitudes?

Or have you simply given up on our country? Can you tell me how you do that?

I have had my sad moments these eight years on Ricochet. But I’m just about at my lowest. The next two months seem like forever; the next two years seem like an eternity.

Can you offer suggestions for me, or others like me, for coping with the potential disaster ahead?

[photo courtesy of unsplash.com]

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  1. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    That picture is gorgeous. All I got right now :p

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

    • #2
  3. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    I have hobbies that engulf me – programming, sewing, reading. They draw me in in a way that shuts me out of the world.

    Also, church is a no-politics zone for me. I have church friends that share my politics, but we take politics off church grounds almost like an implicit pact. It is sacred ground. Ministries give me something to focus on and work towards.

    If I’m overwhelmed by current events, these things give me a much needed break through effective distraction and purpose.

    • #3
  4. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Susan,

    Keep thinking, keep writing, keep fighting. If you need a rest take it, but come back swinging.

    • #4
  5. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    I think a couple hundred years from now, the history books will list the “American Period” of history to be from 1776 to 1965 or so.  Not sure exactly, but I think that in retrospect, we’ve already passed the point of no return.

    Once Joe Biden was placed in the presidency, and Democrats began open persecutions of their political opponents with the FBI etc, I could no longer rationalize that things were ok.

    I comfort myself that, while America may not exist anymore, that what comes next could be very good.  I suspect that things will need to get much worse before they get better.  But what comes after that could be good.

    Of course, it could be very bad.  But it could be good.

    Thank God for bourbon.

    • #5
  6. GFHandle Member
    GFHandle
    @GFHandle

    Can you offer suggestions for me, or others like me, for coping with the potential disaster ahead?

    I wish I could. I am thinking of St. Augustine at the end of his life. From Wikipedia

    Shortly before Augustine’s death, the Vandals, a Germanic tribe that had converted to Arianism, invaded Roman Africa. The Vandals besieged Hippo in the spring of 430, when Augustine entered his final illness…. He directed the library of the church in Hippo and all the books therein should be carefully preserved. He died on 28 August 430.[105] Shortly after his death, the Vandals lifted the siege of Hippo, but they returned soon after and burned the city. They destroyed all but Augustine’s cathedral and library, which they left untouched.

    The vandals are gone, but we still read Augustine. So maybe some of the better ideas of the Founders will live on in the hearts and minds and souls of a saving remnant. Meantime, we are fat and enjoying our decline.

    • #6
  7. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    Time to step back and take a break from politics.

    Where there’s life, there’s hope.

    • #7
  8. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    I have zero confidence in the integrity of elections now. The Democrats have perfected cheating and have been given a free pass to keep doing it, by lying Republicans.

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    GFHandle (View Comment):
    The vandals are gone, but we still read Augustine. So maybe some of the better ideas of the Founders will live on in the hearts and minds and souls of a saving remnant.

    This is a comforting thought, GF. Thank you for sharing it.

    • #9
  10. WiesbadenJake Coolidge
    WiesbadenJake
    @WiesbadenJake

    A favorite hymn brings me comfort: “and tho the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet!”

    I have to detach from politics often in order to keep my emotional equilibrium; I am much more disappointed in Republican leadership than the Democrats. Democrats are just doing what Democrats do; the Republican leadership’s failure to be a true opposition party that states ideas and supports all candidates, not just establishment candidates, is very disheartening.

    I lost institutional faith in governmental systems long ago but I still have faith in the common grace and decency of  Americans. Americans like you, Susan, give me hope.

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    WiesbadenJake (View Comment):

    A favorite hymn brings me comfort: “and tho the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet!”

    I have to detach from politics often in order to keep my emotional equilibrium; I am much more disappointed in Republican leadership than the Democrats. Democrats are just doing what Democrats do; the Republican leadership’s failure to be a true opposition party that states ideas and supports all candidates, not just establishment candidates, is very disheartening.

    I lost institutional faith in governmental systems long ago but I still have faith in the common grace and decency of Americans. Americans like you, Susan, give me hope.

    Thanks, Jake. I feel the same way about you. I think I need to make more of an effort to free myself from politics and focus on other things. Like Stina said, I have hobbies that engage my mind and heart. I have my volunteer activities, where I do feel like I’m making a difference. I think I need to make more of an effort to reach out to friends, too; even though I care about them, I’m an introvert so socializing takes emotional energy for me. But people’s comments up to this point have been very encouraging.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    On the WSJ opinion page, there was a piece on all the ways the Dems could damage our future. [Sigh]

    • #12
  13. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    Once Joe Biden was placed in the presidency, and Democrats began open persecutions of their political opponents with the FBI etc, I could no longer rationalize that things were ok.

    Isn’t it odd that so many Republican leaders refuse to acknowledge this persecution is happening?

     

    • #13
  14. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    Spoiler alert: we win in the end. All of us except those that would twist and pervert our system to place themselves above others.

    We needed to lose in 2020. Why? Because we all let Donald Trump do the fighting for us.

    Now we have grass-roots activism because of nutty school boards. Prosecutors are being recalled or suspended for not doing his job in one case. 

    We continue to have a demanding base, discontented with our representation in Washington. This is the Tea Party that won’t go away.

    We continue to kick the bums out, including 10 of 12  ‘pubs that voted to impeach (think that’s the number, all but two are gone as of this primary season). 

    We have stronger election laws in place in eighteen states and counting.

    We see a spreading discontent with leftist woke social engineering.

    We have seen some, and will see more, take ownership over their own wellbeing. 

    Everyone saw the Democrat regulatory state in action, and friends’ businesses and livelihoods torn from them.

    Everyone saw the government lie and people suffer. The overreliance on bureaucratic benevolence is coming to an end. 

    People are deserting over-regulated, woke-crazy states.

    All this above and Mitch McConnell plays his sphinx-ish games. He’s (somewhat) book smart and (totally) street moronic. 

    It will get worse before it gets better. The better part has already started.

    That’s just a bit of it, Susan. The outcome is already decided. I don’t know how to tell you to see the things I do, but I see them nearly every day beyond the awful headlines. These ridiculous people wanted to change things, and things are going to change, just not the way they wanted.

    • #14
  15. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    I think a couple hundred years from now, the history books will list the “American Period” of history to be from 1776 to 1965 or so. Not sure exactly, but I think that in retrospect, we’ve already passed the point of no return.

    Once Joe Biden was placed in the presidency, and Democrats began open persecutions of their political opponents with the FBI etc, I could no longer rationalize that things were ok.

    I comfort myself that, while America may not exist anymore, that what comes next could be very good. I suspect that things will need to get much worse before they get better. But what comes after that could be good.

    Of course, it could be very bad. But it could be good.

    Thank God for bourbon.

    2012 was another mark in time. You can forgive people for hiring an affirmative action candidate for the historical points it gave them. When Obama let the cat out of the bag three days before election day that he was going to fundamentally transform the country and then spent four years doing it, reelecting him was a punch in the gut. Trump was like a candle giving a burst of light before going out, especially with Biden being allowed to steal the election and having 20,000 military members install him. In a way, Obama’s third term.

    You’re right that the rot had already set in and historians might point to something like LBJ’s Great Society.

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Chris O (View Comment):
    That’s just a bit of it, Susan. The outcome is already decided. I don’t know how to tell you to see the things I do, but I see them nearly every day beyond the awful headlines. These ridiculous people wanted to change things, and things are going to change, just not the way they wanted.

    Thanks, Chris. I’ve seen a lot of what you’ve listed, but the question is, can we get some traction and impetus? We’ll have some initial results after November.

    • #16
  17. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Susan Quinn: Can you offer suggestions for me, or others like me, for coping with the potential disaster ahead?

    you should plan on a depression lasting 3 years.   You should be prepared for a 50% drop in investments and losing your job.   You should stock up on cash, water (7 days), food (30 days), and medicines (60 days).   Plan for a loss of electricity and internet and cellular (7 days).  You should fortify a network of like-minded self-sufficient people.  Think of this as scouting for grown-ups.   Keep the car gassed up and bag packed.  After that, enjoy each and every day!

    • #17
  18. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    I’ve been wading into Stoic Philosophy of late, searching for solice as I’ve been kind of disillusioned with formal religion. I’m not some atheist hater of religion but feel marginalized there as  conservative, in much the same way as I feel marginalized in our popular culture. 

    The “good and true” ideas survive, of that I am sure but we don’t have that critical mass right now. 

    ‘To change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference’, it’s a profound  way of thinking that continually obligates us to do what we can, convince who we can, prepare as best we can knowing that there are people and events outside our control. It’s is a continuous process with ebbs and flows in our direction and away from us as well. 

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Can you offer suggestions for me, or others like me, for coping with the potential disaster ahead?

    you should plan on a depression lasting 3 years. You should be prepared for a 50% drop in investments and losing your job. You should stock up on cash, water (7 days), food (30 days), and medicines (60 days). Plan for a loss of electricity and internet and cellular (7 days). You should fortify a network of like-minded self-sufficient people. Think of this as scouting for grown-ups. Keep the car gassed up and bag packed. After that, enjoy each and every day!

    At least I won’t have to worry about losing my job–I’m retired! Thanks, Don.

    • #19
  20. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Chris O (View Comment):
    That’s just a bit of it, Susan. The outcome is already decided. I don’t know how to tell you to see the things I do, but I see them nearly every day beyond the awful headlines. These ridiculous people wanted to change things, and things are going to change, just not the way they wanted.

    Thanks, Chris. I’ve seen a lot of what you’ve listed, but the question is, can we get some traction and impetus? We’ll have some initial results after November.

    Short answer: with the current leadership, no.

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    WI Con (View Comment):
    To change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference’, it’s a profound  way of thinking that continually obligates us to do what we can, convince who we can, prepare as best we can knowing that there are people and events outside our control. It’s is a continuous process with ebbs and flows in our direction and away from us as well. 

    Well said, WiCon. Sometimes those old adages are spot on. Thanks.

    • #21
  22. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    I’ll echo @ChrisO with this observation.  The people who control the narrative and the vast heights of the culture want you to be dispirited so they have a tendency to paint everything in its worst light and everything at its darkest for us.  At this point it isn’t clear that is true.  Reality has a vote and Reality always wins.  It doesn’t matter how people try to spin things the real world cannot be denied forever, so keep the faith an the hope.  America is its people not its government.   It isn’t at all clear that we have lost all with them yet.  In fact it may be that we are about to see the people remind the government of that fact soon.

     

    • #22
  23. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    I think a couple hundred years from now, the history books will list the “American Period” of history to be from 1776 to 1965 or so. Not sure exactly, but I think that in retrospect, we’ve already passed the point of no return.

    Once Joe Biden was placed in the presidency, and Democrats began open persecutions of their political opponents with the FBI etc, I could no longer rationalize that things were ok.

    I comfort myself that, while America may not exist anymore, that what comes next could be very good. I suspect that things will need to get much worse before they get better. But what comes after that could be good.

    Of course, it could be very bad. But it could be good.

    Thank God for bourbon.

    I’d stretch it out until 1990 or thereabouts. I think our last hurrah was the fall of the Berlin Wall.    It’s pretty much been a race to the bottom ever since.   

    • #23
  24. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    I’ll echo @ ChrisO with this observation. The people who control the narrative and the vast heights of the culture want you to be dispirited so they have a tendency to paint everything in its worst light and everything at its darkest for us. At this point it isn’t clear that is true. Reality has a vote and Reality always wins. It doesn’t matter how people try to spin things the real world cannot be denied forever, so keep the faith an the hope. America is its people not its government. It isn’t at all clear that we have lost all with them yet. In fact it may be that we are about to see the people remind the government of that fact soon.

     

    The bolded part above is not true if the oppressors can count the vote in any manner that they choose.

    • #24
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    I’ll echo @ ChrisO with this observation. The people who control the narrative and the vast heights of the culture want you to be dispirited so they have a tendency to paint everything in its worst light and everything at its darkest for us. At this point it isn’t clear that is true. Reality has a vote and Reality always wins. It doesn’t matter how people try to spin things the real world cannot be denied forever, so keep the faith an the hope. America is its people not its government. It isn’t at all clear that we have lost all with them yet. In fact it may be that we are about to see the people remind the government of that fact soon.

     

    The bolded part above is not true if the oppressors can count the vote in any manner that they choose.

    Let’s hope that now that we’ve broadcasted that we know what they’ll try to do, they won’t be so bold, or we’ll catch them in the act. I can hope, can’t I?

    • #25
  26. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Raxxalan (View Comment):

    I’ll echo @ ChrisO with this observation. The people who control the narrative and the vast heights of the culture want you to be dispirited so they have a tendency to paint everything in its worst light and everything at its darkest for us. At this point it isn’t clear that is true. Reality has a vote and Reality always wins. It doesn’t matter how people try to spin things the real world cannot be denied forever, so keep the faith an the hope. America is its people not its government. It isn’t at all clear that we have lost all with them yet. In fact it may be that we are about to see the people remind the government of that fact soon.

     

    This is an important perception.  I’m  more of a pessimist but its true. Sometimes, I perceive the Lefty aggression as evidence that they recognize their weakness, other time I perceive it as the Left recognizing they won’t be resisted. Jury is still out but I’m open to your view.

    • #26
  27. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Hi, Susan.  I looked back and, as I thought, I hadn’t made one comment on your previous post.

    Reading today’s I feel, mostly, a sadness for you.  Cleaning your refrigerator.  I’m even affected by your post.  “I’m surrendering.”  “There’s little to no hope.”

    I think of the Gary’s of the country, and all those who say, “The legal system still works.”

    It doesn’t.  80,000 armed IRS agent.  Mike Flynn saying that the CIA has people in every office in congress.

    Biden’s Red Speech.

    But mostly, the 2020 election was stolen and so many of the members here on Ricochet don’t get it.  A guy who campaigned from his basement, who was clearly in mental decline, who barely got a dozen people at his campaign speeches, who got sudden vote tallies surging into the lead in the middle of the night, after poll counting centers shut down, and with videos of people pulling suitcases out from under tables and running more ballots into machines, unwatched, unsupervised by those who were to lose the election.

    I offered ideas for happy, mass parades in DC (do you remember that?).  And what I got was a set-up breach of the Capitol, and people still in jail for “parading”.

    I offered the idea of a public relations bill board campaign.  What I got was a truly unsettling campaign of “concerned mothers and Trump supporters are domestic terrorists” from the other side.  And “Stand with Trump and go to jail.”  And “DeSantis!  He’ll fight right!”

    But no one has righted the election process, either.

    Who can cut the head off the Hydra?  And I’ll add, all we have is repentance and prayer.  Sack cloth and ashes (whether proverbial or real).

    • #27
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    WI Con (View Comment):
    This is an important perception.  I’m  more of a pessimist but its true. Sometimes, I perceive the Lefty aggression as evidence that they recognize their weakness, other time I perceive it as the Left recognizing they won’t be resisted. Jury is still out but I’m open to your view.

    Makes us feel a little schizophrenic, doesn’t it?

    • #28
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Flicker (View Comment):
    Who can cut the head off the Hydra?  And I’ll add, all we have is repentance and prayer.  Sack cloth and ashes (whether proverbial or real).

    Someone mentioned that 18 states had revised their election laws. Eighteen. Mollie Hemingway looks at the current state of affairs and says she is “despairing” (particularly at the useless–my word–Republicans. I feel her pain.

    • #29
  30. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    Do what you can, you never know what kind of effect that may have on someone else, but do take care of yourself.  You don’t have to shoulder the weight of the world – you can’t, none of us can.  So for now:

    and get a tattoo:

    • #30
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