How I’ll decide this electionPublished 10:47am Monday, April 9, 2012
So, in this election year we are going to have to sort through the most intense level of political propaganda that has ever occurred in the history of civilization. Why? Well, we now have to deal with “political action committees (PACs)” that were declared by our supreme court to have unfettered freedom to conduct “political propaganda” to their hearts content. And they have no limit on what they can spend or say. The funny thing to me is that they have the opinion that “corporations” have the same rights as any individual to free speech. That thought in itself seems totally contrary to the constitution and declaration of independence (another discussion). What does this mean? Can Goldman Sachs show up at the polls and vote? Apparently, they can. But they are doing it through PACs.
The point is that is going to take some seriously critical thinking to identify real facts, knowledge and wisdom in the “new reality” of political “propaganda-ism” that we are all going to be “blasted” with this year. (I saw a bumper sticker that hit home on this and it said “Critical Thinking, the Other American deficit”).
How is a rational person going to sort this barrage of rhetoric and outright lies this year? Frankly, I don’t know.
Unfortunately for some political viewpoints, governance is the ultimate outcome of an election. Once elected, the rhetoric has to be connected to reality of governance and if it can’t be connected with reality, unscrupulous people try to distort reality before they “deal” with reality. The downside is that America loses every time that statesmanship fails.
The stakes are huge given the amount of money and greed that exists in our economy (at least until we have total economic collapse when the super-rich will just move to their other home in New Zealand). Unfortunately, many politicians have “de-volved” and are more about distorting than dealing.
What we need are leaders like the ones that are choosing to drop out during this cycle. I’m not going to list them, but they are the ones that are pragmatic, not driven by their ideology. They know that principles and ideology are important but also instinctively know that pragmatism is the only real ideology. Belief, right or wrong, is the only thing that keeps ideology alive. And reality is the inconvenient truth with regard to beliefs-religious or political. I’m an engineer, a scientist, and a businessman. Reality and pragmatism are the only ideologies to me. Whatever is necessary to move civilization and humanity forward is what is important. Everything else is just delusion.
So, as this election year marches toward November, I’m going to be listening for bits of facts and truth. I won’t just listen to PAC advertisements or official statements from candidates. I will be listening for and checking facts. The new “information age” and technology gives me an advantage that I didn’t have in 1980. It allows me to check official and government databases, published historical statements from candidates and world views of statements on any issue from the comfort of my home computer. I can determine who is lying without the help of right or left-wing propagandist. I have to be diligent and not just accept what is said, I need to critically think about what I’m reading or hearing. I don’t need opinions from widely-read publications (that are clearly compromised by political money — e.g. Rupert Murdoch). I can essentially “write-off” all these “pundits”, do some research and get a “reality check” before I make a decision. It sounds like a lot of work, but it is my responsibility as a citizen of the greatest society that ever existed.