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Cynicism and the real world
By islander
November 8, 2021 4:54 am
Category: Opinion

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Very insightful piece by Teri. Well worth reading!

Excerpt from her article:

"I agree with this from Michiko Kakutani: “Outrage leads to fatigue, which leads to cynicism, which causes people to give up on democratic processes.”

Many on the right-wing make statements intended to trigger outrage on the left. This creates a loop: The left gets outraged, and then the sight of the outraged left thrills the right-wing. Throw in left-wing outrage merchants, and you have a constant, exhausting storm that will wear everyone out.

If the people who want democracy are worn out, who is going to do the work to save democracy?

If you are a cynic, you read everything as a failure and that is exhausting."

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Comments on "Cynicism and the real world":

  1. by HatetheSwamp on November 8, 2021 5:18 am

    As I see it, this is a chicken and egg thing.

    Do you want to know where the antiSwamp movement came from?

    It's the dysfunction, heck evil, evil of the Swamp that created Donald Trump. Cynicism is the logical and necessary response to what the DC political culture has become.

    It seems to me that the people who want "democracy" are the people are now antiSwamp.

  2. by Donna on November 8, 2021 8:48 am
    Interesting piece, islander.

    How do you feel about third parties? I ask because some of the most cynical people on the left are hopeful about third parties rising to prominence.

  3. by Curt_Anderson on November 8, 2021 10:51 am
    I hope that islander agrees with me about third parties. Namely, third parties are counter-productive to the goals and desires of those most likely to vote for
    a third party candidate.

    In our non-parliamentary form of government, in which we don't have coalition governments formed by multiple competing political parties, third parties syphon votes from the major party that shares most of their views and objectives. Since most elections are decided by single digits, third parties can play spoiler to the most like-minded political party.

    On CNN this morning, retiring Rep. John Yarmouth (D-KY) lamented Republicans and Democrats who haven't learned how reach a compromise. Yarmouth said when a member of Congress can achieve 70 percent of what they want in a bill, that's a victory.

  4. by islander on November 8, 2021 1:23 pm

    The problem I have with 3rd party (or more) candidates is that the 3rd party candidate make it possible for someone to become president with just over 1/3 of the votes. That means practically 2/3 of the people didn’t want this person to become president.

    I’m all for third party candidates if we have ranked choice voting like we do here in Maine. With ranked choice voting, no candidate can win without a 50% plus majority of the voters approval.

  5. by Donna on November 8, 2021 3:20 pm
    I like ranked ranked choice voting and I wish it were nationwide, but until that happens, I will remain cynical about third parties.

  6. by Curt_Anderson on November 8, 2021 5:19 pm
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I understand that Maine's ranked choice voting is NOT used in presidential elections, your gubernatorial elections or legislative races in the general election.

  7. by islander on November 9, 2021 4:47 am


    Ranked choice voting is now to be used and was used in the 2020 Presidential election here in Maine (a Federal election). The Republicans fought tooth and nail to prevent it. Unfortunately, it still won't be used in the Gubernatorial race or for state legislators. This means former Governor LePage (R) who won his first term with only a 37% plurality in a 5 candidate race and will be running again, and he stands a chance of winning even though most of the voters in Maine have never wanted him to be governor.

    In nine of Maine’s last 11 gubernatorial elections, the winner received less than 50-percent support. In five of those elections, the governor was elected with less than 40 percent of all the votes.

    Ranked choice voting could fix this problem but it would mean making a change to the State's Constitution and this will be a hard fight since, naturally, the Republicans want to make sure this doesn't happen.

  8. by Donna on November 9, 2021 6:54 am
    Unfortunately I don't see ranked choice voting happening nationally anytime soon.

  9. by islander on November 9, 2021 7:50 am


    You're probably quite right about that. I think a big part of the problem is how few people there are who have never heard of ranked choice voting and/or do not understand how it works.

    There is, sad to say, a large number of people who, for obvious reasons, want to keep it that way.

    I try to explain it whenever the opportunity arises and most people, once they understand what it is and how it works, would be in favor of it.

  10. by islander on November 9, 2021 7:53 am

    That should have been, "how [many] people there are who have never heard of ranked choice voting".

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