Is it possible to build a political movement under the banner of malaise? The Left is certainly trying.
Those of us who thought malaise was delivered the death knell by Jimmy Carter were wrong. Rumors of its death, politically speaking, have been greatly exaggerated, and I don't think I'm exaggerating to say that.
Go visit any lefty or so-called "independent" websites that address the political issues of the day. I could name a few, but there is really no point in that. You've seen them. The relentless negativity and bitching about life is staggering. And depressing. And disheartening. The popular term for this has been called "Bush hatred," by I think that oversimplifies things by about half. We are talking about more than Bush hatred here, we are talking about a worldview that is more or less sour, a worldview without the softening touch of Carter's Cardigan sweater.
The thing that intrigues me about this malaise is its irony: if you are reading this post, you can fairly be said to have won life's lottery, and not just because you are in the presence of my guestblogging. We Americans today are living in the most prosperous epoch of human history. We have more freedom to pursue happiness than we have ever had before (and please spare me horror stories about John Ashcroft seizing your library card). Life really is good for most people in this country!
I just don't think you can build a political movement around malaise. There is a reason most people think the 70's sucked, and it wasn't just the music and the bad hair. What the Left fails to understand is that it wasn't just the Cardigan sweaters either.