Why Politics has made us so cynical? Are doomed to a lifetime of cynicism?

Cynicism is defined: Cynicism is an attitude characterized by a general distrust of others’ motives. A cynic may have a general lack of faith or hope in the human species or people motivated by ambition, desire, greed, … Wikipedia

In Ancient Greece this was Cynicism: Cynicism (Greek: κυνισμός) is a school of thought of ancient Greek philosophy as practiced by the Cynics (Greek: Κυνικοί, Latin: Cynici ). For the Cynics, the purpose of life is to live in virtue, in agreement with nature. As reasoning creatures, people can gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way which is natural for themselves, rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, sex, and fame. Instead, they were to lead a simple life free from all possessions.

So, Ancient Cynicism was about living life in virtue and in agreement with nature. Live to be honest, live to live as nature intended for us to live. To reject all desire for wealth, power, sex and fame…to live deliberately and simply.

Has Cynicism again become a way of life, a philosophy that we all are starting to utilize again? I think that is only half right. I think we have the first part of the first definition down pat about cynicism being characterized by an attitude of general distrust of the motives of those in society. We have that down perfectly. But what we do not have down pat is the second part which talks about the living the life simply and deliberately by living to be virtuous and in agreement (at one) with nature. That is what truly makes a cynic. If we don’t do both parts, we are either simply living life in the worst possible conditions without any goals or objectives, or we just distrust everyone around us.

I truly believe that we are living the latter. We distrust everyone around us except for (in most cases) those closest to us. We have become a society of distrusters. This means that we have lost the ability to trust those around us, and as such we have been led to a point where we can’t possibly accept what someone else says may have a valid idea or point. That distrust leads to fear, and fear again…leads to hate. Hate meaning dislike, disdain, inability to see eye to eye with your counter parts in society.

This is where we are today. I’m just spit balling here, but I believe that when we call people cynics, we are only using half of the definition of the word or idea. We only work within the parameters of the simple part. The part that is easy to do. DISTRUST, DISLIKE, DISAVOW…

This weekend of Thanks, I challenge all of us take off our hats of politics, remove our clothing of political rhetoric, and stand before each other devoid of any clothing, and see each others thoughts for what they are, not what we perceive them to be. Open up your minds to other ways of thinking…even if just for a minute. If you are like me…not a Trump supporter, look at what people who do support him see, think, and feel. And if you are a Trump supporter look at those of us who are not for just a minute, and look at what we see, think and feel.

Putting ourselves in each others places at the most raw of notions. You’re right and I am wrong for just a minute, will open up your eyes to what the other person perceives. It might just help us all to come to an understanding of why we can’t come together in the middle and seek to understand each other’s views.

I am sorry that this isn’t as eloquent as I would like but this damned refresh issue keeps erasing each paragraph I type in some part or in total…and often times what I wrote is lost forever and I have to go back and piece things together, which often isn’t what I wrote originally. I hope that this latest glitch gets fixed soon. I have a new found respect for the poster who typed pages and pages of links and thoughts to each link. I made fun of the loftiness of the post, tongue in cheek, but now I know just how difficult that had to be, when half way through each new paragraph he’d lose at least half of what he’d posted.

Anyway Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Open your minds…don’t necessarily change your minds. That’s not what I am asking…Just see other peoples views…and try to accept them for what they are.

Bless you all>>>


Is this too deep for all of us on a Wednesday Afternoon? God I hope not. It’s about trying to grasp an understanding of what the other person is thinking…and then to try to not completely mistrust that person’s personal beliefs as being aligned with evil or bad…

Thanks for this. I’ve tried to turn a page in how I interact with people specifically on Facebook. Less snark, more empathy. A good book I’m almost finished reading is the Coddling of the American Mind by Jonathan Haidt. I’m trying to take to heart the part about assuming the worse about others.

A little story. I did just this with my sister last week. After a long weekend and the holidays coming up. One of my long time managers notified me that her Husband died suddenly. He was 31. I was totally shocked and deeply affected by this.

My sister after we had just discussed Thanksgiving dinner wanted to have a little throw down with my son about who could make the best stuffing…and did it on facebook for my wife to see. Well my wife was upset about this becuase She’s cooking and she makes the worlds best stuffing. I flew off the handle and addressed my sister in a text message that called her out for usurping my wife’s cooking responsibility. One thing led to another and a full week later we weren’t talking to each other.

Finally on Sunday this week, I called her and we squared things away. There was a huge possibility that she wasn’t even coming. This would have been bad considering it would have been my mom’s first Thanksgiving without my dad and for all of us. It would have been a wreck. But I started thinking about my own predetermined thoughts about my sister and I. We dont always see eye to eye on anything. And honestly that is what I am trying to say here. Last week I made a snap judgement on a poster here based on my perceived tone of his email. After a couple of days, I realized I was wrong and came here and apologized for it. Now I am trying to help change us.
I think that the elections were such a politicized event…we have all lost our minds. It seems much more rational around here overall.


I don’t mind, if people want to be socialist. Just leave me out…

Takes one to know one. You don’t see the speeding train heading right for you. Do you? And on that note. Not going to respond. Civility is an art form not yet mastered.


What did I say that was not civil? Live and let live…

So, being civil means shutting down debate…lol! Rather cynical, I’d say…

After a cursory glance at this I’ll say the sentiment is noble and worth a try. So from now until Monday I’ll keep the snark on hold, and will only respond to Trumpists in such a way as to better understand their perspectives. Everyone’s free to call me out between now and Monday if I fall off the wagon. Thanks for the challenge. :wink:

Happy Thanksgiving, people.

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Great topic. I’m not sure cynicism can be caused by politics. It can act as an affirmation, I suppose.

I like this topic because I’m a born cynic. I don’t think, however, that cynicism automatically makes you treat people poorly. But yes, that distrust does mean distance. On the flip side, it keeps me safe and protects me from being ripped off. I always see stories in the news about people falling for ridiculous scams and I wonder how that’s possible. Maybe people aren’t as cynical as you think.

I usually go out of my way to treat people with respect, but there is a difference between trying to give someone the benefit of the doubt and being played for a sucker. When someone repeatedly gives you a glimpse into their character and it isn’t something you want to see, it’s often wise to just accept this is who some people are and move on.

Alright i owe you an apology…i thought your post read if you want to be a socialist. Your point makes more sense the way i read it the second time.

Sorry about that…

No problem. My poor writing skills. I realized it was poorly worded and edited it …

Happy Thanksgiving…

I read it like you were calling me a socialist…thats where i reacted badly. No prob. We can still agree to disagree.

Great posts Kons. The distrust is earned when it comes to the government, but I will try to assume good intent with my fellow victims.

Except for @anon14033751

That fellow is too clever by half. :wink:

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I gotta ask…did you change this before or after you asked what did i say that was not civil.
I don’t mind, if people want to be you are a socialist. Just leave me out…

Did you change it to “people” from “you” before or after you criticized me about civility, when you clearly called me a socialist? Because if you changed the statement and then criticised my statement well that would just be disingenuous.

So unfair! I am as a sheep among wolves (name nothwithstanding).

Lol both of you guys…

I was actually trying to agree with your OP in a way. I meant what I edited too, realizing it could be interpreted as a personal attack, when it was a flip general statement about live and let live…

You seemed to have answer your own question from the OP…

Ok cool thanks.