The twenty first century has not started off well. I believed that Nixon was the worst President I would ever see, and then along comes Bush. It's no accident that both Bush and Nixon are Republicans. I don't see how we could have gotten a Democrat that would be so bad. I'm not saying that there aren't bad Democrats out there, look at Joe Lieberman, but I don't believe that they would ever capture the primaries. Chicken hawk Joe might have been Vice-President if not for a stolen election, but he's not.
I sense a high degree of fatalism in the Progressive ranks. There is so much doom and gloom out there, that I'm cautious about reading too much of it, less it ruins my day. I try to take it with a grain of salt. There are a few of you out there that really might as well go and kill yourselves just to end the misery that you seem to be feeling. I'd be the first to admit that this world is in a pretty tight place right now, but I don't see it self-destructing anytime soon. I could be wrong, but seriously, lighten up on the rhetoric just a little if you can. I don't really want repeats of Columbine because some young progressives have been reading articles on the web and taking it all to heart.
It's really amazing how everyone jumped on that 2% of the people have most of the wealth. How does anyone really know that? Every once in a while we all have to step back once in a while and take a reality check. It's a good statement, and you can get a lot of mileage out of it, but is it really true? How could anyone really, really know? It doesn't do anyone any good to be seen as just another "liberal" or "progressive", using the same rhetoric as the rest of them. One good way to not set yourself up for a comment or an accusation like that is to give the source of the statement. According to "so and so" is good way. Sometimes we end up sounding exactly like the right wing crowd with all the buzzwords. Believe me when I say I'm as guilty as anyone on this. I'm just thinking out loud here. I believe what I am trying to get at is to try to engage these people. Try to write "for" them instead of "about" them. We really do need everyone we can get to support the things we're working for, the issues are so damn important we can't afford to alienate everyone. We are going to need everyone, especially the people that are interested enough to read articles on a progressive site such as OpEdNews.com. Something brought them here. Even if we prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that we're right as rain about an issue, people will tune us out and go into a defensive mode and just concentrate on the things they don't like, such as buzzwords and tired old phrases.
Once someone is stereotyped, they become less effective. I had always thought of Al Sharpton as a bigmouth suit that was always looking for the spotlight, until I read an article about him from someone in the African-American community. She said that when a person of color is in trouble, Al Sharpton is there. She asked how many white people can claim that? Whether it is true or not, it started to make me think about the things he was saying and noticing how many times he pops up. My tired old opinion of Sharpton changed by reading an article. That's what we need to do. We have to present things in a way that gets them thinking. When I was in the Army, I had a reputation of being well liked by the troops under me. I was promoted when I was just 18 years old. The other Sergeants were always asking me how I got the guys in my section to like me. It was true, I could get my guys to do anything. It was simple to answer; I told them that I talk TO them instead of AT them. Some guys got it, some didn't.
The object of writing political articles is to get someone to believe in what you are saying. Anyone can write an article, that's easy. All you have to do is state your facts and then go ahead and give your opinions. That isn't all though. Writing an Op-Ed is really like having a one way argument. You have to be thinking about what your reader will be thinking when he or she is reading your stuff. What I do is that I always assume that the person reading my article is a right wing neocon. That's my target audience 90% of the time. If I wasn't trying to reach those people, if I'm writing for my fellow Progressives, I'm preaching to the choir. I don't want to put all this time and effort into something just to validate things that my audience already knows. That's no fun. I want to make a point. I want to change somebody's mind. I'm trying to get people on my side. Unless I'm talking about something that I consider news, or a fresh perspective on something, I'm always trying to make a point. Sometimes I can read a long drawn out article, and when I'm finished with it, I still don't know what the hell the point of the article was. I'm sure it's happened to you,... doesn't it piss you off? You wish the person responsible for writing it was right in front of you so you could say; "So...what the hell is your point?"
I've been doing a lot of thinking. I've been by myself twelve hours a day, with absolutely nothing to do except surf the web, think and write, because of my job. Some of the things that I'm reading make me believe that the way everything's shaping up, has gotten me more than a little nervous. I don't believe that Bush gives a rat's ass about the elections. I really don't. I think that he believes he has two years on his term, and that he can do and say anything he pleases. I don't belive that he thinks that anything he has done since he became President was in any way wrong. He may believe that his timing was wrong, or that someone screwed something up, but I think the man believes with all his heart, that he has seen everything correctly and that the people who are against him are just plain wrong. This is just about the worst possible thing that our nation could be faced with; that we have a sitting President that is a megalomaniac and who is very close to being a sociopath, if he isn't already a full blown sociopath.
This is why we have to step it up a bit. This guy is out to change the world so that it fits into his definition of how the world should be. He is not dealing in reality. He's seeing things as good and bad, as black and white. He isn't following any reasonable path, and to convieniantly shape him into someone that conforms to some neocon political theory is dangerous. He isn't in my opinion, following any type of preordained plan or theory. I believe that Bush has even got the neocons a little worried. This is a person that is unpredictable and thoroughly convinced that he can and will defeat all of America's enemies and put everything right, and make his family proud. I think this guy believes he can bring the United States to the same mindset of what it was in 1957, a nation that goes to church every Sunday, and all the citizen's believe that America is some kind of Camelot, and that there is no homosexuality, abortion or dissent, and if he can't achieve that then he'll die trying.
We need to get this guy out of the White House. We don't have all the time in the world, and it's going to take everyone working together. That's the point of this article. I wish I could convince Congress that we really have an emergancy here.