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A Way Forward

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Recently, it was reported that a group from Appalachia demonstrated in front of the White House in support of restricting coal mining companies from continuing the procedure of mountain-top removal. Members of that group assert a number of deleterious environmental results coming from this procedure. According to their claims, poisonous wastes are deposited into the water supply, rendering the entire area uninhabitable.

There is every reason to believe that these claims are accurate. A large number of individuals have been, or likely soon will be affected, Still the likelihood that these conditions will soon change is not likely to be a function of either of these matters.

The two opposing groups are the coal mining companies and the residents of the affected area. The power differential between the two is enormous. In a comment I made about the situation, I likened it to the "Beverly Hillbillies meeting Black Water." The residents have nothing to offer the companies to change, nor do they have anything with which to threaten them.

The residents then chose to do something that can most charitably be called, counterproductive. Somehow, they conjured the fantasy that if they were to demonstrate in front of the White House, someone (never specified who) would become aware of their cause and intercede on their behalf. Such, of course, was not to be the case. Since the demonstrators had nothing to offer to the Obama Administration (in this case, votes), they received no attention.

Instead a number of their group was arrested for causing a disturbance. Eventually the group packed up and went back to the "hollows from whence they had come. For several days preceding the demonstrations and for a few days following, an OEN writer provided coverage of the event, and posted a video or two on YouTube. But, in the hurricane of 24 hour coverage, the event was little noted, nor long remembered.

Compromise goes on every day. It can range from the adjustments we make within the family to maintain loving relationships, to the momentous decisions reached by leaders of countries. Both parties must desire something the other party can offer or withhold. If this condition does not obtain, then nothing changes.

Some have called members of one of the parties, "The Wealthy," others have named them, "The Ruling Class," while still others call them, "Politicians." One of the descriptors which applies no matter which of these names we use, it is that of, "Psychopath." As in the case of any generalization, this term cannot in all cases be applied to every member of the class, but it is safe to say that it is applicable to most.

In a classic 1956 film, Invasion of he Body Snatchers, normal people were transformed into creatures without feelings, yet, in all other ways, indistinguishable from normal human beings. This transformation occurred after being attacked by alien creatures from outer space. These transformed humans could only be recognized by a swelling on the back of the neck. This swelling resulted in naming these captured, dehumanized individuals, the label, "Pod People."

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We too, have our own very real Pod People with whom we must contend. We call them sociopaths, psychopaths, or anti-social personalities. It has been estimated that from 1 to 4% of the U.S. Population is composed of psychopaths (almost entirely males, although several female candidates participating in the 2010 election raise serious question in regard to this assertion). While there are many behavioral variants, the psychopath is recognized by his complete and total indifference to the effect of his actions on other people.

"... and characteristic of the psychopath are shallow emotions, the utter absence of empathy, guilt, or remorse, glibness/superficial charm, manipulativeness, inconsistency, deceitfulness/lying and a grandiose sense of self-worth."

Almost all of us have had experience with the psychopath. Most recently, it has been the belligerent, the intractable, and inevitably stupid manager or supervisor. For some, (approximately a third for girls, and 20% for boys) it was the molestation suffered at the hands of the trusted adult; the teacher, the clergyman, or the coach.

In the end, we all have suffered at the hands of psychopaths: that giant ruling class which is comprised of our elected officials, some in the Supreme Court, others in the Military, (including the PMCs) the CEOs of giant corporations, and the bankers who fill the caverns of Wall Street. In the real world they are Sarah Palin, John McCain, Rush Limbaugh, Clarence Thomas, and David Petraeus. When we turn away, seeking respite in fiction, there is Gordon Gekko happily waiting to greet us.

When you think about these experiences, it is evident that there is and there never was any negotiation possible with these psychopaths. They wanted what they wanted and they took it.

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So the question then becomes how does one bring about change when dealing with the psychopath class? I can tell you how it is not achieved. It does not come about through negotiation. It does not happen by street demonstrations, nor the expression of anger or moral outrage. Nor does it come about by accusations of conspiracies haunted by ghostly, unnamed conspirators.

Then, what is left? It seems to me that the only ultimate solution is to become part of them! With all the technology available to reach out and communicate, it should be possible for the young, energetic and educated of our young adult population to use the tools which they access every day, to run costless campaigns making it possible for them to circumvent the established party control and find a way to replace one psychopath at a time.

I look at the number of friends that people claim for themselves In Facebook and Twitter. The famous "Six Degrees of Separation," have certainly collapsed to an unknown smaller number. Remembering the communication links which were made between the student population of Iran, and the rest of the world, it should be possible to use those same mechanisms for individuals to find a way to become elected as members of the House of Representatives, taking the first steps to returning us to the dream of being a Representative Republic.

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An OpEdNews editor, Sherwin Steffin is a retired educator, and research analyst. His working career ranged from classroom teacher, university administrator, founder and CEO of two software companies, independent consultant, (more...)
 

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As difficult as things look today, there are alway... by Sherwin Steffin on Saturday, Oct 2, 2010 at 5:24:26 PM
Mr. Steffin -- You make many good points. One prob... by Fannie LeFlore on Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 at 9:53:54 AM
Thank you for your comments, I did want to amplify... by Sherwin Steffin on Sunday, Oct 3, 2010 at 12:51:25 PM
Mr. Steffin -- We're on the same page. I am a ment... by Fannie LeFlore on Monday, Oct 4, 2010 at 10:17:38 AM
Your suggestion that psychopathic behavior and one... by Sherwin Steffin on Monday, Oct 4, 2010 at 12:54:55 PM
I try to avoid stereotyping groups of people for t... by Fannie LeFlore on Tuesday, Oct 5, 2010 at 9:03:59 AM