I don't really want to write about the state of politics in my country. Really, to call the events in the news here "politics" feels like I'm trivializing them.
I don't have any special insights or opinions to share. I would rather write a post about our car shopping travails (we want a plug in hybrid to replace our almost 12-year-old Prius and are finding it difficult to find some of our top contenders to even test drive let alone buy right now). But it seems like I should acknowledge the current situation.
Like a lot of people, I'm exhausted by it all. I don't know what to make of what little we've heard of the Mueller report. I don't know whether there is much hope of us ever seeing the full report. I don't if releasing the full report will really matter in any substantive way - is there anyone out there who is still on the fence in their opinions of this President and this presidency? Is there any meaningful chance that the central figures in all of this will actually face any consequences for their actions? I don't know.
I feel like we've spent two and a half years in a maelstrom, and I don't know see how we get out of it. I hate how it is curdling so many aspects of life. We all seem so much more suspicious of each other, and I'm struggling to keep to my personal goal of viewing people's intentions in the best light. The exchange I had with the anonymous commenter on my recent weekend reading post about climate change is a case in point - that commenter was not commenting in bad faith, but I assumed otherwise at first. That is not how I want to be (sorry, anonymous!) and I am going to try to do better. But it is hard, when our entire public discourse seems to be permeated with bad faith.
So what to do? I've started writing postcards again. I need to go buy some more card stock so that I can keep that up. Like before, I find it calming to do something tangible.
I've also been learning about the Democratic candidates for the 2020 Presidential election. I don't have a clue who I'll vote for yet. I can definitively say that I'll vote for any of the Democrats over Trump, but that isn't saying much, really.
I have decided how I will decide, though - I have decided that I will vote for the candidate I think will make the best President, without regard for electability concerns. The reason I've decided that is simple: I don't think I can judge who is most electable. I hear all the Never Trump Republicans arguing that Democrats need to nominate a candidate with X or Y attributes so that moderate Republicans will vote for them... and I don't believe them. I don't believe that who we nominate will make a meaningful difference in what moderate Republicans do. And even if it would, I don't think I can assess which candidate will be the one moderate Republicans would vote for. I just don't believe what any of the people writing these columns say in terms of who they'd vote for, and I certainly don't believe they know who other Republicans would vote for. I think their time and energy would be better spent on a primary challenge of their own and I am suspicious of their reasons for not mobilizing behind one.
That probably comes back to the cynicism created by the feeling that we're swimming in bad faith. I hate that I feel that way, but it is the truth.
Even if I could figure out which candidate moderate Republicans would vote for, I don't think I can assess how that would play out versus higher or lower motivation among the Democratic base.
And that's not even thinking about how various actors will use social media, etc., to influence who votes.
I've just decided that I can't answer the question of which Democratic candidate has the best chance of winning in the general election, and am going to vote for the one I like the best and let the chips fall where they may.
Also, I will keep writing postcards and working to elect Democrats down ticket, because we have to reverse the rot in our democracy from the bottom up, I think. I may find some other ways to be active, and if I do, I may post about them. Mostly, though, I want to post about other things, and I am going to try to get some of those other posts written (for here, Adjusted Latitudes, and my real name blog). I'm going to make sure I spend enough time on the things that make me happy so that I can make it through this period in American life with my sanity intact.
So that's how I'm dealing with life in the maelstrom. How about you?