The Politics of Cynicism

An interesting three minute video excerpt of an interview with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. When asked about Fox News host Glenn Beck he replied,

"Only in America can you make that much money crying."

He went on to say that Beck is "not aligned with any party as far as I can tell. He's aligned with cynicism. And there's always been a market for cynicism."

"But we became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers".
Graham was not speak of being a believer in a religious sense but in a sense of being positive about our future.. I suggest you watch the video for context.

Graham's phrase "market for cynicism" hit me.. I can really resonate with having those feelings. I honestly do not want to be a part of that market. I do not want my life marked politically or any other way by what I am against. Guess I need to ponder this some more.. I am sure that I am way more cynical that I admit to.

How about you? Are you involved in the politics of cynicism?


  1. I don't mind a bit of cynicism if we limit it to disagreements regarding a particular policy or method of action that we "honestly" don't think is right or works...but...recent cynical comments regarding the President speaking to school children and wanting the summer Olympics in Chicago "imply to me" that some apparently just want to be cynical towards the President for the sake of being cynical or wanting "all" efforts of the President to fail...which...also, implies "some" critics market themselves for what they are against rather than what they are for.

  2. I'm going to sound cynical when I criticize the leadership of the party of NO or the far right for their intolerance. The congressmen that oppose reform of the health care insurance industry deserve my lack of trust. They are only interested in protecting the private insurance companies and the financial support that they receive from the corporations they protect with their votes. They do not hide their objective to make health care reform Obama's Waterloo. They don't care about the under-insured and certainly not about the uninsured. It was Rep. Eric Cantor that told one of his constituents, whose family member had untreated cancer and no health insurance after losing her job, that she should appeal to charities.

    Cynicism is when I can't justify my lack of trust with facts. That's not the case now.

  3. I applaud Senator Graham for his rationality and honesty. I hope his attitude is infectious.

  4. Graham is doing the right thing but he should have been doing on his first day in Congress. Since Obama's election and especially since the health care reform was proposed in Congress, the GOP has allowed Limbaugh, Beck and some of its own members to make false attacks on both the administration and the legislation they proposed.

    Now that the maximum amount of damage has been inflicted and especially now that more of the public disapproves of this tactic, some of the politicians and talking heads are distancing themselves from the extremists. I suspect more of them will do what Graham is doing as we get closer to the 2010 elections. The majority of the voters, I believe, will be disappointed if adequate health care reform is not passed. At election time, the GOP wants the voters to blame the Democrats for not enacting reform, rather than the GOP for killing it.

  5. I go back and forth with this issue. There are times I know I have too much cynicism, whether towards politics or faith. I guess the reason I struggle so much with it is because it seems the moment I stop being cynical and give the slightest little bit of trust I find out it was misplaced and I should have been cynical.

  6. Here is an interesting definition:

    cynic: a person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions and who disbelieves in or minimizes selfless acts or disinterested points of view.

    I confess that I can become that person.. especially when it comes to folks who seem to continue to act in ways that are selfish and self-centered. My challenge every day is to rise above that inclination.. not that I am good at it :(

  7. Graham does disapprove of Beck's cynical rhetoric but the video doesn't include the following explanation by Graham of why he does not listen to Beck anymore. Beck's cynicism is not the reason.

    "But at the end of the day when a person says he represents conservatism and that the country is better off with Barack Obama than John McCain, that sort of ends the debate for me as to how much more I'm going to listen."

    Read more at:

  8. Doubtful anyone in congress actually watches or listens to Beck.. or Limbaugh.. or Olbermann.. or any of the loud talkers.. of course they probably don't want to ruffle their feathers :)


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