Blessed with this Do-Over:
A Well-Informed Electorate is not the Responsibility of political parties or ideologies.
Posted on January 20, 2021
Don’t let’s be lazy any more.
Anyone can create a slogan.
Anyone can create a meme … and add an image.
Any and everyone are doing it, usually without the objective of encouraging individual critical thinking.
Don’t let’s be lazy and dumb, passing on someone else’s information as if we thought of it, we endorse it or we’ve done our homework and found their truth better than ours.
Talking heads, writing and publishing minds all do it primarily for income. They find an audience that will read them. Then – with their need to make a living by writing, speaking or both, will keep it up. Often, the talking heads become our “authorities.” We will cite them, copy them, rally around them and generally encourage them with our laziness. We inevitably stop (if we ever did in the first place) doing our homework.
The Do-Over’s principle value is that of a new start once the debris in the previous china shop has been swept out, the furniture and display cases replaced and the new place has opened for business in place of the old.
Obviously the majority of the voters who fired one outfit and put in place a new one. The majority of the voters have spoken, but now must step back into the overall population of citizens who – if we are smart – will remember the past and hold the current outfit to our refreshed sense of how democracy is fragile and must be constantly nourished.
Not with guns.
Not with violence.
Certainly not with passing around rumors masquerading as memes or paragraphs from hucksters of all political persuasions who need to make a living by writing, talking, singing or simply blow-harding.
I wish I could self support with my writing but that has not proven to be the case. I am still trying to write for income by telling stories – you know – selling historical fiction. The thing about historical fiction is that an author can play with history, quote real people, put words in the mouths of all the characters, some of who were real people and some who are but extensions of an author’s personality. But we historical fiction writers have only the obligation of declaring ownership of what is written, what is made up and citing sources for what is quoted.
Creating fiction is a fantasy business. If the stuff is good, the fantasy begets a successful business.
Creating fake news or highlighting current events with an eye single to slanting such events in a creator’s desired direction is part of free speech most will say.
So it comes down to buyer beware.
Know and understand what you are buying, why you are buying it (or buying into it) and act accordingly, responsibly and using your own ability of critical thinking. If you have not yet learned that ability, you can and should.
You and I are the keys to how we will avoid deepening any political swamp – or draining it.
We do that by staying involved. Now is not the time to sit back and expect a new president, vice president, or congressional majorities to simply go into the operating room like civic experts and patch up a fractured swampy system.
The wisest thing we can do is remember at least the past 40 years of evolving political mechanics, partisan manipulation and fake newsing. We ought to realize our own lack of involvement, disinterest and overall political apathy served very well as we made of ourselves the low-hanging fruit. Every snake-oil political schemer of all political persuasions walk through our public orchards looking for people like us.
We fell asleep in our apathy. Now is not the time to roll over and go back to sleep.
Hold the new administration accountable.
Insist that they act with openness.
Insist that they tell no lies (or as few as possible).
Insist that we are not to be governed by spin doctors.
We’ll be okay if we do that.
Otherwise we remain irresponsible about our own personal citizenship.
Once again I post my favorite post on fractured American Patriotism
“We proved the lie, were served up with a gagging portion of our own vintage distillation of apocalyptic horseshit
— all the narcissistic swill about indomitable spirit, invincibility, courage and nobility of purpose
— and demonstrated once and for all to those who looked on with interest a fact long suspected:
that this nation, through a self-administered indoctrination of spurious righteousness, larded with the false rewards of superfluous luxury, had at last achieved the most tractable, malleable — let’s face it, spineless — people to walk the face of the earth.”
– Aptly described by Oliver Lange in Vandenberg – The Journals, 1971