Although we hear the terms often, LOTS of people are confused about weather watches versus warnings. So, to clarify, weather authorities issue WATCHES whenever the conditions are right for violent storms to occur. Be on the lookout, in other words. On the other hand, WARNINGS mean that authorities have actually spotted violent activity; and, people need to get out of the way!
Since political discourse in this country has become so vitriolic and bitterly divisive over the last 40-years, the past 12-years in particular, we need to develop the same types of warnings/watches regarding the destructive affect of a steady flow of hot air masses that are sucking the lifeblood out of this nation.
I’ve always maintained a general approach to this blog, column, or whatever else people wish to call it. I’ve varied the content to cover all topical areas. I’m not changing this approach, either. However, I’m adding a non-partisan political component to its content.
At my age, I don’t care how people vote. I’ve always made my own choices by thinking matters out. I assume most of those reading my stuff have done likewise, which is why I steer clear of addressing people as though they haven’t, and that a short 3-minute chat with me will straighten them right out.
However, I have included a link toward the bottom of this piece that suggests the critical kind of thinking necessary to get us out of this mess.
So, this is not a GOOD versus EVIL venture. Neither is it a LEFT versus RIGHT exposé. It’s not, depending on how people view it, about unexpected benefits or unintended consequences of the Tea Party’s emergence. It isn’t about individual’s running for the President of the United States… Left, Right, or otherwise.
It’s about the inherent dangers of assuming an absolutist approach to our politics. “My way” or the “highway” has never worked in this country. It’s not working now; and it’s not going to work in the future unless we decide, most likely by default, to change our form of government. And, even then, that it’s working will be a mere illusion as we’re assuming our proper place amid history’s ONCE WAS.
So, to this end, let me relate a few tenets of political reality that I’ve found quite sobering over my 70+ years. And, I caution all of you; these are, even though I’ve fashioned them based on some very reliable empirical evidence, MY opinions. As such, they don’t mean squat to anyone but ME.
First—and this is highly critical for ALL of us to remember—America is a Republic engaged in a REPRESENTATIVE Democracy. This means that we, the PEOPLE, do NOT get to decide on solutions TO our problems; we get to choose the POLITICIANS who get to decide the solutions.
Second, people need to understand that political beliefs are always based in emotions. Unfortunately, emotions often trump facts, especially if the facts are unpleasant. In as little as a nanosecond, the weakest-held emotion can override the strongest-supported fact.
This human condition has given meteoric rise to an ever-more popular Conceptual Science: pseudo-science that advocates pre-research CONCLUSIONS while preemptively dismissing ALL factual contradictions to said conclusions.
It’s the thing that makes many folks in this nation deny reality and simply squint their eyes tightly closed while incessantly wailing: IS NOT! IS NOT! IS NOT!
We’re suffering the predicament we’re currently in because we’ve let too many political scam artists convince us that they can “DISNEY-FY” reality. And, since we’ve let them get away with it for so long, they’re still doing it; and, we’re still falling for it.
Since the birth of the 24-hour cable news cycle, the rise of issue-oriented talk radio, and the extremist Left and Right wing blogospheres, truth has been reduced to whatever most people believe. All we’re doing now is choosing sides depending on which of these charismatic intrepid windbags various groups anoint as their sage celebs.
I’ve listened as the likes of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Keith Olbermann, Chris O’Donnell, and others—some in Congress itself—have said and written things that would have rendered Dante, himself, speechless! Of course, the stuff rolls off the backs of 3-digit IQs, but the loonies eat it up in huge gulps! The LOONIES, of course, ALWAYS vote; the 3-digit IQs… NOT always!
It’s pretty simple, folks. If we don’t know where we’re going, any route will take us there. And, there is NEVER a shortage of folks willing to give us clueless directions to get us there in the shortest possible TIME.
Third, NEVER underestimate the ability of politicians to (1), say volumes without telling us a single thing; (2), to do it in an absolutely convincing way; and (3), touch ALL the bases so as to convince us that they FEEL our pain.
Fourth—and this is especially true nowadays that any criticism of our government results in charges of unpatriotic and/or cowardly behavior—understand that weak candidates proffering weak platforms always wrap themselves in the American Flag and babble on about their clueless interpretation of our Constitution.
It’s a fundamental fact of Democracy—representative or direct—that people in ANY country cannot possibly stand up FOR their government unless they have the RIGHT, the CAPABILITY, and the WILLINGNESS to stand up TO their government.
But, unfortunately, the primary talent of office seekers, especially first-timers, lies in their constantly prattling on about their non-existent, self-professed leadership prowess, yet, they don’t take so much as a dump without checking their polling numbers. Leadership? RIGHT!
Even more disheartening is that the news reporters of yesteryear used to call these people to task over this nonsense. But, NO MORE!
In the days of Edward R. Murrow, Eric Sevareid, Walter Cronkite, Marguerite Higgins, John Cameron Swaze, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, Mike Wallace, and others on both sides of the political aisle, the press would have applied such fire to today's political feet, that they would have snuck out of town in the dark of night.
Unfortunately today, however, much of the press is obsessed with hollow “gotchas” and securing high ratings through selective, pointless sound bites. Clever but meaningless slogans trump sound, realistic ideas. Today’s lowest common denominators demand them.
The politicians of today learned 30-years ago that answers are of no consequence as long as they’re to the WRONG questions. The news media seems clueless!
So, for the next two years—assuming I remain alive, and drooling does not become my primary endeavor, I intend to start calling fertilizer for what it is, no matter who, specifically, tries to sell it! Stay tuned.
Finally, if you really want a sample of the type of thinking that can turn this country around, click here. I’m not saying that Mark Cuban is the answer, but his kind of thinking IS a huge part of it.
And, if a genuine POLITICIAN were to come along with his kind of financial clout and his ability to articulate ideas, we’d see a housecleaning inside the halls of Congress the likes of which none of us have ever witnessed.
Have a great week!
Joe Walther is a freelance writer and publisher of The True Facts. You may comment on his column by clicking here.