I’m not sure myself; but I gladly admit it. I think I may have a reasonable idea about it, but, maybe not. At any rate, though, in keeping with the late Judy Garland’s philosophy, “I’d rather be a first-rate version of myself than a second-rate version of somebody else.” So, here’s my take.
The truth is that MANY Americans have no idea what’s actually going on; but they hate to let such a small “technicality” stop them from pretending that they DO know.
Not knowing what’s going on—or even pretending to know—is not a crime; but pretending to know can be ruinously dangerous, both personally and in the aggregate, simply because pretenders ultimately convince themselves that they have THE solutions to our social ills.
Unfortunately, though, reality dictates that if the logic is flawed, it doesn't matter how systematic it is. All it does is give us a high confidence level of arriving at the wrong conclusion.
And, though this is true for ALL fields, its most far-reaching negative consequences arise because of ill-conceived political solutions. EVERY past great democracy, direct AND representative, met its demise due to rampant sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
We joke about it; but we shouldn’t because this country is NOT immune to the same fate. In fact, we’ve reached a point where political fact has become indistinguishable from political fantasy.
Yes, while the “truth MAY set us free,” it can’t if we insist on NOT hearing it. And, there is no shortage of political office seekers able and willing to make sure we never have to hear the TRUTH.
Politicians and their spokespeople have ALWAYS been experts at controlling the meaning of words. And, as always, those who control the meaning of words control those who REPEAT the words: mostly an increasingly dumbed down news media.
We call them spin-doctors. Their sole purpose is to redefine the truth by intentionally slanting facts to achieve certain political ends. And, it does not matter how damaging it is to the rest of the country. Beat the other side no matter what it takes, has become the political prime directive.
“Torture” did not become “enhanced interrogation” all by itself. But, the latter term makes the former term a lot more palatable, especially when its proponents tie it into national security issues and the WAR on TERROR.
Obamacare is a far cry from solving our healthcare delivery woes. But, it’s a reasonable starting point from which a sincere Congress can arrive at a fair delivery system that does the most good for the most people.
The urgency with which the Left shoved it down the nation’s throat was a joke and a national disservice. But there is no practical reason for scrapping it completely and starting all over.
But, from a political standpoint, screw whatever’s in the best interest of the country. Scrap it and start over. “Beat the other side no matter what it takes.”
And, this same unsustainable philosophy, now eagerly shared by both the Left and Right, also prevents us from solving our budget woes even as financial disaster menacingly yawns broadly before us.
A free investigative news media (both print and electronic) is supposed to prevent this but they’ve lost the courage and the knack for it. News is just another attractively packaged product sold at a profit to the country’s lowest common denominator. Ratings RULE!
Now people simply join a side behind their favorite pundit—no matter how stupid and self-serving. Today, even the weakest of candidates with the weakest of platforms need only wrap themselves in the American Flag and talk about the Constitution, whether they know anything about it or NOT.
And, they get away with it because there is no longer a shortage of nationalistic jackasses just chomping at the bit to believe every word they say. Truth has become whatever most people believe based on which side does the best job of slanting the facts.
However, reality is a function of ACTION, not words. It blows me away as I listen to all the office seekers (Left AND Right) who claim to be LEADERS promising to step forward to do what’s RIGHT even if it’s not POPULAR!
And, yet, not one of them so much as takes a daily dump without consulting with their pollsters to find out what is UNPOPULAR at any given moment so that they’ll know precisely what’s RIGHT!
We claim to want the truth; but we constantly reward lies. I realize that this has always been so in this country, but it seems to have risen to a state of sustained political horror; Dante must be speechless.
But, we deserve it because we put up with it election cycle after election cycle. It’s what happens when we tolerate too many numbskulls constantly trying to “Disneyfy” reality.
I’ve said it many times before. And, in celebration of the fact that I turned seventy-one this past Saturday, I’ll say it one more time just in case it’s my last time. Here it is.
Righties, even if we eliminate ALL the Lefties in the country, our problems would remain every bit as serious as they are now; they’d just be different ones.
Lefties, even if we eliminate ALL the Righties in the country, our problems would remain every bit as serious as they are now; they’d just be different ones.
As we’ve always found them, we’ll find most of our current and future answers wobbling about the political middle. And, until we FORCE the political and special interest spin-doctors to understand this, things will only continue to get worse.
And, to the dads of the world, Happy Fathers Day!
Joe Walther is a freelance writer and publisher of The True Facts. You may comment on his column by clicking here.