Recommended reading today is at The Bulwark, where Charlie Sykes has a nice piece on political exhaustion. He ably describes the state of being of many of us, and many citizens generally, who are attentive to the news. The Orwellian aspects of Trump-ism, combined with frustrations born of the seemingly endless pandemic, fuse to dishearten and disable public spirited people.
Sykes identifies political exhaustion as not just our present condition but a phenomenon that needs to be understood and contended with along with more familiar political and constitutional categories, such as authoritarianism, patriotism, nationalism, white supremacy, fascism, etc. Sykes concludes his piece by distinguishing between optimism and hope in order to endorse hope as the more active disposition.
The predicate for any possible notion of hope is understanding — so I would supplement Sykes’s very helpful post with a call for readers of The Constitutionalist to reflect upon one’s political exhaustion rather than to just live with it or give in to it. Why are we politically exhausted? Begin with Sykes, and join with others, to figure that out. Out of better understanding may come hope, and out of hope may come action.