Since around the time of "9/11", I've been doing some fairly heavy soul-searching with regards to all things political, especially as it exists in our country. Without a doubt, I hold strong feelings to my Points of View. But I've never felt that I've been able to fully articulate WHY I hold such strong feelings. Normally, I look at life as the colorful existence that it is. The concept of "Black or White Thinking" does not fit well with me. At least I like to believe that this is true. I like to think that a whole lot of COLOR exists in our world of politics simply because we are individuals with diverse interests and experiences in life. Yet, all too often, the politics of our country is presented in "Us or Them" terms, a close relative to "Black or White Thinking". And, admittedly, I get caught up in such thinking when involved in political discussion and/or debate. Despite great efforts to be open-minded, unbiased and non-prejudicial, my stomach turns in knots whenever I hear the term "Conservative Republican". For what it is worth, I know that my family and friends who are "Conservative Republican" feel the same way when they hear the terms, "Democrat" or "Liberal".
Now. . . I KNOW that once we put politics aside, my family and friends, who don't belong to the same political party that I belong to, DO share similar values and goals in life as I do. We want our country to succeed and flourish. We want to live happy and healthy lives. We want to be free to express ourselves without the threat of physical or emotional harm. We want to love and be loved. Without a doubt, there is MUCH MORE to life than politics.
Before I continue, please know that, in the past, I've visited the Republican Party web-site(s), as well as the Democratic Party web-site(s). I'm fairly familiar to the ideologies and agendas of both political parties. I recommend to anyone who might be reading this wandering post of mine to do the same. It's all good information to know as we formulate our points of views.
With all of this soul-searching that I've done these past several years, I have discovered a "Bottom Line" that plays a huge influence to not only my political points of views, but to how I view life as a whole. My hope, now, is that I can express it so that it's understood. I've discovered this simple "Bottom Line" after thinking about economic systems, governmental systems, political systems, and all things associated with these systems. Here is the Bottom Line:
Human Beings Come First
Simple, isn't it?!? It's almost too simple. Yet, I find this "Bottom Line" to be so important that it should be considered whenever an economic, governmental or political decision is made. Here is how I came to believe that this "Bottom Line" should be front and center of every decision made involving the societal and cultural systems that run our life.
What is a hammer? It's a tool used to help build homes. What's a computer? It's a tool to help gather, store, write and share information, pictures, music, etc. What's a car? It's a tool that helps us get from one place to another.
What are TOOLS?!? They are artifacts created by humans to serve humans. All tools are artifacts.
What is capitalism? It's one of many economic systems that serves to distribute goods and services. All economic systems are tools, invented (created) by humans to serve humans. What is democracy? It's one of many governmental systems that serves to create laws and policies that ultimately helps and protects a society. All governmental systems are tools, created by humans to serve humans.
At least in my mind, there exists a Hierarchy of Importance that is associated with all of this.
Are tools more important than the human beings they were created to serve?!? Gosh, I sincerely hope that we can all agree that they are NOT more important. This simple statement that "Human Beings Come First" is not without much thought. Yes, hammers, cars and computers are important to our society because they help us human-beings build, create and get from one place to another (in some way or another). Yes, capitalism is important because this system, this intellectual artifact, help us distribute goods and services which (can) ultimately enrich our lives (as well as keep us fed, and clothed, with a roof over our head). Yes, governmental systems, also intellectual artifacts, are important because they provide a way for society to support and protect itself. But the "Bottom Line" is that hammers, cars, computers, economic systems and governmental systems are all TOOLS meant to serve in one manner or another.
So. . .
In my mind, the idea that corporations are equal to the level of human beings, as was decided in "Citizens United", turns my stomach with all kinds of knots. It's upsetting. Why? Because ULTIMATELY corporations are TOOLS and are NOT EQUAL to the human-beings that they are meant to serve.
When I read that Cabinet members appointed by President Trump have strong ties to the oil and/or coal industries with KNOWN records that compromise environmental standards, my stomach turns with all kinds of knots. Why? Because oil companies and coal companies are TOOLS! Policies should be made to ensure that the water we drink and the air we breath is clean so that human-beings, and all other living things, can live healthy lives. What about those environmental policies?!? Again, they are TOOLS that were created because human-kind has a LONG HISTORY of taking dangerous short-cuts to get what it wants, almost always at the expense of other fellow human-beings.
I can go on and on and on. But I sincerely hope that I made my point. The general welfare of human-beings come first. I will add that the general welfare of our planet also comes first, especially when deciding political and economic policy, because we need our happy and exceedingly rare Earth to live and to flourish.
Simplistic?!? Well, not really with all of the thought that comes with this "Bottom Line".
Last edit by Ted on Feb 19, '17
Feb 22, '17
Ted, I completely agree with you. You should print that out & send to every member of congress. It seems that most every one of them that, I've heard speak out recently, have forgotten why they are there.
I've never paid much attention to politics, until this presidential race. just generally found it frustrating. I'm not registered under any party, as I usually vote for whoever makes the most sense (or makes me the least uncomfortable- Louisiana politics does not have a stellar record!!) But I've done a lot of research over a range of topics & different politicians over the past year or so- and it's disheartening.
From hearing what they say in interviews and soundbites on the news- I can't decide if they are really that out of touch with 'the people' or if they're trying to convince themselves of certain things-alternative facts- so they can push their agendas and say it's what their constituents want.
I've been reading how Republican congress people have been either avoiding having townhall meetings or having them but not advertising & only letting a few supporters know when/where it is. The few brave ones that I've seen recordings from have gotten hammered on the ACA & investigating trump/Russia. But instead of listening, they take page out of the trump playbook: 'uh, those people weren't from my district, they were shipped in & paid to protest. MY people really want to be screwed over, so full steam ahead with those plans the lobbyists paid me to implement.'
If most of our government is playing by rules that they're in charge of making, enforcing & for deciding penalties when violated- AND the general public isn't even privy to most of it...it's not going to go well for us. Some probably had lofty ideals when they went into politics. Wanting to help people, make the US better, etc but many have been there so long they've forgotten that. Now it seems to be about personal agendas, money & power.
Geez, I really didn't mean to start off my day with such a negative post!!
Ted- it should all be about what is best for the people who make up this great country, you are absolutely right!!
Last edit by Joe V on Mar 1, '17
: Reason: spacing
Mar 18, '17
Ted, great post, however you forgot greed and power. QVC thinking embodies that buying something makes you feel better. Conditioning I think it's called. Most Republican politicians and probably quite a few Democrats as well get into public service for enrichment, forgetting it's called public service. If the judicial system can be made truly independent with individuals who cared about their integrity and objectivity, problem would be solved. Unfortunately we have judges in this country who acquired their positions by being a public persona and that negates both objectivity and integrity. Now when blatant lies are acceptable and up is down, even in Europe a la Pen and Wilders, I think a French style revolution is the only solution! I would like to move to Norway or Sweden but until Putin is removed even that is precarious
Mar 25, '17
I agree with you 100%. People need to come first.