Don’t Believe Your Lying Eyes and Heart! REALLY?
The past three years have been a wrenching National faceslap and reality check. We let ourselves down, ignored serious evolving issues such as education, job training, economic opportunity and responsible governance, and the vacuum was filled by political extremists. They were coached by experienced spinmeisters to lie, misrepresent, instill fear, undermine institutions, be shrill and confident, and denounce and denigrate all adversaries and critics.
As I’ve mentioned before, and to be “fair and balanced,” I join with more learned political historians and pundits in ascribing our cumulative difficulties to a BIPARTISAN Congress over several Administrations, who together ignored foundation issues (education, healthcare, infrastructure, environment, veteran care, gun regulations, immigration, etc.) and enabled/disabled us to wind up in this state of affairs. But, help is on the way. In fact, help is here now in our mirrors and at our dinner tables.
We can’t help but react soul deep when we see photos from the border detention centers, learn of more military veteran suicides and school shootings, and feel/experience the impact of discrimination and prejudice…of any sort. We encounter our personal truth when we are faced with these indelible truths from beyond our comfort zones. We have to look beyond ideology, tribalism and pettiness when our Better Angels prompt otherwise. Look at this photo…
As a parent and grandparent, I’m profoundly touched by this image. Having lost a child, I’m especially sensitive to our adult imperative to nurture, love, teach, model for and advocate for our children, no matter where they’re from. That is a human/humane Truth.
Engaging and Advocating For Truth, Free Media and a System of Laws…
A healthy democracy must be built on a foundation of truth, shared values, a system of governance and law and an informed populace. Our human nature and inherent fallibility keep us in a state of perpetual imbalance and imperfection, as we seek to influence the pendulum swing of progress and decline. Truth, facts, a free press and scientific discoveries are important aspirational goals for us mortals.
As my Uncle Thurman oft notes, “The world would be perfect, were it not for the people.” Human nature forces us to deal with the ignorant, willfully ignorant (enablers) and the uninformed when seeking truth and common ground. When I’m asked how to discern the difference, I have a simple evaluative system. If it’s YOUR family and friends, they may include the ignorant and willfully ignorant. In contrast, MY family and friends who are “issue-challenged” are simply uninformed. That seems fair. (JK, of course) We counter these negative behaviors by becoming better informed, and by encouraging that in others. By seeking several sources of information, so we can broaden our perspectives and understand differing opinions.
Truth and the Political Campaign Pendulum
The 2016 political campaigns dragged us all into the mud, revealing lots of pent-up anger, frustration and distrust…of institutions and each other, especially those different from us…in color, gender or ideology. We as a Nation were thrown off balance, and are only now regaining our civic equilibrium. The current campaigns are showcasing a refreshing array of new candidates, new ideas and new collaborative possibilities. Not a moment too soon. The Dems are currently in the spotlight, but I hope the R’s will promote some progressive candidates to infuse the GOP with some new energy, to counter this anachronistic bunch at State and National levels.
Some Opportunities for You to Find The Truth With Key Issues
NOTE: Don’t trust me. I’m not an expert in anything. Crosscheck with multiple sources to feel more comfortable with your opinion. Be open-minded, but be true to your personal values, especially when you’re confident that they’re well-considered and on a principled foundation.
For Your Consideration:
—Among the key issues of the day are: education, economic opportunity, job training, accessible/affordable healthcare, immigration, infrastructure, environmental integrity, social justice, international relations, gun safety, national security and an appropriate regulatory system. Pick one or two of personal interest and make an effort to be better informed on them.
—As with any time in recent history, we have challenges and opportunities in any of the above-mentioned areas. Of serious concern is the fact that our current Presidential Administration does not have sufficient Cabinet expertise, Agency policies and staffing to appropriately govern in most any area of challenge. This makes us vulnerable to missteps, errors of omission, or compromised positions, as we’re currently experiencing in our “negotiations” with China, North Korea and Russia, while contemplating our response to Iran.
—Our “Strong Economy”…This is misleading, as the “middle-class tax cut” went to the corporations and wealthy. The middle-class and below were left with higher health care costs, the need to have multiple jobs with few benefits, and too many gigs in the “gig economy” with erratic income and few benefits. The Administration touts progress, but too few are experiencing it.
—What About The Strong Stock Market?…Only a small percentage of our citizens benefit from the stock market. The recent stock market rise is basically due to the tax cut and regulatory elimination that provided unexpected windfall profits for the corporate sector. Rather than apply this windfall to employee salaries and wages, most were spent on executive bonuses, shareholder dividend increases and investments in AI and robotics that will ultimately eliminate many traditional jobs. Without innovative job training, many workers will remain under-employed and underpaid.
—How About Those “Job-Killing Regulations?”…This is a catchy and seductive campaign phrase for the ignorant, willfully ignorant and uninformed. Sounds like a logical concern and big government bamboozle, until we realize it’s our food, drugs, autos/planes, child-protective services, foster care, nursing homes, national parks, air and water quality we’re talking about. Ooops!
A MOSEY CLOSE
Our stewardship of the Truth matters. Pledge to yourself to be well-informed. Read and share informative articles/editorials, and don’t be reluctant to engage others in CIVIL discussions on the issues of the day. Learn to LISTEN…just like these thoughtful ducks. We’ll reclaim this Country for better…TOGETHER.