Looking Left and Right: A Better Future? Pt 3



What matters more: preserving ideology and one’s identity via affiliations with like-minded peers, or a better future? Sometimes giving up one is the only way to gain the other.

If we aren’t all thinking right now about what kind of a nation we choose to be and what kind of a nation we choose to leave for our children, we damn well ought to start soon. The ride affirming the soundness of our respective ideologies has been fun and all, but real-life beckons. We can’t even get within shouting distance of plans or solutions if we insist instead on waging ideological battles serving limited purposes today and tomorrow.




How many of us actually enjoy and/or thrive on the incessant partisan conflicts or the motivations urging us to keep up that good fight? That too many of us don’t seem to grasp just what the fight is all about—given the steady stream of misinformation filling the airwaves—is another issue….

Giving no thought whatsoever to how the partisan wars play themselves out is an oversight we’ll deeply regret. Consequences will not pause while the nonsense spreads, deepening the social and political divisions.

At some point, reality will make it very clear to even the most ardent, delusional deniers that partisan battles fought at current levels guarantee only more of the same; that the inevitable impacts of our warming planet grow more ominous by the day; that our fossil fuel supplies will become that much more inaccessible and prohibitively expensive—with widespread impact on just about every aspect of daily life; that inequality carries many more costs than we realize; that our economic growth and prospects for prosperity will be at the mercy of powerful financial and political actors to whom we have ceded almost total control; that same-sex marriage actually won’t cause the planet to explode; that not every person in America needs a dozen high-powered weapons … and this is just the Starter List. Through it all, an insistence on acting in our self-interest improperly understood will do nothing but make everything worse for just about everyone.




Contemplating that likelihood well before we have to confront it head-on might be a wiser course of action. Crisis management serves a purpose, but in view of the challenges we face now and in the years ahead, frantic and chaotic attempts to cobble together last-minute solutions won’t get us much. What Happens Then?

Isn’t it time we find a better and more constructive approach so that we actually solve some of the problems we’ll have to confront in due course, atop those already upon us? At what point does it dawn on the populace that too many policies and political decisions are motivated by the urgency of benefiting only the few? When do we come to the realization that there can be no “winners” when the preservation of two distinct ideologies is the only objective?

It’s all fine and well to hear what one wants to hear to appease exaggerated and hyped fears, but What Happens Then? is a question asked much too infrequently, if at all. Policy matters. In the long run, it matters much more to all of us than pandering nonsense which soothes uncertainties in the moment. Might be worth paying more attention to that important distinction….

Should it just be an ideal that we all live more peacefully, and that we do so by taking collective actions to create better and more rewarding opportunities for more us—all of which are based on a mutual understanding about the importance of cooperation and compromise? Expanding the collective good is not the worst choice we can make.


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Note to readers: In addition to my other blogs and writings here [see the Tabs above] and at Peak Oil Matters, I invite you to enjoy some brief excepts from my eBook political thriller:

The Tretiak Agenda

I’ll be posting them [here] beginning on June 15, and will continue doing so weekly throughout the summer


~ My Photo: Manhattan Beach, CA – 02.23.14


This series runs every Thursday


Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows

Be the change you want in the world Gandhi

The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm, but because
of those who look at it without doing anything Albert Einstein


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Our contrasting behaviors, beliefs, and ideologies are contributing factors to the very problems we’re trying to solve—the ones we must solve if our own ambitions and our hopes for a peaceful and prosperous world we leave to our children are to be well-served.

As each side bordering the political chasm digs in ever deeper to engage in skirmishes whose intensities and potential consequences seem to have no end point in sight, we should be wondering with greater urgency what sort of “community” will emerge from the wreckage. How are we preparing ourselves to pursue opportunities and provide for the well-being of our families when so much energy is dissipated in battles where nonsense is the primary weapon?

Assuming the future still matters to at least most of us, perhaps a momentary pause to consider where current choices will lead is called for….Ignoring legitimate real-world challenges, denying they exist, or making absurd, ignorant claims to defend unconscionable political tactics will not affect the arrival of those problems in the least. Widespread impacts will be following close behind. Do we continue the ideological battles, or decide to meet the challenges by cooperating as needed?

That there’s no chance whatsoever of gaining ground in any meaningful way seems to be routinely overlooked. So too do these battles offer nothing but the creation of more problems for us all in the years to come.