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Left v. Right: Different Worlds Pt 6

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October Sky, Good Harbor Beach MA
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If the only advantage in preserving a status quo is to delay doing anything, the primary achievement will be to ensure the difficulties have been compounded. Shocking but true: Little if anything gets done when nothing is being done! That means more of us will be impacted by the consequences of political delay and/or neglect.

Cause-and-effect merits more consideration than it gets. All the more so in light of the steady stream of nonsense issuing from Donald Trump and his apologists.

On matters of significance outside of our own four walls, where facts actually matter a great deal--certainly much more so than seems the case when Trump is uttering his pseudo-authoritative pronouncements--what is the ultimate benefit to an individual or for the community at large if factual accuracy is not the objective in both the analysis and in the solutions?

An unwillingness to even consider that those on the opposite side of the cultural and political table might have sound, justifiable, and legitimate perspectives about the need for change, adaptation, or simply to increase awareness and understanding in a variety of situations does not prevent the inevitable, resulting harm from landing atop conservatives as well. Distractions, irrelevancies, dismissive conclusions, denials, and even wilder accusations employed as techniques of both persuasion and resistance are not without their own set of consequences.

How does the unwillingness to consider new information or perspectives--or to even inquire about how Trump actually proposes to make good on his bluster--merit greater and unquestioned loyalty than one's own well-being--now and in the future? We're presumably dealing with a lot of rational and intelligent adults, so how do the fears so much front and center in his every public utterance outweigh the risks of both asking how solutions will be implemented and/or pondering for even a moment the great body of reality and facts which clearly indicate he lies at just about every opportunity?

Is a political and cultural agenda guided largely by fears of and aversion to change in a world where changes are taking place every day a guarantee for anything other than more conflict and resistance? Is it possible that consideration of how to have a voice in how change takes place and what changes are best for us as a nation might actually be a better option than simply opposing policy because the other side proposed it, or blindly accepting nonsense?

No doubt the cards in America are stacked against progressive values. In a society that is culturally right of center, broadly anti-intellectual, and politically unsophisticated, the Far Right seeks and easily achieves power through the simple means of divisive appeals to popular fears and resentments. Meanwhile, those on the left are written off because their progressive approach to the issues is considered either soft-headed or 'socialistic,' and therefore un-American.

[B]eing on the side of empirical evidence and rationality has become a huge part of the liberal/Democratic brand.

For conservatives, not so much.

We don't have to dig too deeply into most of the Republican Party's obstruction and opposition to most proposals from President Obama to understand that opposition was driven not by principled objections--offering alternatives would be the obvious way to address that ... what a concept!--but by fears that a government doing well and offering beneficial assistance to millions invalidates the entirety of their mindless no-government philosophy. Trump has merely taken it all to a level devoid of even a hint of decency or integrity.

A "no government" philosophy won't ruffle too many of the 1%-ers, but as for the hundreds of millions of others who would soon discover what life is like when the sole objective of society is to continue to cater to the powerful, that's different, too. Won't that be fun!

Permanent overall improvement of the human condition" is the ideal, and our every effort to that end should already be the primary objective of our governments, our industries, our communities, and ourselves as individuals. We won't be getting there anytime soon, but does the realization that we'll never get to "perfect" mean we shouldn't take steps to continue heading in that direction by means indicating even a basic appreciation for truth and facts?

The "success" of those political, media, and cultural leaders in opposing or obstructing has a much shorter shelf-life than they may be anticipating, with a bigger price tag we'll all be forced to confront somewhere down the road. The can can only be kicked so far, and reality can be postponed only for so long.

Efforts to derail or at least divert the reality of an ever-changing world by adopting simpler assessments and policies serve only to cast supporters that much farther behind, requiring an even greater effort to control the reins of social and political progress. It won't work, for one thing. Creating or expanding conflict as a tactic reaps the only rewards protracted conflict can provide: more conflict.

All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware of how small an influence of reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field
True, sadly. We could improve on that ... a choice.

So now what?

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Looking Left and Right: Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows I remain a firm believer in late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone's observation that "We all do better when we all do better." That objective might be worth pursuing (more...)

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