Ptarmigan

a grouse with completely feathered feet

2/03/2004

Recreational Indignation

Brilliant article I found here; read the whole shebang...

The key bit:

...politics isn’t so much about politics as it is an opportunity to “feel political” or engage in “recreational indignation” (as John McWhorter puts it). Being disciplined enough to focus on taking power isn’t anything they are really going to try to be capable of. When anyone suggests that they stop partying and start applying themselves, they complain that exerting this sort of disciplined approach is not only, “no fun”, but exactly what they are fighting against in the first place. ...

In order to be disciplined enough to win at politics; you have to be able to defer gratification. In order to be able to defer gratification, you have to be sure enough of your goal, and motivated enough by your principles, to be willing to sacrifice the "having fun" part. When you have spent too many years not deferring your fun, it’s hard to stop and learn to be disciplined again. Left political organizing tends to attract people rebelling against the idea of delayed gratification, against the idea of discipline. The Dean campaign was all about itself and people having fun. That isn’t what political campaigns are for.

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