Can we just let Dad drive?

Russell Brand


(2 min 30 seconds to read)

I used to laugh off the extremists. Those on the fringe left who discourage offensive language, encourage patience with repressive Islamists, and promote a US conspiracy as the cause for the Muslims fighting each other .

I used to laugh off the birthers who criticized everything Obama did, as if he was any less authoritarian than George W. Bush. I used to dismiss those who thought the country was going socialist, while they ignored the fact that we all have our social security cards and the government was subsidizing big industries, from agriculture to oil to our banking system.

Then I really laughed at those who reacted to these dramatists on the fringe. The reactionaries on twitter and youtube who amplified and contested every emotional outburst  from social justice warrior and libertarian alike, whether the post deserved attention or not.

The 24 hours news cycle that needed to be filled by CNN and FOX and other big media networks was no longer.  You and me, our posts, podcasts, and tweets, were filling it now, with our feelings saturating the digital space.

And so now I wonder who out there doesn’t have a camp. Is there anyone left who won’t outright dismiss a statement coming from “the other side”? Have we become so emotionally charged, so easily led, that we cannot be allowed to have meaningful influence of government?

I was most sympathetic to libertarianism, because I think that large institutions are prone to soul-crushing and domineering, whether the institution is governmental or corporate. I put more trust in people. I value people’s freedom, not the institution’s. I believed the best change, the most meaningful change, came from the bottom up, not the top down.

I wanted to empower the people. But not so much anymore.

I wonder if it’s better to accept the liberal elitism which favors disempowering the population, in order to keep us from hurting ourselves.

“Son, I know you’re 18 years old, but let me have the keys. I’ll drive you wherever you need. It’s easier and safer for everyone.”

Maybe we do need a paternal government which limits our options and controls our economy, our paychecks, and our lifestyles.

Because from what I see, so many of us are thinking with our heart, or from our gut, but we’re not thinking about issues with our minds.


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We can do better, if we choose the people who will do better by us.

plato


“States will never be happy until rulers become philosophers or philosophers become rulers.”

Why are we voting for leaders who are career politicians? Why are we voting for leaders who want to rule us, with their rules, instead of guide us, and empower us?

Actually, we’re not voting for leaders. We are voting for managers, accountants, and technicians. Let’s vote for leaders, instead. Leaders who want to inspire us to do better in our life, not give us a life where the best deal becomes the paternal controls of a corporate employer driven by profits, or putting our retirement money in irresponsible investment bank 401k’s.

We can do better, if we choose the people who will do better by us.

It’s always been up to us. Despite all the money in politics, the biggest factor still comes down to your vote.


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The simple fix to stop Wall Street from endangering our livelihoods

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In a news article last week, JP Morgan Chase was reported to have hit another low that scares me, because they own many of our retirement accounts. JP Morgan Chase just paid a huge fine to the feds and admitted that they sold off their investments with Bernie Madoff when they suspected he had a Ponzi scheme going, but they continued to buy these investments for their customers. No jail time was given.

If companies are individuals and can give campaign contributions, then a person or persons at the bank should be held responsible for this and serve jail time, don’t you think? Regardless, I’m glad to see the feds step in and get the billion dollar fine and are going to get it to the people who lost all their money buying these investments. The problem is, what will the bank do to help absorb the cost of the fine? Raise our fees, adjust salaries to the detriment of the workers.

Jail is a better deterrent of corporate wrongdoing.

I have no problem with business, in fact, I think trade and business is what has got us here today, the best time for the average human being around the world, in the history of the world. What I have a problem with is a business that is shielded from responsibility or government leaders who accept their money in exchange for favors. Why not let us change our leadership? Maybe vote for someone without the word “Democrat” or “Republican” after their name?

Why protest when we can simply vote?

Following a party means following a bias.

Insanity is voting for the lessor of 2 evils

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.

Who are you voting for?

When someone speaks reasonably about unreasonable things, they are either a genius, or a madman. Cast your vote carefully. If a person talks about spending money they don’t have, putting value in something that has no inherent value, taking away your liberties to fight an unseen enemy to protect your liberties, find another person to vote for. Gridlock ends when we elect people, from president to state rep, who will do the right thing, not follow what was done before because that’s the way things were always done.

Remember: There are many who are thinking just as you are.

Laws may fail us, but our morality will not

When government representatives allow immoral but technically legal corporate practices, are we being just as immoral in re-electing those same representatives back into office? Does more regulation help our moral standards or just focus on legal standards? Does it matter? Why do we need legal standards when the moral thing to do is not give our business to those who are doing wrong with our money?

The government announced that starting this month, they will be buying $40 billion worth of near worthless bonds from the Wall St banks every month to try to save the economy. Using our money.

Think it will work?

Willing to bet your retirement on it?

Because if you have a 401k, you already are.

How to make your vote count

Many feel that money influences our representatives.

Many believe that elections are decided by money rather than votes. I think this is correct, but only in so much as we believe that is true and willingly throw our vote away or not vote. I know this because I was one of those who felt helpless and didn’t bother voting.

I was helping to creating an environment of hopelessness. An environment that promoted the idea that our neighbors are ignorant, dumb, and lazy. Then I realized something important. With this attitude, we will never elect any real change into office. We will think our personal vote doesn’t matter because it will be diluted by the mass of humanity who isn’t paying attention.

But I was wrong. I was more than wrong, in fact. I was part of the problem!

As much as people are focused on themselves and their wants and their opinions, they are also influneced by their environment. In fact, studies have shown if a person is given a test with an obvious answer, they will change their answer to the wrong one when they are put into a group of people who provide that wrong answer!

It is indeed true, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Devalue your vote and your fellow citizen’s capacity to do the right thing, and after a time, you will find that that is precisely the environment you live in.

Value that vote. Ask others how they’re voting. And why.

In Egypt (and Syria, and Tunisia, and Bahrain) people are rioting against military police because they don’t want to be told what to do by a dictator. They are being arrested without trial by secret police and being tortured because they want the right to vote.

Don’t throw your vote away.

The question to ask yourself is: What are the most important issues? And are the Democrats or Republicans addressing these issues, or avoiding them?

Remember, the power is still with us.