There are two things you are never supposed to talk about...one is religion, and the other is politics. My last blog series had been about my faith. This new blog series will be about politics. I have no idea what I think sharing my thoughts about the country I love is supposed to do. I am but one tiny speck on the fabric of this union. I am going to say what I have to say anyway, perhaps me ranting will make me feel a little better than just keeping my feelings to myself.
We are a country pretty well divided down the middle. If you look at recent Presidential elections, a few percentage points either way...and we would have had a different outcome. This 50/50 split is really a very good thing.
If we paint our political differences in broad-brush strokes, we have the left thinking that we need a big government to protect the masses, and the right believes that the less government-the better! We all know that this is a vast over simplification of things; but for this exercise, it will serve its purpose.
In an ideal world, having two groups with polar opposite opinions on how to solve a problem should bring about the best possible solution...especially if the two groups are even in terms of size. The back and forth exchange of differing opinions, done is a civil manner, should bring about a well thought-out solution. This solution should not completely satisfy either group, nor should it make either group completely unhappy. It should result is what is best for the common good of both groups. No one gets 100% of what they wanted...but no one is left completely unsatisfied either.
Anybody reading this, think things work this way in today's political climate?
For years, we have watched in agony as the folks in Washington demonize each other. The right wants to put little old ladies out on the street, and the left wants to turn this country into a new version of the Soviet Union. On and on it goes, and they just keep kicking the problem into tomorrow!
The poll numbers for Congress continue slipping, and we watch in horror as our elected officials continue to talk and point fingers. Ordinary folk watch our Congressmen and Senators on television, and remark to ourselves, "With their lack of concrete job results, they wouldn't even be able to hold a job where I work." Our legislator's grandstanding would simply not be tolerated in the private sector.
Really, look around you...your family, friends, and neighbors...would any of them still have a job if they acted, or accomplished as little as those in Congress?
There is plenty of blame to go around on why things the way they are. We have ourselves to blame. In many cases, we have moved an individual's rights ahead of what is best for the group. A great many of us have become self-centered, and selfish. Many of us have become lazy and uneducated.
The citizen-statesmen has been replaced by the career politician. Gone are the days when accomplished business leaders, and military leaders have led us for a few years; then quietly returned to private lives. Today, we have people who will spend their entire life holding down government job, after government job. They will be holding one political office and at the same time, be campaigning for a better one. What would happen if you went to your boss and said you were going to be actively looking for a new job...but you wanted him to continue paying you while you searched? How well do you think that would go over? Our officials have become out of touch. They have developed a sense of entitlement. Some are even corrupt, and should be in jail.
I think our media holds a great deal of responsibility for our condition. They stopped being neutral and objective a long time ago. Just as our populace has become divided, so has our media. We have the right-wing conservative talk shows. We have FOX, and Rush Limbaugh supposedly supporting the conservative movement. We have all the remaining media supposedly presenting the left's point of view.
Here's a novel idea...how about if the media just tell us the FACTS, and let us determine how we assimilate that information? I don't need anyone to explain what happened...I just need them to tell me what happened. I don't know about you, but I don't care if the crook has a D, or an R after his name...he (or she) is still a crook! I don't need the media to position an event based on the political leanings of the reporter. I am tired of the media taking sides...just tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may!
Our nation needs a free press to survive. A parent, who makes excuses for their child's bad behavior, does his child a disservice. A reporter who slants a story, or sweeps something under the rug to protect someone who thinks as he does-does his country a disservice. We deserve the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
I have enough trust in my fellow citizens, given honest and unbiased facts, will act on those facts to do what is right. We need to start demanding more from ourselves. We need to start demanding more from the people we elect. We need to start demanding that our press return to being independent...that their goal should be to uncover the truth, no matter where it may lead!
We owe it to the memory of all those we honor on Memorial Day, to recommit ourselves. Our sacrifice and determination must equal those who have gone before us!
TO BE CONTINUED...