Greetings and Salutations;
I saw an interesting query on FaceBook today, and thought I would say a few words about it. The poster had this question and comments:
T.M. Trump is a problem. The GOP is a problem. Our fellow Americans who elect these problems are the biggest problem. What is wrong with these people?
My reply to this query was as follows (although I have extended it a bit here)
D.M. That is a complicated question to answer. here is my take.
- They are people who are frightened of the complexity of today’s society, and by the speed of change in it.
- They are people who have fear of people of color, those of other faiths, or political leanings, because they have been programmed by the unending firehose of demonization of “the other” that has been going on for 20+ years. Think back…when was the last time that any of us heard a campaign where issues were brought up, and both sides discussed them in a rational and non-emotional way, and simply presented their solutions for those issues, without disrespecting their opponent’s character, beliefs, etc?
- They are people who are afraid of losing their jobs because of events outside of their control, and not being able to find work elsewhere. So, when their company closes because of their product becoming obsolete (how many buggy whip manufacturers are still in business?) or, due to economic pressures moves to an off-shore location, they, rightly, feel betrayed. However, the problem is that more often than not, they blame a political party for their troubles rather than the greed of the corporations.
- Too many of them are under-educated, either because of the terrible funding of public school systems, or their fanatical parents programming them to have a particular world view. Both these tend to ensure that the concepts of critical thinking, and rational thought are never a part of their life skills.Because of these factors, they are gullible, and, as 2016 showed, are able to be easily fooled because the candidate seems to support the ONE issue they care about. These factors also allow them to ignore all the other facets of the candidate’s character.Once they have committed to a candidate, they are unable to admit they were wrong, as it would be too big a blow to their somewhat fragile ego. So, instead they dig in and scream their support all the more, accusing those who are pointing out the failures of their boy of being “haters”, “driven by emotion, not facts”, “unwilling to give him a chance”, and the like. And, of course, to hark back to the jobs issue…they often are not able or willing to re-train for a different job…
- When I was in elementary school, more years ago than many of you on the Net have been alive, I saw a disturbing tendency for many students to have a real contempt for education and intelligence. It was not a goal to strive for, but, rather, was a reason to insult and bully others. There was a widespread tendency to look upon teachers as jokes, people that were unable to get “real” jobs, and so did not deserve respect, compensation, or attention. I am sorry to say that these attitudes have grown and are very prevalent these days. This, of course, is a factor that is the root of several of the issues I have touched on previously in this essay.
- As I touched on previously, these factors have caused a great divide in this country, and is rotting it from within. The hypocrisy of the demonization by candidates of their opponents, followed up by calls to work together. How, I have often wondered, can one spend months calling one’s opponents demons from Hell, bent on the destruction of all we hold dear, and then turn around the next day after the election and expect to work with them like respected colleagues? This demonization has worked its way down to the rank and file of both parties, however, it is far more virulent on the Republican side. It is not hard to see the difference with even the most casual examination of Social Media. For example, I have over the past 10 years sat through the Obama Administration, when the Right-Wing produced a veritable flood of lies, racist and hateful images and posts, and obstruction. Yet, when the current administration was elected, that same Right-Wing not only claimed that the events of the Obama administration had not happened, but, told the Left-Wing that they needed to pull together, respect the person in the Oval Office, and work to make America Great! This almost cult-like mindset means that they are going to feel put upon still because the majority of Americans are not jumping on the Republican bandwagon.
How do we fix the problem? At this point, there are no easy answers. A GOOD start will be these steps
- Stop allowing lies to go without being called out. There is no need to be unpleasant about it, but, if an obvious lie is presented…speak up and say WHY it is a lie.
- Do not accept the specious argument that both parties are the same. The fact is that while the Democrats are not angels, by any means, they are far more supportive of all citizens, and the rule of law in this country than the Republicans.
- Do VOTE. We Democrats tend to fragment and so lose, for several reasons. We want the “perfect” candidate. When we have decided on a candidate, we are often unwilling to vote for anyone else. Either we do not vote, or we will vote for our candidate, even if it takes votes away from the front-runner.
- NEVER miss an election. We can get disheartened and fall into the error of thinking our votes do not count. That is exactly what the other side wants us to believe. By NOT voting, we are actually casting a vote for the other party.
- Take time to search out the contact information for your Federal Representatives, and then use that information. Watch what decisions Congress and the other branches of government are making, and actions they are taking, and give your representatives feedback either positive or negative. Be polite about it, and, only deal with one issue per communication.
- Advocate for the non-voters and undecided voters around you to vote for your party. Help them get registered, if necessary; arrange rides to the polls; do what you can to ensure that the true majority in America, the Liberal/Progressives, can finally gain the power necessary to stop this train wreck.
God Help Us All
Bee Man Dave