Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,

Adrenaline junkies

I’m starting to think there is such a thing as an adrenaline junkie. Last night I heard a fast-talking cable-TV demagogue instantly convince someone of the virtues of a regulated private healthcare industry, when I have been talking about the same thing for some time – but without also supplying an adrenaline rush. Indeed, there must be endless examples of people who were happy with Obama before the election for the same things they are now unhappy with about him, now that he no longer also supplies an adrenaline rush. Half-ass healthcare reform – it was great before the election, but now it sucks. Escalation of military activity in southwestern Asia? It used to mean ‘Getting out of Iraq!’, but now it comes without an adrenaline rush. ‘Where is the change?’ we hear; it more accurately means ‘Where is the adrenaline?’

Obama definitely and dramatically has stopped giving lots of people the pleasurable adrenaline he used to give them. For me, this is an improvement. The question becomes how to achieve liberal change while also dealing with the problem of political adrenaline addiction. A traditional approach has been to harness the adrenaline and rally a mob – the memory of Paul Wellstone has become like the memory of Che Guevarra, for this approach – but, seriously, we cannot keep on doing things this way. History will endlessly repeat itself, while the climate melts down and destroys our civilization.

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