That got your attention didn’t it?! I always remember the saying not to discuss religion or politics on a first date. Maybe that should be the same rule with blog posts, but heck, I’ve thrown caution to the wind before, right? Really, this isn’t meant to be controversial, candidate bashing or promoting, but more just a series of observations regarding our current state of the union and the political process in general.
There’s a lot happening in the world right now, and much of it is scary as hell. We watch the news each day and hear about ISIS, Paris, Homeland Security, North Korea, Russia, Boko Haram, human trafficking, drug cartels, Syrian refugees, and a growing unrest everywhere. Add into that our own homegrown terrorists shooting at clinics, shopping malls, movie theatres, marathons, and bombing buildings. No one feels safe, truly safe, anywhere anymore. We have a lot to think about as a country and a lot to work on.
The real problem is that none of the work is simple or easy. There is no quick fix solution to any of these issues. They are mired in decades, centuries, or even millennia of history that most people have no clue exist or acknowledge that it still affects things today. We have been so engineered into wanting a quick fix; a 10-second sound byte, a campaign promise that sends our hearts swelling with pride and promises to return our country and our safety back to us, that we forget to think. We forget to question, to research, and to educate ourselves. We have forgotten the art of debate, a CIVIL art designed to pit our best minds against one another to help bring forth the truth and educate each other. Watching a political debate now is just a show on how to artfully avoid answering the questions and to create 10-second sound bytes while cutting off the other candidate.
Regarding politics, we have to listen. We have to require our candidates to tell us HOW they are going to accomplish their goals, and HOW MUCH it is going to cost us in taxes, lives, and freedoms. We MUST require our candidates to substantiate their claims and SHOW that they can lead us to finding solutions to hard problems in contentious situations. We need diplomacy and action because they are not separate paths.
Mostly, we need to EDUCATE ourselves on our candidates and make educated decisions about who will lead us. Too often we take our friend’s advice or make a decision based on those few sound bytes. Heck, my former mother-in-law made her decisions based on who she thought was more handsome and “presidential looking.” Seriously, that was her decision making process.
We need to take some cues from some of my friends from
other countries who have multi-party systems and really dig into the platform and background of each candidate. We need to read and listen to the news, not just from US media sources, but also from other countries like the BBC or Al-Jazeera to see how other countries and cultures interpret the same world events and candidate platforms, and then make our own decisions. The truth will be in there somewhere and it may not be in the US media. It is eye opening.
I have a lot of research to do myself. I guess this is as much a pep talk and kick in the behind for myself as it is a reminder to anyone who reads this. We need to make our decisions in an educated manner about our candidates.
Don’t get your only information on politics from Facebook posts and memes!
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