Buddy Cushman Art

engaging stories of hope and joy

Everything Is Broken


Here I ignore my most solemn advice, in which I tell myself never, never, never write about politics and my opinions about politicians. And, yet, at the serious risk of alienating family members and long-time friends, almost, as if I cannot help myself, I offer: “Everything Is Broken”.


Were someone to ask me my political affiliation, to which party do I belong, to whom do I swear my allegiance, I would answer “the Yippie Party”. Same as it ever was. The point being that I am not a Democrat – nor would I want to be – and I am not a Republican – nor could I be. Just to be clear about that up front.

Many of my friends and family members are in some degree of mourning regarding Tuesday’s mid-term election results. I have seen their posts on Facebook, I have heard their sobs and moans from afar. But I am not. At this later stage of my life I clearly understand the meaning behind the title of the song “You Get What You Give” by New Radicals. That the Republicans absolutely cleaned house all across the country – despite the incredulous dismissal of that fact by The President – should have come as no surprise to anyway. Anyone with at least 17 brain cells still firing. That this country – the workings of the country, the governmental responsibilities and obligations, services provided, opportunities afforded – is almost to the point of beyond repair is clear. Crystal. Democrats and Republicans alike are to blame, in equal measure, and the person holding much of the blame is The President.

In the last six years of the history of the country we have gone from the giddiness and hopefulness of “Yes We Can” to the depression and bleak acceptance of “No We Can’t”. And the President is primarily to blame. He has done almost none of the thing his election offered the promise to do. To lead, to inspire. To find a way. Barack Obama’s presidency had been a disaster. All the promise, all the hope, all the opportunity to truly lead has somehow slipped away. I do not have to look any farther than yesterday, and the President’s – excuse me but I’m due back on the planet Earth – news conference, where his denial of the reality of what occurred Tuesday was bad enough. The press corps was, like, “Seriously?” But his unwillingness to admit – at all – that things are broken, that he has a lot to do with it, and that we absolutely need to find a new way – and so I am going to take the lead – was truly depressing. I just stopped watching, because all I was doing was watching another politician do their thing: talk around everything but the truth. It wasn’t even slick. It was sad.

The Republicans, to their credit in this election, shied away from running a collection of right-wing imbeciles – “Some rape is okay”, “Vote for me, I’m a witch” – and so had little problem collecting the votes of people just saying no. But from one end of the country to another you had Republicans promoting and pledging and promising absolutely not one thing other than just say no to Obama. That’s it. There has been no leading by anyone, anywhere, anytime in the last 20 or 30 years, especially the Republicans, and the collection elected Tuesday offer not a smidge of encouragement. Joni Ernst? Scott Walker?

There just isn’t anyone to be excited about, or proud of, anymore. Look at  the faces of the Democrat party: Harry Reid? Nancy Pelosi? Come on. Or Mitch McConnell? Ted Cruz? Really? Where have all the leaders gone? Where are the people to inspire us, encourage us, move us up and out from the TV and into community gardens and volunteer opportunities and Big Brother Big Sister programs? What happened to the Peace Corps? What happened to Vista? To the sense that those things were important, the selfless helping of others was important?

I’ll tell you this. If Barack Obama could run for a third term I would not vote for him. I also will not vote for Hillary Clinton. She’s another politician, through and through. During the 2008 primary she made statements about then candidate Obama in South Carolina that were so implicitly racist I ran to my computer and fired off a letter that the Editors at the Boston Globe flagged as unacceptable and dangerous. It’s probably sitting in some FBI file now. And in the last six years she has morphed even further into the consummate slick, never answer the question politician. And to be clear, as I am an equal opportunity voter, there is no way on God’s green earth I will consider for a nanosecond voting for the likes of Chris Christie and Rand Paul and Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz or anyone else the GOP is likely to tab as the face of their party. Really, that’s the best they can do? George Bush? Karl Rove? Really?

There are two politicians on the national level I would consider. One is Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Senator. I like her because she says what she thinks and doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass what the powers that be are going to think about it. But people in this country are not going to elect a Massachusetts liberal, maybe ultra-liberal. Those days are over. The other is Bernie Saunders, Senator from Vermont. He not only doesn’t give a rat’s ass, but he sticks his rat’s ass in the face of the establishment – left and right – every chance he gets. Bernie is more like a “Yippie” than anyone else these days, and I would vote for him. But, again, as my son Spenser would say, “not gonna happen.”

So what’s a poor boy to do. In the 1980’s I twice wrote in Joan Baez for President. Once in the 90s I wrote in Chrissie Hynde. Both of those women would have done a better job than any of the dickheads running around today. Yes, including Hillary. I recently wrote a blog about letting a nurse run the planet, that almost any old nurse would do. If the election for President were held today I would probably write in Kaci Hickox.

In the meantime I think I’ll go crank up a new science fiction story, or start a new painting, and while doing that, leave you with the words of another potential write-in candidate.

Broken idols, broken heads
People sleeping in broken beds
Ain’t no use jiving
Ain’t no use joking
Everything is broken.”

Bob Dylan



Author: buddycushmanart

This is my Blog, my opportunity to say what I think and write what I feel. The content has morphed in the two years of existence -- I began with personal tales of sillyness and drunkeness and soberness and times, places, and events within. Then I wrote a whole a lot of opinions about the world and its often sad shape, and how I thought we could make it better (re: engaging stories of hope). More recently I've taken to writing about this and that, including links to movies, Ted Talks, rock and roll, other writers' web pages, and more. These past seven years I have taken up the life of a painter, and my work can be seen on my web page ( www.buddycushmanfineart.com ) and my Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/musicflower67). But I've been writing since I was just a young thing living on the Massachusetts coast, and storytelling is my home. I have a number of fiction works in varying degrees of completion, and have published two books of fiction in the last year, under the name W.B. Cushman. But it's here I get to share my whatevers of sorrow and hope, and hopefully, wonder and magic. Thanks for stopping in.

3 thoughts on “Everything Is Broken

  1. Couldn’t have said it better myself. The only point I have to add is that I’m although E. Warren is a breath of fresh air and would hold a lot of feet to the fire, she was initially an apologist for Israel until she was convinced to back off from signing the AIPAC letter. Granted there are no good guys in that situation, but Goliath has a moral responsibility to be more restrained than David. Nevertheless, I’d campaign for her. Bernie Sanders is the only member of congress or any party that I’d trust, unequivocally, to do everything in his power to restore democracy and level the playing field. He’s a true american hero. But it ain’t gonna happen. Not in our lifetime.

    — alan chase

  2. I’d add two important qualifiers. First is that the marginal difference between the parties can, from a policy perspective, affect those that are the most vulnerable in very painful ways. Second is that although the political pendulum can swing back and forth, judicial appointments can profoundly affect the political dynamic for many decades. Witness the current version of the Supremes, who have single-handedly granted the US oligarchy free reign that will probably outlive us and our kids. And so on.

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