December 3, 2010

DEAR CYNICS- STOP EMAILING ME

You're not going to convince me that all hope is lost and that I should give up. My own life experience, as well as my studies of history, prove to me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the only way to persevere is to do what is right regardless of whether or not it will work.

I get about half a dozen of these emails a week. I guess that means I'm doing something right?

Here's one that I got today:



From: Atheist Howard
To: punkpatriot411@gmail.com
Sent: Fri, December 3, 2010 4:59:32 AM
Subject: I'm sad to say this, but it's time to give up.

I found your youtube website and blog after viewing your "Fix the Economy" video and while I agree with it, I don't see the point of making such a video in the first place. Nothing you say in there is going to be realized. Progressives have lost, it's time to face the music and watch the destruction of the economy and possibly the country. It's time to face the music, there's no light at the end of the tunnel, it's over with. The democratic party has sold us out, after he put so much momentum and support behind President Barack Obama. And now, look at him, he's a complete disappointment. And the Tea Party is rising up, it will take America and there's nothing we can do about it. Ever heard of Rob Bishop? He's a house rep from Utah who's introducing a constitutional amendment to allow states to veto and not follow federal laws, and the tea party is backing removing so many constitutional amendments, including citizenship rights! And it's all going to happen! We're going to see the economy collapse from their economic plans and the complete destruction of our civil liberties, and seeing people like you thinking we have a chance and there's something to do seems horribly unrealistic and crazy, and I'm here to correct you on it.

Our progressive reforms, our economic strengthening, our civil liberties, came from great leaders who gave it "from the top down" FDR for example, because people voted democrat enthusiastically and they were rewarded for it. Now people don't, and the democrats have become a crappy party standing for little different than old guard republicans. Because of such, we're fucked now and not a single progressive thing is happening on a municipal, state or federal level. As Chris Hedges said, it's time not to vote, not to participate, we're fucked and at least we can send a message of disapproval.

Thanks for your time, hope you understand why I sent this message.




And here's my form letter response...

From: punkpatriot411@gmail.com
To: Atheist Howard
Sent: Fri, December 3, 2010 12:11:32 AM
Subject:RE: I'm sad to say this, but it's time to give up.

Hey there. I think I've got you cynics figured out. The reason you spend so much time trying to convince people like myself, the people who have done work to change things for the better, that we're wasting our time, isn't because you're trying to convince us. You're trying to convince you.

If you really believed that everything was without hope, and if you really wanted nothing more than to just sit on the sidelines and watch it all fall down you would be equally amused to watch folks like me struggle as we do, with little help and with little avail.

But instead you make it a point to try to convince us of something other than what our own life experience tells us, something other than what folks like me have found to be empirically true.

You're not actually trying to convince me of anything. My existence, my work, and my philosophy threaten your worldview.
You think you have everything all figured out, but then somebody like myself says something, or does something, that-- at least subconsciously-- calls that into question.

If you really truly didn't care, you'd never have initiated this conversation. You'd have laughed, shook your head, and moved on.

But the truth is, small changes for the better slowly add up to large changes for the better. Just look at Czechoslovakia. Of course, the Velvet Revolution wasn't all good. Nothing in this world is entirely good. Everything has downsides. But some things just suck less. And some governments are less fucked up than others.

To life, liberty, and pursuit of a less fucked-up government,
The Punk Patriot

11 comments:

  1. Nice response. I was wondering why someone who felt that all hope was lost would bother complaining about someone fighting for hope, but you gave a very good reason in your response. I applaud your hard work and continued efforts in the struggle.

    And to Atheist Howard: if you believe no progressive changes will come in state or local levels, take a look at my town and state. Oregon is working for a single payer state health care system, and Portland is constantly improving our innovative and liberal credentials. We're not the only ones...

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  3. I'm not for watching everything crash, I said it's inevitable and that you cannot change it. Big difference. I made that clear in the e-mail, made it clear in the messages I gave you in youtube.

    If you didn't care what I said, if there was no chance to change your mind or even get at you, and thought I was dead wrong, YOU would have shook your head at my comments, laughed and went about your day. Instead, you left dozens of long comments to me, trying desperately to paint me as a foolish "cynic" and how wrong I was, and now you've done this! I must be doing something right, and no I'm not going to stop paying attention to you, because I'm obviously succeeding. You don't fix what's not broken.

    And now on to one of your fans:

    "if you believe no progressive changes will come in state or local levels, take a look at my town and state. Oregon is working for a single payer state health care system, and Portland is constantly improving our innovative and liberal credentials. We're not the only ones... "

    Proof of that? I don't see the third parties, massive pressure groups, and willingness of Oregons government to do that. I don't see that in any state whatsoever towards Single Payer. Because you live there doesn't mean it's more amendable to that. You people are desperately trying to find a light at the end of the tunnel.

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  4. One of my favorite quotes...

    Most people prefer to believe their leaders are just and fair even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which they live is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of a corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all.
    - Michael Rivero

    The key part, relating to this: "Most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think [or act could be substituted in there] at all."

    To DaFreeMazon...there was once a time when millions of people in this country were LITERALLY enslaved. There was once a time when hardcore child labor was common throughout the nation. There are places around the world where things like proportional representation were put into place after the constitution had long been signed (New Zealand, for instance, did this in 1994, iirc).

    Progress is possible, undoubtedly. To take the view that it isn't is to accept the same short term view of the world that gets us into many of the messes we as a society are in today.

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  5. "Pretend We're Dead" by L7, sums it up for me.

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  6. Atheist Howard got it wrong on FDR. FDR only did what he did because of enormous pressure from below.

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  7. It just occurred to me that some of the "cynics" are concern trolls working for corporate PR departments. Corporations troll heavily on the blogs these days. You are doing a lot of things that are contrary to the interests of corporaitons, so it is hardly surprising that they are trying to demoralize you.

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  8. Um, crazy people in government propose crazy things all the time that never come to light. Does Atheisthoward shiver in fear everytime some lunatic proposes something like reinstating the draft or offering sterilization options to the poor? I've heard those and many other crazy things in the past ten years, never going to happen. What a fucking pussy.

    And you better not go to Vermont, it will really hurt your worldview.

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