Condemnation Mindset: Bad Habits Are Hard to Break

 

When November 8 arrives, I thought I would be one of the happiest people on the block. Finally, the bickering, nastiness, and bitterness would tone down, and we would be able to enjoy what I think will be a victory of sorts and even a new beginning.

Or will we feel victorious?

Like many people at Ricochet, I have probably been as critical of the political Right as I have been of the Left. We have experienced so much disappointment from our leaders and have little to no reason to believe that the future will be different. I’m beginning to wonder if we are so conditioned to finding fault with our leaders that even if they do some things well, we will complain about just about anything they do.

For example, we may be delighted to see the Republicans start investigations. But they aren’t the investigations that we’d prioritize. Or they focus on new legislation, but the content is weak and ineffective, just to get it past Joe Biden’s veto. Or they will bribe the Democrats with costly bills to pacify them, just to get them on board for other legislation. Or they try to give the fossil fuel industry a boost, but they offer the wrong kinds of incentives.

In other words, they will give us even more reason than ever to resent, even despise them.

When I think of the aftermath of the election, I want so much to be assessing the results incorrectly.

Please tell me I’m wrong.

Published in Domestic Policy
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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I am happy to cheer them when they do well. 

     

     

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I am happy to cheer them when they do well.

     

     

    Thanks, Bryan. I guess I was thinking of the saying that one, “aw s–t” wipes out 5 “atta boys.” Some of us have high expectations, and the disappointments may very well wipe out the productive acts in our own minds.

    • #2
  3. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Susan Quinn: Please tell me I’m wrong.

    I wish I could, I really wish I could.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Please tell me I’m wrong.

    I wish I could, I really wish I could.

    And if I’m not careful, I may be a guilty as anyone, Chuck.

    • #4
  5. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I am happy to cheer them when they do well.

     

     

    Thanks, Bryan. I guess I was thinking of the saying that one, “aw s–t” wipes out 5 “atta boys.” Some of us have high expectations, and the disappointments may very well wipe out the productive acts in our own minds.

    That is true on the ratio. 

    I am also willing to bash them when they screw up. 

    • #5
  6. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Susan, this is one of the few times that I hope you are wrong.

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Susan, this is one of the few times that I hope you are wrong.

    I’m getting worn down by all the rancor, Jim. It just seems like most posts are so bitter and angry, that I find myself avoiding many of them. But maybe people need the chance to vent, and I can always choose not to read certain posts.

    • #7
  8. She Member
    She
    @She

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Susan, this is one of the few times that I hope you are wrong.

    Me, too.  (Or, as is more grammatically correct, “I also.”)

    I’m getting worn down by all the rancor, Jim.

    While I refuse to get worn down by it, I understand your frustration with it.  If only those who write the interminable “WE ARE AT DEFCON ONE!” posts realized that many respond negatively, perhaps they’d try to find another way to persuade us to their point of view.  But that assumes that persuading others to their point of view is actually their objective.  Perhaps it’s not.  Perhaps they’re more focused on wearing others down into disappointment, ill-temper,  and failure.  If that’s the case, I will not comply.

    It just seems like most posts are so bitter and angry, that I find myself avoiding many of them. But maybe people need the chance to vent, and I can always choose not to read certain posts.

    I consider a “venting” post to be one in which a person I regard as–for the most part–sane and rational has clearly had enough about a particular issue, and just lets fly.  Then there are members who seem to have no focus that doesn’t involve angry, vengeful, bitter posts, and who write only to inflame or to divide.  They’re not venting.  They’re pushing an agenda.

    All I have to say on that score is that “this too shall pass.”   And that experience tells me that one or more of them will grow up in time and return to the fold.  And that they’ll be welcomed when they do.

    So let it be written.  So let it be done.

    • #8
  9. Freeven Member
    Freeven
    @Freeven

    It used to be that you could comfortably stake out a position on the spectrum from Apolitical to Activist and people would mostly be okay with that. Now, being apolitical is barely an option. Everything is In Your Face, Take a Side or We’re Coming For You. It’s constant, and it wears you down.

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Freeven (View Comment):

    It used to be that you could comfortably stake out a position on the spectrum from Apolitical to Activist and people would mostly be okay with that. Now, being apolitical is barely an option. Everything is In Your Face, Take a Side or We’re Coming For You. It’s constant, and it wears you down.

    But I think that this is because our country is so broken and depraved that it seems beyond comprehension, at least to some of us, while the apolitical have let it happen, at least to some extent.

    The judicial sabotage and executive no enforcement of many laws has also been frustrating.

    • #10
  11. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Susan, I think we’ll enjoy a feeling of victory for a while, if there is a red wave next week.

    There could be some favorable changes at the state and local level in some places.

    A victory in Congress probably won’t accomplish much yet.  It is possible that Biden might go along, as Clinton did in the 90s with some reforms, though I’m not optimistic.  A victory at this time will prevent the Dems from passing some bad laws, but probably won’t result in repeal of bad laws already on the books.

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

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Susan, I think we’ll enjoy a feeling of victory for a while, if there is a red wave next week.

    There could be some favorable changes at the state and local level in some places.

    A victory in Congress probably won’t accomplish much yet. It is possible that Biden might go along, as Clinton did in the 90s with some reforms, though I’m not optimistic. A victory at this time will prevent the Dems from passing some bad laws, but probably won’t result in repeal of bad laws already on the books.

    You could very well be right, Jerry. I hope so.

    • #12
  13. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Reminds me of a post I wrote in 2015:  Some thoughts on anger.

    (The first link, to the sadly-defunct blog of DragonFly Girl, is no longer operative.  The link to Grim’s excellent post, though, is still good)

     

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    There’s nothing inherently bad about anger, although the Dalai Lama might disagree. Be clear on the reason for your anger. Working out your anger on someone who doesn’t deserve it is wrong. Holding someone accountable might be needed. But living in an angry state is usually debilitating and destructive 

    • #14
  15. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    I think there will be a red wave next week. I believe it will be an important victory, but just a first of several necessary victories. 

    I analogize it to the Battle of Midway. The US sank four Japanese carriers and stopped the Japanese advance. But it still took another 3 years and 3 months until the US finally defeated Japan.  Similarly a major red wave will only check the Progressives. It will take another three years and three months to defeat them – and that assumes we win the Presidency and expand our margins in Congrees.

    S0, it will be  start. An important start, but just the start. Ultimate victory comes later – after a lot of work.

    • #15
  16. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    My worry is the sense that the Democrats ( for example, HRC) are starting to flip from “The Republicans are election deniers.  Biden won!” to “We knew the Republicans would cheat!”  They don’t care what violence they stir up.

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

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    S0, it will be  start. An important start, but just the start. Ultimate victory comes later – after a lot of work.

    I agree, Seawriter. But I think many people have become impatient, disgusted with the governance of Republicans and determined that things change. Will Republicans be willing to put in the necessary work to make things happen from the start, in spite of Dems resistance and Biden’s veto power–I don’t know. Although people may feel better about raging at the Republicans, I doubt that it will move the Republicans.

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    My worry is the sense that the Democrats ( for example, HRC) are starting to flip from “The Republicans are election deniers. Biden won!” to “We knew the Republicans would cheat!” They don’t care what violence they stir up.

    No doubt about it, Willow Spring. The election deniers will be coming out of the woodwork. But of course, when they do it, it’s legitimate. 

    • #18
  19. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Well, we will probably be short of some heroes, but it won’t be as bad as if Nancy & Chuck were in charge.

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

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Well, we will probably be short of some heroes, but it won’t be as bad as if Nancy & Chuck were in charge.

    Point taken, Rodin. Still, it’s too bad that I seem to be expecting “heroes,” when I just want people to do their jobs. But the meaning of that idea is now archaic.

    • #20
  21. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Well, we will probably be short of some heroes, but it won’t be as bad as if Nancy & Chuck were in charge.

    Pelosi & Schumer? (Took me a minute)

     

    • #21
  22. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Well, we will probably be short of some heroes, but it won’t be as bad as if Nancy & Chuck were in charge.

    Pelosi & Schumer? (Took me a minute)

     

    Yes, I apologize to all Nancys and Chucks other than Pelosi and Schumer. 

    • #22
  23. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    I analogize it to the Battle of Midway. The US sank four Japanese carriers and stopped the Japanese advance. But it still took another 3 years and 3 months until the US finally defeated Japan.  Similarly a major red wave will only check the Progressives. It will take another three years and three months to defeat them – and that assumes we win the Presidency and expand our margins in Congress.

    I like this analogy.  I might add that Republicans will blow it if they first thing they do is launch an endless series of investigative committees.  While they need to be done, the top priority should be to pull the emergency brake on Biden and the Democrats’ agenda . . .

    • #23
  24. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Chuck (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Well, we will probably be short of some heroes, but it won’t be as bad as if Nancy & Chuck were in charge.

    Pelosi & Schumer? (Took me a minute)

     

    Yes, I apologize to all Nancys and Chucks other than Pelosi and Schumer.

    Probably there are some who got all puffed up – ‘course they don’t do Ricochet.

    • #24
  25. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    Susan Quinn:

    When November 8 arrives, I thought I would be one of the happiest people on the block. Finally, the bickering, nastiness, and bitterness would tone down, and we would be able to enjoy what I think will be a victory of sorts and even a new beginning.

    Or will we feel victorious?

    Let’s get there first, then see what happens next.  Keep the faith burning @susanquinn, trust in the Lord and keep you powder dry.  I would also add, keep your pantry stocked.

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

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    When November 8 arrives, I thought I would be one of the happiest people on the block. Finally, the bickering, nastiness, and bitterness would tone down, and we would be able to enjoy what I think will be a victory of sorts and even a new beginning.

    Or will we feel victorious?

    Let’s get there first, then see what happens next. Keep the faith burning @ susanquinn, trust in the Lord and keep you powder dry. I would also add, keep your pantry stocked.

    I love the AS quote. Perfect timing!

    • #26
  27. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    If neither election is stolen and Republicans actually gain power, enjoy it. Maybe they’ll just  stop some awful stuff, maybe even cut some budget even if they have to spread losses to good guys as well as bad guys.  Stoping awful stuff is historically important over the next two years and we have to have at least one chamber.   

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

    I Walton (View Comment):

    If neither election is stolen and Republicans actually gain power, enjoy it. Maybe they’ll just stop some awful stuff, maybe even cut some budget even if they have to spread losses to good guys as well as bad guys. Stoping awful stuff is historically important over the next two years and we have to have at least one chamber.

    I think we should celebrate every win, even if it’s imperfect. Maybe the Republicans would hear us and realize that we do pay attention to what they do, and that it matters! Thanks, IWalton.

    • #28
  29. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):

    If neither election is stolen and Republicans actually gain power, enjoy it. Maybe they’ll just stop some awful stuff, maybe even cut some budget even if they have to spread losses to good guys as well as bad guys. Stoping awful stuff is historically important over the next two years and we have to have at least one chamber.

    I think we should celebrate every win, even if it’s imperfect. Maybe the Republicans would hear us and realize that we do pay attention to what they do, and that it matters! Thanks, IWalton.

    I thought this in 2016.

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

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):

    If neither election is stolen and Republicans actually gain power, enjoy it. Maybe they’ll just stop some awful stuff, maybe even cut some budget even if they have to spread losses to good guys as well as bad guys. Stoping awful stuff is historically important over the next two years and we have to have at least one chamber.

    I think we should celebrate every win, even if it’s imperfect. Maybe the Republicans would hear us and realize that we do pay attention to what they do, and that it matters! Thanks, IWalton.

    I thought this in 2016.

    And we can assume that 2022 is a rerun and be stuck in that mentality. Or we can look to the future. Your choice.

    • #30
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