Saturday, November 6, 2010

Politics, Opinions, Facts

It is unfortunate that people can't differentiate opinions from facts and base major decisions, such as voting, on bumper sticker slogans and the consistent repetition of lies.

We all have opinions, but there is only one set of facts. If I say that "George Bush was the worst president Americans ever had" some may take offense to it and use the force of their convictions to dispute my opinion. Even Democrats may balk at such a strong statement and immediately look for a president worse that Bush to prove that there are others out there that did not fare well. Someone might even bring up Nixon as an example or Ronald Reagan with a failed "trickle down economics" platform that never worked.

However, If I clearly delineate facts with figures and results that affected our lives in a negative manner such as cost of living, foreclosures, outsourcing jobs, Bank Bailouts, unpaid wars, mandates without funding, Katrina fiasco, 9/11 inaction, job loses, family incomes shrinking, the rich getter wealthier and the middle class shrinking, I may have a reasonable point in stating the above opinion.

Unchallenged Statements Should Bother You
When the son of Dan Quayle stands in front of a camera and states "President Obama is the worst president we ever had" and wins an election, it should trouble Americans that no facts are required to back up that position.

When someone blames the past 10 years economic failures on Obama, it should bother you that we remain unusually silent. When we don't challenge the vitriolic contents of the statements, nor do we go beyond the surface to understand who is pushing what agenda, it should bother you.

What should really bother you the most, is having the facts and doing nothing about it.

Reactions to Facts and Opinions

It is my opinion that Democrats don't like to fight. Once the facts have been established and opinions validated, they shake their collective heads and move on with their business.

It is my opinion that Republicans like to fight. They don't necessarily fight democrats but their own party. In this past mid-term election, rational thinking republicans decided that democrats could have pulled the car out of the ditch a lot faster and their republican representatives could have helped things along instead of playing up to the corporate masters.


Democrats stayed home hoping that their disgust with the situation was evident (that'll show'em!).

Republicans went out to vote against both parties by endorsing 3rd party lunatics that will make it even harder for their own party to work effectively. (that'll show'em!)


Mitchell Bard wrote a very good article on the Huffington Post titled "Three Good things for Progressives to take from the midterm elections". One section of the article resonated with me when I read it and it has to deal with my very own feelings of frustration at our collective short memory, our need for instant gratification and our visceral need to punish someone, anyone, just to feel better about ourselves.

... it's frustrating that Americans have such short memories. It was George W. Bush and a Republican congress who, over the course of most of the last decade, plunged the United States into the worst economic situation since the Great Depression, widening the gap between the wealthy and middle class to levels not seen for nearly a century. And it was traditionally conservative principles of deregulation and unfettered corporate power that created the housing bubble and nearly brought down the financial system.

But the voters are now trusting the same people responsible for leaving the country in tatters, who are proposing the same failed strategies again, to fix the problem? It makes no sense.
It's unreasonable to think the Democrats could fix this deep mess in less than two years. And it's even more irrational to punish the Democrats, who at least made efforts to start undoing the GOP-inflicted damage, while rewarding the Republicans, who practiced strategic obstruction, putting political gain over finding solutions that would help Americans in need.

Finally, it's frustrating that the dishonest campaign waged by Tea Party-dominated Republicans was funded by a post-Citizens United flood of millions of dollars of anonymous corporate and private money, with figures like Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and the Chamber of Commerce essentially buying the election.

I strongly urge you to read Mr. Bard's article in its entirety not only because it is well written but because it specifically addresses a variety of points that should resonate equally with democrats and republicans.

Final Thoughts:

"Either you are with us, or against us" ~ President Bush.

What if we, the citizens of this country, had united and said: "What you are proposing does not work for us, therefore Sir, YOU are against US".

Do you think we would have slashed the educational system? Do you think we would have 2 unpaid wars? Do you think for a second that the corporate funded tea party would have emerged? Do you think the Supreme Court would have been allowed to rule that corporations are people?

Our Democracy is not a football game!

A clear loser and winner in real life delineates oppression not democracy. It does not matter who the perceived winner is, democracy must work for all people in order to be effective and productive.

Perhaps the next time you hear President Obama wanting to compromise with the opposition, you will not roll your eyes and walk away but will take a moment to realize that he is truly committed to this democracy thing and he clearly understands that games are to be played on the court, not the house or the senate.

To reconstruct President Bush's statement:  Either you are part of this great country or you are not. Pitting citizens against each other only allows the distraction to shine the light away from what must be cleaned up.

This is a game we cannot afford to play.

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