Respite for the Cynical.

I live in Washington D.C. and I have all my life. It’s no surprise that I’ve long been cynical and jaded as to what I see as the realities of the system, for good or ill.

It all started when I was in sixth grade. I sat in a classroom as history unfolded before us, as the final vote that would decide the fate of Bill Clinton’s presidency was cast down. The class, one of the best and brightest of our age, had to be physically divided. The vast majority of the class, twenty or so students sat as a mob around the television rooting against the President, with each “Nay” vote drawing more ire from them. I sat at the far side of the room, with six other people. We were the only ones who did not want to see the President kicked out of office.

Ever since that day, though I feel justice was served in the vote, has my faith in the culture and future of this nation been damaged. That a debate became so contentious that children had to be segregated lest violence break out between them, in this nation. I’m confident I’m not the only scion of the era that experienced this dispiriting moment.

Though I have been vigilant to remain aware and educated on the state of our nation’s politics, be it by necessity or circumstance, I have not been confident. I hear words like “hope” and “change” bandied about by people who seek only their manipulative value. I see politicians fight not for what they believe in, or what they believe is good for the country, but for themselves, and only themselves. A sick combination of the Roman Forum and Coliseum, a drama played out for our enjoyment, and with no small amount of blood spared.

Barack Obama has managed to cut my cynicism, if only a little. His words inspire earnest reaction in even the most black-hearted of pundits. He says change not as a buzzword but as an idea, one intrinsically tied to hope. The hope that we can change, that my cynicism is no longer needed, that those classrooms of petulant children we call the houses of congress can reconcile their differences and work for a greater purpose.

So is there respite for the cynical in this world? For once I think there is. I’m not the only one, either. Best political video in years after the jump.

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