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Left v. Right Pt 5

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October Sky, Good Harbor Beach MA
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Personal responsibility as a defining feature of our nation's character also encompasses the need to demonstrate integrity, honesty, and courage. We do so by accepting unpleasant truths, and then dealing with them to the best of our collective abilities, regardless of the ideologies we cling to in an abstract environment where outcomes never matter.

Our behaviors and psychological shortcuts may buy us another day of avoidance, or allow us to pass on responsibility for dealing with the challenges to others, but there is a price to pay for ceding involvement and responsibility. And a moment's pause will bring some clarity as to who is benefitting and who is not.

That latter point tends to get lost amid the noisy distractions coughed up by the various mouthpieces of the GOP's far-right faction. Keeping followers suitably distressed and distracted is admirable for its effectiveness, to be sure, but as a measure of public integrity, honesty, and acting for and in the best interests of the general public, it falls woefully short.

Preserving their power and position in the cultural and political hierarchy is Goal Number 1, but announcing that objective is not exactly an objective of theirs. Distractions, misrepresentations, deception, denials ... the list is long. Whatever works, right?

That is a reality that primary beneficiaries of the current "system" are hell-bent on preserving for themselves. Shining a brighter and broader light on that truth is the last thing the few wish to have the many understand. Too many of them are well aware of an unfortunate truth supposedly uttered by, of all people, Adolf Hitler: "What good fortune for those in power that people do not think."

Accordingly, they waste no time in keeping their supporters duly agitated and afraid. All tactics are on the table. Those distractions succeed, if the definition of "success" is suitably broadened and perverted to protect the interests of the few at the public's ongoing expense. Should it be a surprise to any of us that most of those efforts are not glowing with decency?

Exhibit A1 is the shameful refusal of Republican Senators to grant Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland so much as a simple hearing. They're re-casting the Constitution to suit their interests, the well-being of American democracy be damned. [Exhibit A is of course anything and everything bellowing out of the limitlessly appalling Donald Trump.]

The shameless argument put forth that the next President should be allowed to choose--"giving voters a say"--is so transparently, hideously indecent that it's a wonder adults are willing to even think about making that claim in defense of their actions, let alone publicize it. We had a presidential election a few years back, per the Constitution. The voters had their say over how the process would work until January of 2017.

We should give serious thought to no longer allowing the integrity-challenged to be in charge.

At some point we'll have no choice but to cooperate. The problems and challenges facing us in the near and longer-term will not go away just because we're not willing to deal with them. While it may be jarring to open the door to viewpoints and the accommodation of values prized by our political foes, doing nothing means those problems and challenges will get worse. We'll then be left with fewer opportunities to properly address them. Wiser choices are available.

Are these mindless conflicts the best lessons we can pass on to our children? What should anyone expect when nonsense in its various shadings is the primary contribution? Are the small talking-point victories today so much more important than the future we're now creating?

Adapted from a blog post of mine
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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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