Are We Doomed?

Tim Bean

9/30/2012

 

 

Have you ever read the comments posted by readers of a particular news article; specifically the comments posted by readers of a particular news article on politics?  To say I “like” to do this would imply a certain level of masochism on my part; it is really more of a morbid curiosity.

I just got finished reading an article on First Read on NBCNews.com, entitled “Obama Makes Case for ‘Economic Patriotism’ in Battleground Virginia,” partly because I have already written about my thoughts on this new catchphrase campaign slogan three days ago; so I just wanted to see how a big time, big money, media outlet presents Obama’s new signature rhetorical piece.  I have to admit that the above referenced NBC article is not an editorial, which has become standard operating procedure for the major media outlets.  It is fairly level in simply reporting what was going on in Virginia, I say “fairly level” because while it is close to reportage, there does appear, to me, to be a bit of subtle persuasion in that article; but as I have mentioned multiple times before, we are all human and we take our biases with us wherever we go – that means you, I and Ali Weinberg, who authored the NBC article.  In essence we are all tainted, and will see things through the lens of our biases.  In short objectivity is really the acknowledgement of one’s own biases.

Speaking of objectivity, or a lack there of objectivity, this takes me to the comments section of not just this article, but just about every article – again though, in particular articles covering politics.  If you have never scrolled though the comments section, then count yourself both fortunate, and missing out.  Though I don’t dare say you are missing out on anything good, or positive.

I would contend that even doing a cursory scroll through the comments on any political article would lead many people to believe that there is as close to zero hope for anything remotely near a solution to just about everything that is wrong in this country.  There is no attempt to acknowledge the fallacies, failures, or flaws with whatever political party, or candidate that the ones posting are supporting, and or endorsing.  It is blind allegiance, and I for one find it a little disconcerting, and depressing that there seems to be so many people who, in my view, have taken to putting a person, or political party above their country, and I suppose themselves too.

Sure, many of those who post their comments will say something to the effect that their party, or candidate, or both, do have, or are, the answer(s) to ALL of the problems, if only those people from the other party would sit down, shut-up, get out of the way.  Okay, fine, but that is not what America is about.  If you want a one party state then move to China, North Korea, Iran, or wherever else such a system is in place.

I believe we have finally reached the point where party politics are the biggest hindrance to, and quite possibly threat to our republic.  Notice I said OUR republic.  This isn’t your republic, my republic, a red republic, or a blue republic, it is ALL of ours – together – you know “united we stand, divided we fall?”

Those who fought for the creation of the country we live in saw it that way, and many of them loathed political parties because they saw them as contentious instruments of divisiveness, and ta-da here we are.  No one can, or is willing to see eye to eye on anything anymore, and while members of both parties will speak of and to our nation’s founding, I often wonder if any of them actually know what those founding principles are.  I wonder this because if anyone would take the time to read-up on and learn what the establishment of this country was all about, and who it was for (here’s a hint; it was founded for “We the People”) then I would like to think that a person of rational thought and reasoning abilities would soon come to recognize that through our factionalized politics we have strayed so far from those founding principles as to render this country’s government virtually unrecognizable in its construction, intent, and purpose from its inception.

To quote a bumper sticker, “Minds are like parachutes; they only work when they are open.”  An open mind does not mean blind acceptance.  Rather an open mind means the ability to question assumptions, and ask that ever so simple and yet complex inquiry, “why?”  The human mind is one of, if not the most marvelous of creations (or evolution, if you’d rather go that route – I can accept either) on this planet, in its ability to process information, rationalize thoughts, and seek answers.  Yet, all one has to do is scroll down to the comments section of a political article and witness that there are too many people who seem to have either blocked, or chosen to ignore their own cognitive abilities in favor of group think, and joining one herd or another.

 

In his farewell address, George Washington warned the people about political parties. Now we see how both Democrats and Republicans have conspired to reduce democratic participation. If this is the best the Democrats and Republicans have to offer, it’s time to look elsewhere. . . . Politics should be the prism for our most noble intentions.  (Marianne Williamson).

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