Saturday, May 2, 2015

"We have forgotten who we are"

(The following is an editorial that appeared in the April 30th edition of the Granite State News. )
Like many of our readers, we find the cur­rent state of our nation deeply disturbing. We are not thinking of the riots in Balti­more, the end of the Boston Marathon bombing trial or the start of the trial of the mass murderer of Aurora, Colorado – these events just the symp­toms of a much more troubling national malaise.
We are a nation turning in upon itself. Wedge issues are created one after another to drive us apart, to feed our fears and stoke hatred and in­tolerance. If you listen carefully the most outspo­ken among us are complaining about the same issues but in ways that obscure rather than illu­minate our common problems. Every issue is po­larized and overstated in stark, uncompromising terms that block any possible dialogue. We shout at each other and don’t listen.
Our politics reflect this self-consuming, impo­tent rage. Our political institutions accomplish very little and our political parties offer no vision for the future. Everything political is here and now and politicians play zero-sum games that no one wins. Money pours into political campaigns and the few people who vote elect those who have the most money behind them and who manage to convince us they are the lesser of two evils. In the end it appears that the goal of politics and the billions invested in it is simply to protect the sta­tus quo.
This is not the country we were born into and it is not the nation envisioned in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.
While the people who founded this country spoke and wrote about freedom and individual rights, they did so in the context of establishing inter-related communities and states formed by free association. Being opposed to a form of gov­ernment based on a hereditary monarchy and a class-based system of representation, they were wary of anyone elevating himself and acting purely from self-interest. It is no coincidence that three of the original 13 states (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia) formed themselves as Commonwealths. The states of Delaware and Vermont also refer to themselves as common­wealths in their constitutions. Beyond the legal definition of “a government based on the com­mon consent of the people,” commonwealth also conveys that the government embodies the com­mon wealth of its citizens.
In other words, when it came to government, our founders did not think of “us” vs. “them” be­cause government was supposed to be “us.” We pooled our ideas, our energies and part of our earnings to build roads, churches and schools and to create rules and laws to benefit everyone.
Today it is worse than “us” vs. “them” – it’s “me” vs. “them.” Our politics push for the rights of individuals over not only the government but the rights of others. We form cults of personali­ty, absorbed with celebrities whose only claim to fame is that they are celebrities. Our spiritual leaders are people like Timothy Leary and Ayn Rand who preach selfishness and self-absorption and decry government and any law that inter­feres with their ability to do anything they want, regardless of how it injures or lessens the com­mon good.
In the 18th century, when all of the colonists who formed this country came from Europe, the main difference that existed between the various groups of immigrants was religion, and it is clear to us that the reason why the Constitution em­bodies the principle of separation of church and state is that religious differences were seen as di­visive, and if the new government was to survive it needed to recognize that there was diversity and to accommodate it.
If one had to cite one factor that shaped this nation and brought it to greatness, it has been the diversity of its citizens and their willingness to accept differences, find common interests and set common goals. It was not an easy path over the years, and we had to endure a civil war to settle some differences, but the desire to find common ground and achieve common goals has kept the nation together and made it grow into a world power.
We need to reaffirm the need to find common ground and commit ourself once more to the principle that we are all in this together. Work­ing together we have achieved great things in the past and endured and prospered despite wither­ing challenges.

We all need to commit ourselves to finding common ground and not let ideology and hate­mongers drive us apart. If we don’t make that commitment, the instability and inequities we see now will only worsen and our democracy will fail.

8 comments:

George Orwell said...

Well written, the Emperor has no clothes and there is an elephant in the room.
Refreshing to see people waking up to see the truth. The truth is all around us, all we have to do is open our eyes and see it. When it's your turn to dance with the devil will they hear your cries?
Social conformity training through public education maintained by social media, mainstream media and intimidation are still strong but not everlasting.
The time is now to stand and scream "NO MORE"!
All to often people don't/won't explore truths, only social conformity, this is practiced until it becomes your turn to dance with the devil and then hold on. Remember the stockades that were a form of public humiliation?
We are all in this together, so either we unite and stand together full knowing that we all bump into each other from time to time. We can spend all of our resources fighting or we can use our resources to better ourselves. It is free will, not conformity that will return us to the happy and prosperous people we once were.
Love thy neighbor, rejoice and capitalize on the positive. resist the negative as attractive as it may seem in the short term as it will only bring hate, discontent, and a fractured/vulnerable society.

WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH



INGSOC!

Joe Cormiefr/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

"We are not thinking of the riots in Balti­more ..."

Maybe we should!

"This is not the country we were born into ..."

Who says "we" were born in this country?

"... government embodies the com­mon wealth of its citizens.'

Say what...! My pockets, stay out!

"Today it is worse than “us” vs. “them” – it’s “me” vs. “them.” Our politics push for the rights of individuals over not only the government but the rights of others. We form cults of personali­ty, absorbed with celebrities whose only claim to fame is that they are celebrities."

Kardashians ... oh ya; one of OJ's attorneys! Can't forget Dr. Spock's contribution ... no not the pointed ears, the other Dr. Spock (see below).

"Our spiritual leaders are people like ... "

Al Sharpton?

"If one had to cite one factor that shaped this nation and brought it to greatness, it has been the diversity of its citizens and their willingness to accept differences, find common interests and set common goals."

Diversity ... whose definition?

"We need to reaffirm the need to find common ground and commit ourself once more to the principle that we are all in this together."

If we can only become a "We"!

"If we don’t make that commitment, the instability and inequities we see now will only worsen and our democracy will fail."

Probably not. We might get anarchy. We're close to it now.

Our Republic ... not our Democracy ... will fail. The need to understand the difference could lead to solution to the other qualms.


http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/AmericanIdeal/aspects/demrep.html


Dr. Spock

http://www.wnd.com/2009/01/87179/



PS: If you're having trouble posting. The "verify image" is not spam. Keep clicking on the images till it "verifies".













Orwell's Brother said...

Oregon, Washington, and Colorado have voting by mail.

Sounds good to me.

How about it - our representatives in Concord?

Figures Don't Lie said...

"We all need to commit ourselves to finding common ground and not let ideology and hate­mongers drive us apart."

Wish more here and elsewhere would follow this advice.

Sadly, there is so much misinformation out there that those that wish to hate can justify that hate with "facts" read on some web site, some extreme paper magazine, radio, and heard on some TV networks.
Most are lazy. They don't dig deeper to obtain the actual real facts.
Most only obtain their "facts" from sources that only reinforce their biases and misinformation.
Most don't don't even have a clue what "primary sources" means. Most can't tell the difference from opinion/editorial from actual factual news.
All is sad really.
But here in America one has the right to be an "idiot".

And the Real Idiot is? said...

My, my someones feeling righteous and full of themselves this morning. Care to share your sources so we can all be in the know?

Figures Don't Lie said...

"My, my someones feeling righteous"

Check the mirror my good neighbor.

When I read such as above, it is clear where that posters biases are.

As someone already stated, facts sometimes get in the way of opinions.

One can easily do a simple internet search of the term "primary sources".

Anonymous said...

MY COMMENT DOESN'T BELONG IN THIS COLUMN, BUT IT HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION THAT ONLY 36 ARE GRADUATING FROM M.A. THIS YEAR! THAT REPRESENTS A HUGE DECLINE IN THE PAST 10-15 YEARS!CLOSE TO 40%! NEED A NEW REC. CENTER, EVERYONE?

Anonymous said...

I understand the number graduating from M.A this year is 40.