Free-Floating Democracy

05/25/2011 11:50 am ET

Early in my sobriety nearly twelve years ago I couldn't get out of bed. I didn't crave a drink but I didn't crave much else either. I stayed in bed most of the day for months on end. My alcohol and drug specialist said something about me having free-floating anxiety. It made sense. Not being high I felt everything, like being shot every few seconds by a high powered dart. For every thing I worried about I would worry about ten more. In moments I was practically in the fetal position, living off my own inertia and despising how pitiful I was feeling. Strangely enough somewhere down deep I was feeling proud of being sober even though I also felt powerless, helpless and lacked any drive to even consider doing anything for those I loved, anything creative, attempt new hobbies and worse, even orgasms seemed to be off the menu. Had I had any talent in being a talent agent (and thank God I don't) I probably would've sold tickets and done a one man show at home with Kafka's "Metamorphosis". I truly was a bug but not bugged enough to do anything. This depression lasted and lasted. It took months to get out of this funk.

Fast forward to now. I'm married, working, performing, doing charitable work, helping other addicts, and working for as many political candidates to get elected in 2006 as I can. And yet, with the free-floating anxiety seemingly under control for the most part, I still feel like a zombie just going through the motions.

The reason? The mountain of abuses and lies and corruption and rationalizations, along with the fear of a majority of politicians (especially of my own beloved Democrats) to really level with power and authenticity about the nightmare of this administration. That, coupled with the obliteration of separation of church and state, our privacy rights, the pathetic nothingness done to help the racist divide, rampant poverty and homelessness, pathetic under-funded schools for most of our kids, massive zero health insurance for almost 50 million people, and on and on. That this is happening while the gargantuan collection of egos in powerful places continue to obliterate the progress America should be striving for, is again tragically getting me close to hiding under the covers.

Sure, listening to Neil Young and a few other artists and the occasional brave politicians (usually those who don't have a chance in hell of winning) on TV for a few minutes or retired generals is momentarily soothing, but not seeing marches everywhere on more issues than I had ex-girlfriends and drinks for 25 years is the most sobering thought I ever had. The rich pundits upgrade their careers by speculating on TV and radio and occasionally make solid points but the beat goes on.

Then I think about the upcoming 2008 Presidential race and my Democrats on some stage, with more confusing debating rules than trying to figure out what the hell the game of cricket is if you've never played, as they beat themselves up while giving this endless nightmare more fuel come election day. And if I hear about that "maverick" from Arizona much more with all his hypocrisy I might even decide to become a prop act or God forbid, do impressions.

I read the brilliant and heroic writings of most of the activists and they are to be revered and applauded but the applause needs to be heard by the voters who never vote, who voted and were screwed and lost hope and those on the fence. I love making people laugh on stage and in front of millions on talk shows and sneaking in political points of view. But big deal. I might think I'm doing something cool for America but it really is just a hill of beans.

I don't get it. If a deeply religious, right wing conservative can still vote for a Republican candidate in November who remotely backs this President and his laundry list of horrors, then we're sunk. Isn't it possible for someone to be violently against say, Pro-Choice , but still be disgusted with the lies and deceit and vote to help us start over in building our country's esteem? I just don't get it. I can write a joke but I can't find anything funny about this. Maybe that's why I hate reality shows. This reality show is on 24/7 and that's plenty for me.

If we can't find a unifying, brave, charismatic, All-American voice to attract enough voters to get their asses out to the polls to make this "land of the free" a land to be proud of for ourselves and for our allies to respect and quickly get on another course, I'll probably keep writing jokes, but I'm certain I'll be doing it from my bed with my only goal being to turn off the news and die sober.