So, what is considered good? As we get older, it changes every year. A buddy’s daughter told me rainbows, sunshine and unicorns are good. I asked a 98-year-old woman this question, and she said it would be good to remember what year to write on a check.
This brings me to politics. I know what you’re thinking. What does politics have to do with rainbows, sunshine and unicorns? A great deal, it seems. Today, many of us vote based on our emotions. We like rainbows, so we vote for more rainbows. The politician has a rainbow on their logo. We like rainbows, so we vote for that politician.
In the most recent election in South Carolina, the current Democratic candidate for the United States Senate was some person who had just filled out a form, and he won the primary election in a landslide of over 60 percent of the voters. He hadn’t spoken to anyone, and had no platform. He won simply because people liked his name. We know that because they had nothing else to go on.
I don’t want to stray too far from the issue of what’s good, but the question still needs to be addressed. You see, everyone involved in our government claims to be good, and that their opponent is bad. Last election cycle, I witnessed a person who was walking through a room at a party, who’d noticed the face of a politician being shown on the television. They reacted like one of Pavlov’s dogs. Their face went from having fun at the party into a rabid dog barking out obscenities at the television.
When the dog calmed down, I asked them about their vociferous response towards the image presented them. They rattled off a bunch of canned campaign statements. Then I asked them if those statements were true, and if they’d looked into the accusations. They looked at me and started to growl. Then they immediately began to verbally assault me for even asking the question. Are Americans really believing what other people tell them blindly?
Soon after the adrenaline rush passed, the person came back and was much calmer. They’d decided that I needed to understand their particular set of beliefs so I could bark with them. I asked them to make it simple for me and give me two reasons why they feel the way they do. After sharing them with me, we began to discuss the two issues. As the story would unfold, it became clear that the foundation beliefs that caused this reaction were beginning to fall apart.
With each pass, the facts did not support the assertions. A deeper look at the issue showed that the belief was, in fact, a conditioned response people give when subject to propaganda. Master manipulator Adolph Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany during hard economic times. The German people were told that Poland was killing the German speaking people who lived in a part of Poland that was previously German. The media reported Polish terrorist were killing Germans. Germans were coerced to demand their government protect them from these terrorists. France and England did, in fact, declare war against Germany first, and attacked Germany first as well. Why did they not declare on Germany’s ally Russia since Russia attacked Poland with Germany. The German people were given half truths as well.
History has a nasty habit of repeating itself. Simply put, the barking at the TV image of a person, the comedy shows’ unfair portrayals of various people is what the Nazi party did in the run up to winning the election of Adolph Hitler. If the German people had taken a moment and questioned what was being told to them, we would have saved millions of lives. Had they spent a moment with their friends and neighbors discussing the issues at hand, they wouldn’t have been so easy to deceive. Taking the time to understand the opinions of both sides of an argument is the only way to fight this kind of propaganda.
Have you spoken with and tried to understand what the other side believes and why? If you do not take the time to understand both sides you will suffer the same fate as the German people did. Think weapons of mass destruction. If all you watch is Fox News, then you’re not understanding the other side of the argument. If you don’t watch Fox News, you’re committing the same crime. How about you take a walk on the wild side and watch CSPAN for the raw footage of what your elected representative is doing.
David Alsabery is wishing you rainbows, sunshine, ponies, a cool ocean breeze, little fluffy clouds and unicorns. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.