In April, poet Gary Snyder visited the Twin Cities for a reading and was interviewed by local critic Chris Welsch. During the interview, Welsch said, "Poet Charles Simic recently wrote about what he called the ‘New American Pessimism," a sense that our big problems can’t be solved and that we’re unable to act together to address them. What’s your take on the current political situation?" Synder replied:
It’s a strange time we’re in, in a way. A segment of the American population that didn’t have a voice — because it wasn’t smart enough — now does have a voice; it’s a self-destructive and ignorant way of thinking that doesn’t grasp how much the American mode of infrastructure that supports business, transportation and education is an indispensable part of the government and that makes the country as great as it has been. It’s the Grover Norquist school of thought that somehow we’ll be better off not paying for these things. There’s not much we can do but watch it play itself out."
Yet another old man (Synder is in his 80's) who has little or no hope for the future.