Monday, November 30, 2020

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate!

 And that's on me.  I told myself at the beginning of the year that I would muse in public at least once every month. Some might call that a New Year's Resolution ... whatever.  Anyway, it's been a long spell without making contact with folks I love.  I know all about text and FaceTime and Zoom and, and ... BUT it's not the same as a handshake, a hug, a simple touch.  That and just being close enough to feel the presence of the other person.  Clearly I'm not alone in these feelings so let me leave the pity party and get down to the business of keeping my res... promise to myself and finish my November contribution.

I've been sitting here about ten minutes trying to stay off the pity pot (not the party this time) and it's hard. The best I've been able to do is look at the state of our country and wonder how in hell we're going to make it better.  There is so much name calling and so little dialogue that I can't imagine how we'll ever pull together as a country to mitigate the problems we face.  I was about to say "to bring us back to the way we were," but that's wrong.  The way we were is a group of social systems content in their genre and pretty much ignoring the needs, values, and frustrations of the others.  Let's examine a couple of the most visible:

The Liberal Elite - This group contains a large portion of academics, leftovers from the sixties, Bernie Bros (Social Dems are pretty liberal,) and those labeling themselves 'Progressive'.  Not an all-inclusive list but It'll do for now.  The read on this group is their disdain/dislike of those on the other end of the political spectrum.  This group touts equal opportunity, equal justice, a government that takes care of all its people, and a love hate relationship with capitalism.  All have merit.

The ultra-conservative/Alt-right/neocons - This group is mostly a blue collar mix of workers.  Many think socialism is a disease, without recognizing that road maintenance, police and fire departments, and many other services they depend on fit in the category of "Socialism."  Many confuse socialism with communism - a holdover from the McCarthy fifties, I imagine.  These are folks who often believe that people on welfare are gaming the system.  These are generally strong, self-sufficient people that work hard, that believe folks need to take care of their own, that nobody should get a handout because that's "taking charity." These are good people, but in some ways selfish.

The uber rich - The one percent of this country that pocket most of its wealth.  With that wealth they can control most of the government, in subtle ways.  They fund politicians through various means and in turn expect said politicians to pay attention to their desires.  That, like most of what I wrote earlier, is a gross generalization.  However, the essence of the statement gives us the foundation of what has happened to our democracy.  These few people have outsized influence over the legislative process.  This is a major problem with how our country operates.

I don't have the energy to dwell on other groups that deserve more in-depth attention than I can give them: people of color, native Americans, latinos/as, and immigrant populations around the US.  

Recognize also that what you have read is my musings, and whatever you disagree or agree with, feel free to comment on.  Recognize also that we need to sit with those whose opinions differ from ours, not with the mission to try and change them, but with the goal of hearing their differences and having ours heard.

It's getting late so if I want to get it out into the internet world I need to hurry.  A quick check for gross typographical and grammatical errors then it's gone.

Till next time,