Archive for the ‘politics’ Tag
I’m amazed how many in the US could staunchly defend a political leader, or a party, given how the government and corporate institution are so intertwined and how disconnected from the community these institutions naturally have become as they have grown to their present size.
Maybe because the issues have been simplified into a reactive dualism, such as if the right takes a stance, you step just to its left and play the relativist instead of thinking about the issue, or vice-versa.
Shades of gray that require contextual and independent thinking have become the black and white of following.
Is this an offensive cartoon?
Thinking this way about Democrats is just as wrong as thinking that Republicans are selfish, judgmental moralists.
There are plenty of those people in both Parties.
This is funny because it is a cartoon, but it’s a lot less funny because it’s dividing us based on ideology…an ideology that I don’t see being put into practice by either party. Meanwhile, bigger issues are neglected as both parties are supporting deficit spending, market manipulation (see the last one’s disastrous result in 2008), and protecting us from unseen enemy by waging perpetual war and taking our right to trial (NDAA 2012)
What do you think is important in this year’s election?
Are you voting based on ideology or action?
Decide what you like, get good at it -if you’re not already- and then find the job.
The one way that is highly questionable to get you a job is having the government raise or lower people’s tax rates. Romney plans to create 12 million new jobs and Obama has given nearly trillion dollars to businesses to create more jobs. But you are a much bigger factor to getting a good job than what these guys are going to do. Much bigger.
Because seeking a top-down solution assumes the people on top know what’s good for everyone and they can anticipate what business and individual needs are, which sometimes change month to month…even day to day!
Quite an assumption to make.
It’s better not to assume and just do it yourself. And if you’re already doing it? Then help a brother or sister out. As a friend to them, you’re better at providing that empowerment to get them in a job than someone in an office somewhere who has no idea who your friend is.
Of course, the government spending could create jobs. How? The devil is in the details. The question is, who do you trust more: The government after their good intended actions brought down the housing market? Or yourself?
Let’s use our common sense to stop our leaders from driving our economic Mack truck into the ground. How much more do we need out of its engine? And how much more do we need out of ourselves?
Do we talk to other people about what we’re doing? About what they’re doing? Do we ask why we do what we do..buy what we buy, bank who we bank with..eat what we eat..send our kids to the schools that we send them to, fund the wars that kill for goals we support? Do we not only talk, but do we listen to what they’re saying…and even more importantly, think about what they really mean?
Are we trying to be members of a community, or do we see everyone as doing their own thing, a zero sum game, as passengers on a ship out of our control? Or do we see ourselves as part of it, as responsible for it, unafraid of facing the problems of our society?
Why we don’t do these things is addressed by Meslin. He says: “As long as we believe that people, our own neighbors, are selfish, stupid or lazy, then there’s no hope.” We must recognize this, because it is the collective that is going to change things. And once we accept this, we must have a conversation.
Politics isn’t a bad word unless you’re using it to win an argument, or give yourself an identity. Politics, in fact, is probably the most important thing to talk about right now. Not partisanship…but politics. There’s only one thing more important, and that’s figuring out that you belong in the conversation because you’re not an island onto yourself. That’s what Obama meant, but couldn’t really express.
We’re not different than anyone else, regardless of what they’re doing out there. The guy between jobs, the CEO, or the small businessperson. We have the opportunity to decide because people believed so much in the idea that we’re all equal, that they were willing to die for a system that could give us the power to decide…and it DID give ALL OF US the power to decide. And we must decide, or else the institutions, corporate and government, they will do it for us. And I think these institutions have gotten too big to handle our needs. It’s up to us to start this conversation.
Now, it’s up to us.
Susan Cain has made a significant realization: Group think is taking over smart think. Culture is promoting group discussion over your own. Our culture encourages collaboration and working in groups, starting from the classroom, and then to the open cubicles of corporate America. The problem is, our ability to think independently is being hurt as a result.
Susan calls for allowing people some introversion, or should I say, introspection? Some of our deepest thinking comes from alone time. In fact, everyone’s opinion comes from their own unique perspective. At least, it should. It shouldn’t come from some authority figure, whether it is a talking head on the entertainment/news shows, President Obama, or your parents. Even us extroverts need this time by ourselves, maybe even more so. Today information is flying at the speed of light, and before you know it, mob mentality and the cult of personality has influenced your decision.
Susan’s message is timely, in a society where we’re inundated with info, and that info is either what other people are doing, or it’s news that is colored by bias and our limited attention span. It’s hard not to pick up another person’s convincing argument as our own.
What’s more dangerous is when we believe that the stuff that’s reported is the real issue. But what may be the worst is when we throw up our hands in helplessness, because we think no one else realizes that the emperor has no clothes.
Is Rush Limbaugh’s opinion what we should be talking about?
Think about what’s right and wrong in government. Then ask whether you want to talk about Rush and the two political parties’ agendas, or if you want to talk about electing people who will help us become responsible consumers, mindful investors, and powerful citizens again.
“What if the two-party system were actually a mechanism used to limit so-called public opinion? What if there were more than two sides to every issue, but the two parties wanted to box you in to a corner, one of their corners?
What if there’s no such thing as public opinion, because every thinking person has opinions that are uniquely his own?
What if public opinion were just a manufactured narrative that makes it easier to convince people that if their views are different, there’s something wrong with that – or something wrong with them?
What if the whole purpose of the Democratic and Republican parties was not to expand voters’ choices, but to limit them?
What if those vaunted differences between Democrat and Republican were actually just minor disagreements?
What if both parties just want power and are willing to have young people fight meaningless wars to enhance that power?
What if both parties continue to fight the war on drugs just to give bureaucrats and cops bigger budgets and more jobs?
What if government policies didn’t change when government’s leaders did?
What if no matter who won an election, government stayed the same?
What if government were really a revolving door of political hacks, bent on exploiting the people while they’re in charge?”
Who watches the watcher?
The answer is clear.
It’s you and me!
An enlightened and knowledgeable population.
The government and corporations and banks don’t rule us.
They serve us.
We can change the power imbalance that has drifted to them.
Dr. King once said: “We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering with our capacity to endure suffering.” And so, today, we too, must sacrifice to take control of our lives once again.
Dr. King fought against the apathy of the white majority and today we also fight against the apathy of a majority
Dr King inspired others to face the powerful and established practice of discrimination. The discrimination which Dr King fought against was based on race, but it didn’t affect the mostly white US population. Society went about its business, just like today, but today our apathy led us to a recession that almost resulted in the total economic collapse of our country.
A corporate system without consumer oversight is a system that will promote inequality
Today we have a cultural acceptance of our powerful financial system, which has slowly grown and allows us to spend less and have more money in our bank accounts. The benefits of this system are for everyone, from the corporation to the consumer. Still, the situation threatens the very structure of our free society.
Power follows money, and today we see a movement of power from elected officials to a corporate minority. This concentration of power has grown so large that when the existence of a few banking and automobile corporations was threatened, the whole country was affected: Regardless if you were rich or poor, we lost businesses, jobs, and retirement savings.
We can reclaim power over the institutions if we follow Dr. King’s advice: Sacrifice.
A sacrifice of personal financial growth. As Dr King sacrificed, we too must sacrifice our way of life to correct the injustices of today: We must turn away the money that trickles down from careless and dishonest Wall Street bankers and the corporations. We must control our own finances and earnings to take back the power we are giving them. We must move our money to local banks and credit unions. Institutions should be dependent on us. Not us on them.
Race cannot be used to determine who is given opportunity, and neither can capital
Today, as in the past, we have a grave danger that cannot be ignored. We cannot continue to be apathetic about the division of the country into rich and poor, just as the population before the 1960s was apathetic about the division of the country by race. We cannot continue to watch our capital accumulate in the hands of the minority. The future of our society depends on our capacity to sacrifice and to recognize the power we have as consumers.
Yes. We can.
Why is there apathy? Meslin says it is because our environment encourages it. Apathy is in our nature, just like our determination, selfishness, and kindness. But our environment is a powerful promoter, of both good and bad traits. Meslin describes how society makes it hard to to be active in your community, how media depicts heroism as being for the chosen few, and how the system makes political involvement uninspiring and the political process complicated and manipulative.
“As long as we believe that people, our own neighbors, are selfish, stupid or lazy, then there’s no hope.”
Meslin made me realize that the bigger and more complicated our system grows, the more apathy will creep into our actions. If we can see that the system we are building is making our future both easier and impersonal, we can change it. In effect, we must save us from ourselves. And in a society so free, if we do not, we only have ourselves to blame.
So let’s reach out and empower ourselves. Start buying more from the people in our community. Let’s not give our money to careless and dishonest Wall Street bankers. Let’s vote less for the two parties and more for the third party that hasn’t been compromised by money. We can make the change. As Ghandi said,
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Your neighbor isn’t stupid or lazy.
And neither are you.