Thursday, October 05, 2006

Cindy Sheehan's Lonely Hearts Club

It’s been said that all politics is local. The 60’s generation took it a bit farther and claimed that politics is personal. Now it’s getting intimate.

According to an ad in the in the New York Times this morning, Cindy Sheehan is speaking tonight about war atrocities and there will be a “singles reception” afterwards where you can presumably get progressive if you know what I mean.

Political activism, particularly on the Left, is a popular means for expressing one’s identity as much as it is a way to influence political decisions. But what fascinates me are those who really don’t understand the issues all that well and don’t expect to influence politics at all.

They’re attracted to the affirmation that they are “doing the right thing” by being against war, against environmental catastrophe, against torture, starvation, nuclear disaster, death, disease, mean people.

Anger is kind of a rush and politics is one of the few socially acceptable channels for getting barking mad.

Being in favor of something is . . . well, that’s a little more difficult.

Anyone who has worked on a real political campaign knows that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people and the rest are hangers-on who are there for the camaraderie, the songs, the excitement and the chance to meet other lonely people like themselves. They don’t care about winning an election or changing the world. They just want to be loved.

This is politics as therapy and having been on both sides of the divide, I can tell you, Republicans are in it to change the world, and get laid if there’s time. For Democrats, it’s exactly the opposite.

Case in point? Come to the 92nd Street Y tonight and hear an activist. Or if you prefer, save 25 bucks and just check out the action.

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