Tag Archive | elections

Hubris of Ignorance

The following link is provided with the permission of Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station:
http://www.stonekettle.com/2017/04/the-hubris-of-ignorance.html

 

This will take a few minutes to read, so get a good cup of coffee, or as Jim might suggest, a beer.  Make yourself comfortable and be prepared to think a bit.

Here are some samples from Jim’s excellent article:

 

“Have  you been following this? All these airplane crashes? And everyone is so confused. Everyone is going, Gosh, how come there are so many airplane crashes? Well, um, I gotta theory here. You remember, what was it? Like, uh, four years ago? The air traffic controllers, they went on strike? And then, um, Ronald Reagan fired ‘em? So then they just hired anyone who was hanging out at the time. And now everyone is going, Geez, how come there are so many airplane crashes? How come there are so many airplane crashes?! I dunno, maybe Walt the janitor isn’t qualified to land a Boeing 707!”
— Bobcat Goldthwait

Maybe Walt the Janitor isn’t qualified to land a Boeing 707.

But then again, in America we’d love to believe Old Wally could maybe pull it off.
Because we Americans, we sure love the heroic myth of the common man.

Oh we do. We prefer myth over reality every time.

We love to tell ourselves that one.

It’s the myth of our country’s birth. We love that myth more than all the others combined.

We tell ourselves with great pride how a bunch of raggedy assed, untrained colonists one day rose up against tyranny.  The Minutemen were roused from their beds in the middle of the night by Paul Revere and they rallied to the Stars and Stripes. They threw all the tea into Boston harbor and sent England a stiff upraised middle finger, up yours, we ain’t paying no taxes no more.  And then a bunch of farmers grabbed up their muskets and formed themselves into a militia under good old George Washington and this army of amateurs chased the Redcoats all the way back to England without any help from anybody except for Jesus.

Because Americans are special. Exceptional.

And when they’d thrown off the yoke of tyranny, well, then a bunch of common men gathered in Philadelphia to receive the Constitution directly from God. They wrote down the sacred words and everybody signed it, especially John Hancock, and America was born.

Amen.

That’s the myth we tell ourselves, we Americans.

We’re special. Exceptional. We pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps and forged the Republic out of the mud with our own hands.

We’re a nation of amateurs. Bunch of Good Old Boys beat the best army on the planet. Bunch of farmers wrote the Constitution and laid down the foundation for the greatest country in the world. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people. In America, we’re not ruled over by kings. We don’t owe our allegiance to some hereditary weak-chinned inbred royalty.

No, Sir.

In America, why the people are the government and anybody can be president.

Anybody.

We are a nation of amateurs and damned proud of it, aren’t we?
That’s what this election was about.”

“Moreover, we Americans by and large tend to be suspicious of education and experience when it comes to government.

Anywhere else, brain surgeon, airline pilot, corporate CEO, dog trainer, we want the most experienced person we can get. But the President? Not so much. Power corrupts, right? You got to clean house every once in a while. Throw the bums out.

Except…
Except, in retrospect, perhaps ignorance and a suspicion of “elites” isn’t the best way to go about selecting a leader.

The world is a dangerous and complicated place.
Almost unimaginably so.

And nothing is as simple or as straight forward as it seems and as the mob apparently believes.
Foreign nations do not kowtow to the United States.

This is not something new.

This is no weakness of Carter or Clinton or Obama – or Reagan and Bush for that matter. These nations have never bent a knee to us. From Morocco during Roosevelt’s time, to Cuba and Vietnam during Kennedy, to Libya under Reagan to Haiti and Grenada and Panama and all the nations that fill your news feed today.
It is the nature of nations, large and small, to push back – and in fact, like dogs, the smaller a nation is, likely the more fierce and furious its bark.

At home, we Americans face the same problems we’ve always faced, energy and resources, civil rights, race, age, religion, law and order, unrest, left and right, young and old, health care, education, infrastructure, jobs.

It’s complicated and difficult and always on the verge of failure.
This is not a world for a government run by amateurs.”
Jim wrote one thing I especially have to quote…okay, then comment:
“The simpleminded demand simple causes for complex problems.
The simpleminded demand simple solutions.”
****
Fellow Americans..fellow humans, for that matter:
Are we truly simple minded?  Or is it more that we don’t engage our minds to their full capacities?
If the former is true, we are in deep trouble and the situation is hopeless.  If it’s the latter, however, we need to get off our butts, wake up and engage!
I will come back to this quote in a future post:  It’s just too rich to leave.
****

Go read the full article; enjoy.

 

 

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Don’t Give Your Power Away

I have been reading headlines about the increase of calls to crisis centers and all of the fear people have because Donald Trump got elected.  I myself was stunned and distressed when I woke up to that news last Wednesday.  I still find it quite dismaying.

 

The thought that helped me was, “You know, I’ll go to bed tonight, get up tomorrow, eat breakfast and get on with my day…”

 

Here is my poetic way to encourage anybody in the world who might find this helpful:

 

People get elected;
New policies made;
Whatever you do,
Don’t give your power away!

 

Promises and comments;
Plans that seem to fade;
Whatever you do,
Don’t give your power away!

 

Pressures and challenges;
Provocations stay;
Whatever you do,
Don’t give your power away!

 

Hear the truth I’m sharing;
You still have a say:
Whatever you do,
Don’t give your power away!

 

You go to bed each night;
Get up every day;
Whatever you do,
Don’t give your power away!

 

You’re still a whole person,
So don’t be afraid;
Whatever you do,
Don’t give your power away!

Take Good Care

Dearest readers,
I am writing to encourage you, whether you are in the United States as we count down the last 22 days to our presidential election, or you live in any great place around the world.

 

There is a priceless treasure in each nation:  Its people.  We come in all sizes, colors, beliefs, “classes” and levels of ability; many are educated; others not so much.  In short, we are unique…yet we hold so much in common.

 

I have listened as we are told that America is no longer great; that we are stupid, deceived, helpless victims of the media, other countries, our government…whatever else.

 

Here is what I say to all of that:
We are precious, capable, powerful, principled and decent people.  We share much wealth in our heritage, diversity, skills, hopes, dreams and standards.  We have accomplished much and have a lot to do.

 

WE are not alone:  We have many brothers and sisters around the world.  They join us in promoting the best for all people.

 

Take good care.
Take good care of the treasure called you.
Take good care of those around you:  Your family, friends, neighbors, community, nation and world.

Do not let the poison of depreciation or disparaging remarks sicken your soul; throw negativity in the trash so that it can’t spread to others.

Draw a line in your life:  If it is angry, degrading, judgemental, indecent, violent, hurtful to others or you, reject it.

Set your eyes on what is good, true, lovely, praiseworthy, noble, honorable and life-giving.  Build on these.  Absorb, nurture, develop and share these qualities.

 

Apply what I am writing to everyone in your life, from yourself and family to the highest office in the land.

 

Let our expectations be strong and bright; let them match the priceless value of our most precious national treasures:  Us.

I DECIDE

I was thinking about all of the struggle and turmoil that gets reported to us each day.  I was reminded that each person gets to choose his or her identity and quality of life, even when others vie so hard to take control

 

This poem is dedicated to each of you, dear readers.  May you recognize your ownpower, rights and choices:

****

 

Things may happen
In the world around me;
But I decide
Who I’m going to be.

 

Tragedy tries
To steal joy away;
But that is mine
To choose every day.

 

Fear does its best
To destroy my peace;
But I hold fast;
With courage that won’t cease.

 

Unhappy news
Intrudes on swift wings;
But I refuse
To hear what it brings.

 

The power is mine
To live well and strong;
I am the one
Who sings my own song.

.

SEEDS

Seed sown in anger,
Frustration and fear
Yields fruit that makes us ill;
But seed sown in hope
With vision That’s clear
Prospers and brings good will.

 

 

Hatred spawns hatred;
Prejudice brings death
Breaking nations apart.
But love and kindness
Is Life’s very breath,
Uniting us in heart.

 

 

Choose seeds that produce
A bountiful land;
With plenty for us all.
Let no one allow
Division to stand;
Let honor be our call.

 

 

Let all that we say
And all that we do
Build a nation that’s strong.
Where every person
Can know that it’s true:
Liberty is our song!