Kissing Off the Melancholy of the Left
Holly Wood, PhD 🌹

I am sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Washington D.C. so that my granddaughter can sleep unbothered by my 3 a.m. restlessness. I was eighteen in the late Sixties when the government, under both Democratic and Republican Presidents, thought that it would be a good idea to send me and my friends off to be killed, wounded, and traumatized in a stupid, fruitless war.

What I and many “conservatives” of my generation learned was a distrust and hatred of the Federal government. We learned at a very early age, and in a very hard way, to never, ever, look to the Federal government to make things better.

We learned that the Federal government is like a drunken, abusive father. The more power you give him the more he can, and eventually will, hurt you. The best you can do is to take his car keys away and let him wander off in his delirium.

If you find that too hard to accept visit the wall not far from me here in Washington. Visit the virtual wall online and read the names and brief biographies of my friends who died. Picture 53,000 empty hotel rooms with no children or grand-children in them. Am I still pissed after 50 years? Oh yeah. Do I still take it personally? Do I still cry at the wall for my lost friends, yeah.

I hate the Federal government and always will. It never makes anything better. We make things better, in spite of the government. It grudgingly comes along pretending it does good stuff. It does not. It will not, and quite honestly can not. It is like the father of a friend who is so nice, and emotionally available and who will listen to you and make you feel good. And then goes home and beats the shit out of his family behind closed doors.

Your only hope is destroy it. Starve it out. Fuck the department of education. Otherwise some big money players in Texas will control what textbooks YOUR children must be taught with. Fuck the department of agriculture, bought and sold by big agra. Go down the list. Every one of these agencies disempowers you and you will never stop them. Ever. (See shiny black wall with names of friends above.)

Your hearts are true. Your goals are good and noble. End the co-dependancy on your drunken violent benefactor. Stop trying to control and change him. He will never listen to you. He will buy you an ice cream when you cry loudly but that is all. Take the power back to your State. You have power at the State level. The power of lobbyists is 1/50th at the state level. And if you really hate it you can move to another state more in line with your values. You want to help everyone by empowering the Federal government to to grow and control everything and make things better. How is that working out for you even with a Progressive President? Now imagine a Trump Presidency and/or a more conservative Supreme Court.

Any government powerful enough to give you anything you want is powerful enough to take everything you have. Including hard fought for social justice. The pendulum swings both ways.

You aren’t doing anything wrong. You are just going to the wrong place for help in making the change you seek. Fight for less federal government involvement not more. Take back the governorship a and state legislations you have lost. Look at North Carolina to see what happens when the other side wins at the state level while you spin the hamster wheel at the Federal level.

Your Causes are just an honorable and you are working so hard for positive change. It is just so, so sad to see you tying your hopes to that heartless pig of a partner, the Federal government instead of your State where the power is meant to be.