Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows
When all is said and done, we share an arguably common set of ambitions: peaceful existence; some measure of prosperity; a healthy dose of happiness for ourselves and our families, and guided always by the hope that there’s one better opportunity—at least one better tomorrow—just around the corner.
I’m a retired attorney and former financial adviser (among other professional detours) and now a writer [two e-books were published in 2014].
Not that a B.A. nearly four decades old means all that much today, but I do own a political science degree from way back when. [Feel free to blame my upbringing in the 1970’s for perspectives with which you disagree.]
Perhaps serving as a father/stepfather (with my wonderful wife) to three terrific young adults; a bit of maturity and wisdom hard-earned after a frustrating professional career; together with a more sincere, committed look beyond my own four walls, combined to stir things up a bit more—at least enough to motivate me to offer my two cents’ worth about what’s going on these days, along with some thoughts about how to make things better….
Most of us may view ourselves as belonging to one of two primary political groups to assist us in fulfilling those ambitions. We’re confident each has clear boundaries and conditions for inclusion. We’re also frequently quite confident that the “other” group is the most dangerous threat to peace, prosperity, and happiness.
Great theater, perhaps, but a destructive strategy affecting everyone.
The realities are different. We cannot solve common problems or satisfy mutual objectives if we can’t agree first on the facts; the goals; the nature of the problems and obstacles; or whether we even have problems to begin with.
The truth is we do have any number of challenges ahead.
Ideologies afford no protection from that truth—they merely delay our efforts to solve the problems and then triumph, while diminishing our prospects for success before we even begin. A strategy? Sure. An intelligent or effective one? Not so much….
President Obama’s uplifting first election was a major factor in my having developed a heightened commitment to learning about and commenting on matters of the world. My awakening to our energy resource challenges—evidenced by several hundred blog posts*—was just as crucial.
Perhaps it is these two factors more than anything which helped crystallize not just my thoughts about the world out there. They also encouraged a passionate devotion to learn why those on the conservative side of the fence view so many matters of great importance to us all so vastly different than do those of us on the progressive side.
The competing visions and beliefs frame all that we do … and don’t do. Each choice, each decision, and each perspective leads to its own set of outcomes—not always the “best” ones, either.
It’s time for a different—or at least another—perspective. I won’t waste much time arguing the merits of various policies. Invariably, each side has its own set of strong points. (Too often, too many dumb motivations become part of the mix as well.)
Observations about how the discussions are conducted, the motivations underpinning the eventual conflicts, and then shedding some light on more mutually beneficial options flowing from broader understandings are what I hope to offer (admittedly more than a bit idealistic at the moment).
I’d still like to make a small contribution toward changing the context and content of public debate. Understanding the ideological perspectives, beliefs, and values of those with whom we disagree is a good first step to engaging in more meaningful dialogue—idealistic as that may be. [Why not? Is what we’re “doing” now any better?]
Dealing with these and other national challenges to the best of our collective abilities, regardless of the beliefs we cling to in an abstract environment where outcomes never matter, is the task at hand. Sooner would be better.
The goal here is a simple one: I’d like to encourage a new level of civility and understanding in public/political discourse via postings at one of the blogs here: Looking Left and Right.
Reeling in the Religious Right by examining their beliefs, methods, and the consequences of the fundamentalist/authoritarian leanings is a necessary part of this process. Those topics are covered in another blog at this website: Life Will Answer, based in part on my eBook of the same name.
The method is likewise straightforward: I’ll share observations about (primarily) politics, the Christian Right, and culture by examining the ideological motivations underlying the perspectives and policy inclinations which frame the important issues of the day.
My hope is that at least some of you are willing to join me on the journey to finding a better way. Your own contributions are an important part of the dialogue.
My humble theory: taking even just a bit more time to understand that a peaceful, moral, prosperous future is what both liberals and conservatives seek will be an important step in fashioning—collectively—a moral, decent, and beneficial future. Choices.…
By the way: Offering Something Completely Different from time to time [specifically: The Middle Age Follies blog]—hat-tip to Monty Python—is also a freebie, as is commentary on quotes culled from a variety of sources. [Let’s not forget my two books, either: The Tretiak Agenda and Life Will Answer.]
[Please click on the My Books drop-down link at the top of the page–below the photograph–for additional information about each of these books]
Thanks for stopping by. I’ll look forward to the dialogue and your comments!
* For more, visit my blog Peak Oil Matters.