Latching On To False Beliefs..

It’s become quite clear that really bad people get more attention than decent people. Liars get more attention than truth-tellers. Conspiracy theories get more likes than reasoned arguments. It’s clear that short tweets are more convincing with some people than logical and balanced discussions.

It’s also clear that people are getting lazy and think that a democracy is a never-ending state.  That could be a tragic rationale to have.  As Thomas Jefferson said, maintaining a democracy is hard work. In order to make thoughtful choices at the ballot box means studying the issues to determine the best path to take.  Are we, for the most part, losing that ability today?

I don’t know if we are beyond the tipping point in our democracy or not, but we are getting closer to that sorry state and I propose that the reason is laziness. We latch on to a very flawed person or belief and disregard everything else. It is just easier, and lazier, to make a snap judgment instead of making the effort to come to an informed decision.

It is easier to latch onto a conspiracy theory instead of debunking it. Like the phrase “Make America Great Again”, that sounds good at first thought but if you study the facts you know that this phrase really means turning back the clock to a time that we deem better than today.  Two things are wrong with this idea.

  1. The world, like it or not, is in a constant state of change and it always has been and always will be.  You simply can’t change that fact.
  2. Many seem to forget that the past contained many or maybe, even more, problems than the present, but different ones.

2017-12-11_11-08-05.pngI grew up in the 1960s and was of a draft age during the Vietnam war. Almost 60,000 of my generation lost their lives in that totally needless war. Compared to the about 6,000 in the ten years of war in the Middle East today. How can those be the good old days?

Double-digit inflation took a serious toll on wages. Compared to the low 2% or less today those were troubling times.  I can remember one year during the 1970s the annual inflation rate exceeded 15 %. That is many times what it is today. It decimated many senior citizen’s nest egg and caused some pretty severe times for them. How could those be the good old days?

2017-12-11_11-12-04.pngAnd then there was the Civil Rights movement that finally broke the Jim Crow. That was the racial caste system which operated primarily in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid-1960s. Jim Crow was more than a series of rigid anti-black laws. It was a way of life.   Of course breaking Jim Crow also meant a mass migration in the south from the Democratic party to the Republican party.  I remember the political unrest at the 1968 political conventions dwarfed anything around today.

2017-12-11_11-10-33.pngPlainly speaking, the “Good Ole Days” that many dream about now wasn’t any better, and maybe worse, than today.  We need to find 21st-century solutions to our 21st-century problems instead of looking backward. Will that take work? Of course it will but considering the consequences it is worth the effort.

6 thoughts on “Latching On To False Beliefs..

  • I hear a lot of people in my age group (70) complain about how bad things are today with a whole list, yet statistics in almost all areas say the opposite…that things including crime and health have greatly improved.
    Perhaps the constant negative news and social media, for sure, are to blame, but I totally agree with you about laziness. It’s so easy not to think for yourself or do any fact checking yourself.

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  • Excellent analysis. I believe there is compelling evidence that the trajectory of human experience in the long hall is positive. And in the U.S., we have made constant progress toward fulfilling the ideals of “all men are created equal” and other lofty aspirations put forth by the founders. The situation today is much better than it was in just about any period of “good old days” that can be defined. Even the “negative news” is good. It shows that the bad stuff is the exception, not the rule because the very definition of news is what is unusual.

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    • Thanks, Dick/Jabby for your thoughts too. The advances we have seen in the last 50 years are great indeed and as you say they will continue to be great despite these ugly times. I’m sure as a country we can survive a Trump impeachment or, God forbid, a full term of this very unstable person. I was just watching my DVR of Fareed this morning where some experts are now saying this ramp-up of the stock market bubble will likely burst in the coming year much like it did during the close of the baby Bush administration. But we will survive it as we have in the past when it happens.

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  • Thanks for the thoughts Mary. I too am in the 70s age group and see much of the same things you do. I can’t understand is why over half the folks who voted in our age group voted for Trump or even the GOP. Mr. Ryan recently admitted again that he wants to do some severe trimming of Medicare and Social Security in the coming year. That is how he plans on balancing the budget after giving the windfall to the GOP’s rich backers. Do most seniors have so much discretionary income that they can pay more for Medicare while getting less of the money they paid into Social Security. Uninformed voters must run rampant in our age group. 🙂

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  • I don’t understand their voting for Trump either. How can they not realize, they are voting against their own interests. I actually hear men in my age group saying sincerely how much good Trump has done and that he’s done everything he said he would do. They love him. I think are they from some other planet?
    Luckily I have friends in my age group that do not like him or the Republicans one bit and see the danger and greed. I try over and over to see the difference in these two groups and I always see the same things dividing them. One side is welcoming to other ethnicities, the other is not. One side is religious in the evangelical or fundamentalists way, the other more progressive and traditional in their religious views. One side is often more educated or comes from an educated background at least, the other not so much. And one side has an attitude that our ancestors (all white) came over with nothing and worked hard to be successful, so everyone should have that same ethic and the other side feels times are very different more complex now and not everyone has the same advantages and some need a helping hand in today’s world.
    Just my thoughts….

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    • Mary, you did an absolutely beautiful job of explaining what I call RedAmerica and BlueAmerica. I don’t know if this is a permanent separation due to irreconcilable differences, but I certainly hope not…

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