Finding Some Certainty
June 5, 2018 -Steve Hays
Hearing the pros and cons and sorting through the wide variety of choices this primary, it’s understandable that people may want to get away from politics. Especially after adding in the chaos and the shifting events and positions we can observe on the national level. It’s hard to keep track.
For me, the question of the day is how to lessen the noise and focus better on what’s important—and remain confident that things will work out for the best.
What’s too clear is that there are also plenty of people/groups that want their voices to count more than others—and work out for their best.
Unfortunately, we’ve discovered that creating that chaos is often a very deliberate and illegal process designed to distract and push us away.
We’ve all been warned to expect Russian interference, but how do you recognize that? There are ways.
First off, we should know it’s not just about expecting it. It’s recognizing it. It’s going on constantly.
Here’s a website that tracks it. It’s www.dashboard.securingdemocracy.org/. It’s the Hamilton68 Project and is named after Federalist Paper number 68, which voiced the dangers of foreign interference in a US election.
The project has identified IP addresses that are owned or controlled by foreign groups that want to appear to be US groups. How it’s done is explained on their site.
What these sites do that adds to our chaos is find controversial subjects, find articles that present unyielding positions and amplify them to add to our polarity. Right after the Parkland shootings, for instance, there was immediately a spike in social media that was anti-gun oriented. Then right after, from the same sites, there was a spike in pro-gun traffic generated.
Anything and everything that we are divided on is amplified. The more my-way-or-the-highway the rhetoric, the more it’s used and reused. In addition, from Facebook and other sites that collect data, they know our hot buttons and who to send them to. They know who to upset.
Understanding this, isn’t it time to be suspicious when we hear extreme positions that seemingly deny there can possibly be any common ground for us to find?
The chaos makers—whether in or out of office—aren’t going to stop trying to distract or divide us. Finding common ground and ways to work together seems to be up to us.
There is one thing we each can do to get closer to agreeing: define the issues better. Here are some questions to ask to accomplish that:
Is what we want to change whether we have guns or not? Or is it keeping guns away from those who want to harm others?
There are too many guns already out there to collect—if we ever decided to try. We don’t want people with attack helicopters in their driveways either, just because they feel better protected when they do, do we? There’s a balance that is up to us to find.
Are any of the parties talking about improving our mental-health-care system? Are they identifying why people shoot other people and how to notice before they do so? There’s a lot more we can look at.
Think about abortion. For some people it’s a choice and for some it’s no choice. Does deciding that solve the real problem? Or is bringing people into the world without ways to adequately take care of them have larger consequences on most of society? Are they well-fed, cared for medically, educated—on and on. Isn’t that what we want for children and something that helps strengthen and improve our whole society?
Is heath care a right or a privilege? Does it really matter? Isn’t that just another “debate” to distract us? Whether it’s a right or not, isn’t finding an affordable way to take care of people’s health worth looking into? We all get sick. We all die. It’s not currently a system that helps all of us.
What else we can do is give up the idea that “leaders” or political parties have good solutions. They have benefactors far too powerful to include the many of us that want more universal solutions.
I’m beginning to think that it might be better if politicians don’t have the answers. Having the people lead and representatives follow might work better.
Knowing what to expect from many politicians today is fairly simple—follow the money. Discover who they work for.
They take positions and say theirs is the best in advance of knowing “it’s complicated.”
Rather than have Congress and lobbyists get together and decide what we want and need, don’t we want all of us at the table—listened to? Can there really be winners if only 51% or 1% are served?
With health care, why not first find ways to reduce costs and then ways to pay for it? Make sure it works for all the principals involved.
Can it be better? Haven’t we all sat down with people before and tried to solve a challenge—and get surprised by how may solutions there can be? Unless we think ours is the only answer. When we do that, can we even hear what others are saying? Who wins then? Not us/US.