Is it so wrong to recognize that indeed “We all do better when we all do better” * and that we do so by providing more opportunities by whatever appropriate means are at hand rather than denying them to protect the interests of the already-too-powerful? Elevating the content and quality our public discourse while displaying more honorable public behaviors in the process—instead of what we witness on a daily basis—might prove more gratifying and meaningful in the long run, and for more of us. [That’s about as low a bar to overcome as one can set!]
CONFLICT AS THE NORM?
Are the intensely emotional, partisan, highly-charged, and polarized conflicts the better and wiser pursuits [notwithstanding the pointlessness of it all]? Is this simply the public display of how the political combatants’ private/social/professional lives are conducted: just an endless stream of constant, almost always senseless conflict, opposition, and obstruction? Is this how we’ll now define American exceptionalism? What happens if this remains the standard political and social problem-solving MO?
Will there come a time when at least most of us decide that perhaps we ought to consider choosing paths which give most of us the best chance of reasonable, acceptable levels of continuing well-being and prosperity? It is possible to pursue that aim even if those choices do not mesh with the ideologies and beliefs we cling to so tenaciously. It’s a choice we own.
Ideologies acted upon have consequences. Until and unless we develop a better understanding of what those guiding principles are; why they exist; what their significance is to the individuals and groups most closely identified with those characteristics, and most importantly: what are the short- and long-term ramifications of blind pursuit of policies supporting them, we’re left with the sole option of continuing to blindly wage ideological wars on all fronts.
It is that way; it just does not have to be that way.
Sure as hell what we’re doing now isn’t going to cut it if a peaceful and prosperous future is the goal! Do we pursue ideological victories above all else—disconnected as most tend to be from the challenges and issues we face in daily living—or do we instead work cooperatively to make lives better for all of us, rather than just the few? That choice is first an individual one, because we cannot depend on those in charge to begin disseminating more honest and complete information. Self-serving current tactics have proven to benefit the few at the expense of the general public, so let’s not hold our breaths that leaders and spokespeople will soon see the Light.
Half-truths and misleading strategies justifying current policies produce exactly what one should expect from half-truths and misleading strategies. While it is impossible to ignore the influence of cognitive dissonance on our ability to consider different viewpoints and modify our own if facts warrant, that intellectual/emotional/psychological discomfort when we sense we might be wrong about a firm belief is itself a powerful impediment. How to get past that when human nature inclines us to seek out whatever information we need to bolster our existing beliefs rather than challenge them?
Can we at least begin to appreciate the consequences of a failure to do so as a meaningful first step?
* [The late] Sen. Paul Wellstone
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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: Rough Seas at Long Beach, MA – 02.09.16
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.