December 3, 2010


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
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...

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