Politics In The United States Has Become So De visive Because We Have Become “Infected” With Too Much “Passion” For Our Beliefs​!​


This is a response to #the one-word prompt “Infect” by “The Daily Post.”

America is very divided these days when it comes to “#politics,” but that is no surprise to anybody now (unless you #have been under a rock). The political divide #has been going on #for years, and only increasing as it continues. There have been and are many explanations for this, but I won’t mention those here, except for “a Lack of dialog” (straight talking & listening). Some are right and some wrong, and some offer part of the explanation, but it is “a lack of dialog” that makes the most sense.

A lot of the more heard and discussed possible explanations, all offer only a part of how #we as a nation have gotten #so divided as we are now, including “a lack of dialog.” But underlining any and all possible explanations is that deep down we have “#too #much#passion for #our political #beliefs. For yes, one of the main problems causing our political divide is a “real honest lack” of dialog, there is a little more to it than that.

Businesswoman hands holding white card sign with we care text message

Real dialog or conversation consists of two parts, talking and listening where everyone involved #in the conversation is able to contribute and the other/s being “active listeners.” The problem being is that even when there is an honest attempt at dialog, there is an “interference” preventing the active listening part of the conversation.

The listener/s are paying attention to the one doing the talking, but they are not indeed taking it in to “think/contemplate it. Which that is what talking is all about, sharing and presentation ideas and thoughts to others and everyone involved observing them as well as getting to know each other.

The interference is our passion for our beliefs getting in the way. This would mean we tend to have to much passion for our opinions if they are holding us back from having any consideration or just clear thought over anything that may seem counter to said beliefs. Having passion can be and often is an excellent thing to have, especially when it comes to a firmly held belief about something. It helps to motivate us and advocate for that belief and/or to act on it/them.

What Motivates You?

Yet, at the same time if our passions in anything, not just our beliefs start to hold us back from doing something or they cripple ourselves and society, then any good we get from them will be wade out. Passion like a lot of other things in life requires moderation; a little being good and too much not so good.

If we are going to stand a chance of bringing down the political divide amongst ourselves, then we need more dialog, getting to know each other, and understanding each other’s political views. But in order to have that we need to be aware of just how much passion we each are having for our political views and learn how to moderate that passion, just as we do for our other passions in life.

So what are your thoughts and viewpoints on this subject? Please do share them; all are welcomed and wanted. 

Remove Emotion From Debates


This is a response to #the one-word prompt “Thwart” by “The Daily Post.”

In the wake of the Parkland Florida school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School which killed 17 people, there has been a considerable nationwide #debate #on how to better protect our schools and children in them. Some of it has been good and productive, but a lot of it has just been “noise” that is really only inflaming passions on all sides of the “political spectrum but having little actual productive results.

There has been new legislation passed by some state legislatures to answer some of the perceived weaknesses in school security. In Florida’#s case, it is a mixed bag with a lot of good things being done but also a lot of “showboating” (as is the case whenever politicians get involved). While the legislation does carry some new rules for dealing with handling mental illness and its treatment it also bans the buying of guns till the age for 21 (it was previously and is in most of country 18).

The call for banning gun sells until 21 years of age ignore the fact that most teenage shooters unlike the one in the Parkland Florida shooting do not own their own guns but take them from home, i.e. parents or relatives who do. Thus, banning the sell of guns until age 21 won’t do anything in #reducing the risks to shooting in our schools.

Those who advocate for tougher/more gun control laws always use the term “sensible” in describing just what they want. A gun control measure can only be called “sensible” if it actually does or makes a considerable effort to the objective it would be put in place to accomplish. How can the measure just mention contribute to our preventing more school #shootings if the majority of teen/school shooters don’t buy the guns they use to shoot up schools?

Unfortunately, this detail largely escapes the ongoing debate of the issue above because of the raw emotions evolved and the very little actual, rational thinking among those partaking in the debate on both sides. Everyone wants to just “do something” to keep our schools and children safe. Yet, that there is the problem, our need to “do something, anything.” Just “doing something” will not help solve this or problem. Solutions need to be concrete and precisely targeted in order to have the best results.

The only way we as a nation and as a people are going to be able to come up with solutions to better protect against school shootings (any mass shootings) is to #remove our emotions #from the actual decision process. They may be good for the initial call to action, beyond that they always only cause more harm than good.

What are your thoughts and viewpoints on this issues? Please do share them; all are welcomed and wanted.

“The Founding Fathers’ Guide To The Constitution” by Brion McClanahan; A Review


#Brion #McClanahan‘s book “#The #Founding Father’s #Guide #to the #Constitution” is #a very compelling and complex history of just how The Constitution to the United States had come to be and of the views for and against it. The way he percents his facts and figures and the back-stories behind each of the debates during the Constitutional Convention and the ratifying debates is just stellar in the thoroughness and ease of following.

Especially compelling is how he counts not just the well-known men that “we” all “know” from history as “Founding Father’s” (Washington, Madison, Hamilton, so forth), but literally everyone involved in the making and ratifying of the Constitution. He measures involvement #by the debates on what type of government the United States should have; which were going on all across the thirteen states since during the Revolution on till the ratification its self.

He tells how the “founding #fathers” included not just the names we recognize such as those mentioned above, but many others such as Luther Martin, Rodger Sherman, and George Mason, to name a few. He also does away with the “common” terms of “Federalist” and Anti-federalist” in explaining his reasoning; where he shows how the opponents of the Constitution were actually wanting to preserve the existing federal system of the Article of Confederation.

Brian’s work shines because of the detail he puts into his findings that the Constitution would not have passed ratification let alone pass the Convention floor if it was not understood to be putting in place a strong centralized government, but one with limits in place. He also does a wonderful, enlightening job of explaining away certain preconceived notions and myths about the “founding fathers” and the making of the Constitution.

It is a myth-but one often repeated-that the Framers “really wanted” the president to be chosen by the people at large; supposedly they rejected this method only because the people in one State would not know enough about the candidates from others States. But the records from the Philadelphia Convention clearly illustrate that the Founders intended the Electoral College to be a buffer against the potential abuses of democracy (p.129).

Overall, the book is a very well thought-out, telling of the history of the Founding of the (2nd Republic) of The United States under the current Constitution. He does an excellent job of keeping to a “fact-based” scholarly approach while at the same time showing the suspense and conflict experienced by our “founding fathers” to keep the reader entertained as well as informed and not be drowned in “dry” texted. A very good history of the subject with some surprising turns in its direction. The most important point from a historical perspective is that the author Brian does so well in not just telling the history of the Constitution’s making, but the telling of “all the sides” involved.

I hope you enjoy this book #review; please do share your own thoughts and viewpoints. All are welcomed and wanted!

Is Social Media Toxic In Large Amounts?


This #is a response to the one-word prompt “Toxic” by “The Daily Post.”

#In light of the controversy around FaceBook right now, it seems a good time as any to discuss the effect that #social #media as a whole has on society. There is no doubt that social media in the likes of FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIN, and so-forth have been a major boon for society in terms of better and faster connectivity for individuals and groups, but at what costs?

While we as a society may be more connected then ever; are we really getting anything out of that connectivity or is it just giving us a false sense of connectivity? In other words are we actually connected and/or spending time with each other, our family, friends, etc. The consensus and research says no we are not; we are actually as a society feeling more lonelier than ever. This despite the fact of how much time people are spending on social media. We humans are social animals who need social contact with others, but as it turns out that social contact actually needs to be physical or in other words “real.”

Social media platforms like FaceBook or LinkedIn can be useful in helping us to maintain contact but only if they remain just that, a ‘magnifier” or addition not a replacement for “traditional” face to face in real life meetings. To put it another way social media in small docidges are extremely helpful, but in #large #amounts are actuallly #toxic to what they are meant to help, that being social contact.

What Are Your Thoughts and ViewPoints on this subject? Please do share them, all are welcomed and wanted.

More Political Division or Perhaps Unity In 2018?


The year of 2017 was an ugly, crazy year when it came to just how divided we as a nation and people became #in the United States. Most will not dispute that, although they will dispute the reasons for it. That right there is the deeper problem, as long as we keep blaming each other and not understanding each other, the divide will only get worse and grow until it destroys us.

Ok, so we all know and agree on what the problem is (extream #political divisiveness) if that is the case there is no need to blame the problem on anyone #or thing. Doing so will only aggravate the problem not solve it. The key to solving any problem is to first recognize that there is one and what it is; as said, that we have done.

So if the problem is that we as a nation just can’t agree on politics and governing, then the answer is not to create #more areas of disagreement and argument, but to create more areas of agreement and understanding. Despite just how divided we are, this is a whole lot easier then it may sound. It is not “brain science” (although we make it that with our stubbornness).

All that needs to be done is that we start to talk to each other, to understand each other. We need to connect and empathize with each other; to know that we all each have our own concerns, fears, and hopes for our lives, our communities, and our nation. By doing so we will then be able to find and see just all the many small ways we #perhaps do agree rather than just where we disagree. We will then be able to move forward in those areas that we agree on, and that in time will allow us to even tackle the issues we are in disagreement on.

Be forewarned that going this route will require a lot of patience, restraint, understanding, and it needs to be done at all levels of our society. It needs to be done in the family, the neighborhood, our churches/houses of worship and the broader community as well as in our political/governing institutions. It needs to be a truly grassroots movement from the very bottom to the very top.

This restoring understanding and seeing areas of agreements instead of areas of disagreement and not knowing each other is and can be achieved, but only if we all work towards this goal and do so every day both in our everyday lives and in our “political discourse.” But it can be done and must if our nation is to survive and thrive! So stop arguing and start understanding!

What are your thoughts and viewpoints on this subject? Please do share them. All are welcomed and wanted.

 

Staying Silent Helps No one


This is a response to the #one-word prompt “Silent” by “The Daily Post.”

#No one wants to offend or start a controversy over “nothing.” “Don’t discuss Politics at the dinner table.” “See no evil, hear no evil.” “This/that does not concern me.” Most of us know and have heard all this from somewhere and/or have said such themselves. Somehow we think if we don’t discuss a “problem” or involve ourselves,  if not already involved, then the “problem” will eventually go away or work itself out.

We tend to think that if we do get involved in something, (perceived to be not involving us in the first place), that only makes things worse and more heated, complicated. This is and can’t be any further from the truth.

In any society, no matter what form of government it takes, everyone apart of that society has a commitment and duty to his/her fellow citizens to be involved in some way in the broader community and its governance. This is even truer for those societies with some form of representative governance such as “republics” as the United States.  A society is made up of people who voluntarily enter into community with one another to more easily live and take care of one’s needs.

In order for these “volunteer communities” to survive and succeed, everyone in it needs to do his/her part in it, and keep and follow the rules, laws, and/or agreements that have been made and agreed by the vast majority of the society. Yes, there will always be a few who don’t and thus break the “social compact” (criminals), that is why we have laws and law enforcement; not necessary to enforce the rules of society on its “agreeing members” but to “punish” those who live in the society, but do not follow its rules and agreements.

Thus, when “problems” pop up in the broader society, it is the responsibility of those in a “representative republic” to be apart of the solving of that problem by talking about voicing their thoughts/opinions with fellow society members. As Ronald Reagan said, “All great changes in America, happen at the dinner table.” When the people aren’t involved in society’s problems, society begins to break down.

This is why our politics have become so divisive these last few years, with our leaders in Washington bearly able to get anything done. It is not because there is too much political discussion as some think, but because there is actually too little; that leads to what few discussions there are to break down into “heated, ugly debates.”

So the next time you have friends or family wanting to discuss politics/society’s problems, please do join in the friendly conversation.

So what are your thoughts on this subject? Please do share. Your thoughts and viewpoints are very much welcomed and wanted.

 

To be “Mighty” and “Great;” What has made the United States a “Great” Nation?


This is #a response #to #the one-word prompt “Mighty” by “The Daily Post.”

According to Merriam Webster to #be #mighty is possessing might: powerful, to be accomplished or characterized by might, or to be #great or imposing size or extent. President Donald Trump both during his campaign for the presidency #and during said presidency so far #has championed a returning the #United #States of America to a “great” #nation once again and to make it “mighty” in its powers. My question is and has been for quite some time is #what does the President mean by “great” and or “powerful?” A lot of nations in today’s world can be considered “great” and or “powerful” so too can we look to the history of past nations/countries and empires that were certainly considered “great” and or “powerful.”

The thing is, to be “mighty” and or “great” is, can be, and does mean several things. Also “mightiness” and “greatness” do not necessarily go together and are certainly not the same thing. As said above to be “mighty” is to process great strength, in the case of nations usually either military strength, economic strength, or both. But for nations to be considered “great” historically refers to the impact they have had on the rest of the world and on future generations long after the country, nation, or empire in question is either gone or had waned in power and greatness.

“Greatness” requires not just “power” and “might” but unequal influence over all other nations and peoples. It requires the nation to be quite different from others in its values, outlook, behavior and so on. Greatness can be either “good” or “bad.” To improve upon or bring back to “greatness” the United States as President Trump says is his goal, is all well and good, but not if he is focusing just on the economic and military strength of the nation. One has to look at the underlying foundations of the culture of a nation for greatness. If one believes that the United States has been a “great” nation (as I do and still believe in the potential for greatness) one must answer how has it been “great” and what #made it so. How has the United States traditionally acted and behaved in response to the rest of the word and its self?

One must remember that what makes up a nation is its people, thus it is its people that can or can’t make a nation “great.” If it is the people that have made the United States “great” then it is the culture, morals, and beliefs of the people that matter in making and deciding “greatness.” In making a nation “great” its people will also decide the underlying character of that “greatness;” that is if that “greatness” is either “good” or “bad.” Will the “great nation” have an overall positive or negative impact on the world? This is the fundamental question that must be asked by someone trying to “return” a nation back to greatness; what was the underlying “character of that greatness in relation to the rest of the word, good or evil?

I believe that the United States is and has been a “great’ nation for some time. That ‘”greatness” is not reflected in the military or economic “might” of the United States, (though both are and have been considerable) those are more a byproduct of said “greatness” no, the “greatness” of  the United States is reflected in the people’s traditionally strong sense of belief in both the individual and the community and a willingness (indeed eagerness) to reach out and help those in need, and not just those they know but in a lot of cases complete and total strangers.

The United States, I sincerely believe has become a “great” nation also because it is and was founded on a certain set of ideas and principles, (Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). In that regard, unlike other nations and countries who have either collapsed and or have been conquered; as long as there is but a few to carry on those ideals and principals, the “United States” is and will be “immortal and everlasting. (But only if the morals and beliefs that made it “great” remain.) One could say that to be “great” is to transcend and transform the “normal” human experience and existence.

So, if President Trump or anyone wants to “return” the United States to “greatness” they need to look at the people and culture, not the military and economy, though those are important, just not the “be all by all” that some may think they all. “Greatness” is more than strength! The United States has been a great nation because traditionally the United States has been “good!”

What are your views on this subject? Please do share, all thoughts and viewpoints are welcomed and wanted.

 

The Glaring Obvious: The United States Is No Longer United!


“This #is a response to #the one-word prompt “Glaring” by “The Daily Post.”

“We the People of the #United #States of America” are not so united anymore, or at least we #no #longer act like it. We can hardly if at all talk about politics, and our views with each other without coming to blows over disagreements on how things should be done; and this is with those of similar and/or same political persuasion as our selves, let alone the complete opposite. This disunity is apparent throughout our society from the average citizen and family/friends as well as our politicians and government officials. It prevents us from agreeing on anything and/or finding common ground to get things done and solve everyday life issues.

As President Lincoln once said a house divided, can not stand well we are now seeing just how true that is, for we as a country and as a society are so divided, that we are getting nothing done, while the list of problems we face keep piling up. The thing is, we all know this and feel it in our bones, yet we continue to argue. WHY????????

The political divid has gotten so bad, that no one is able to be the “voice of reason” and or calm. No one has any credibility and trust. So even though we all may know that our arguing and blaming each other is getting us nowhere, we can’t help but continue it. We all see the “iceburg” dead ahead, but all we seem to be able to do is “help steel the ship” into the “icebure.” Everything we try to do to avert disaster only brings us closer to it.

So what is it that can be done to unite the United States once again? What can we do to stop the arguing in politics and get government actually working again for “We The People?”  First of all, we can start by actually getting to know the “other side of the debate” and listen to them and their ideals. Don’t just dismiss them as “no-nothings, bigots, racists,” or any of the things we call those who we disagree with.

The second thing we can do is stop with the “self-rightious” attatude in regards to our own beliefs. The other side may be wrong on their postion, but that does not make them evil or mean they don’t care about the issue/s and people invloved.

We also need to get to know eachother better and stop hanging around in our own “bubbles” of like minded belivers. Make friends with those of the opposite Political viewpoint to yours! That dose nothing but isolate and creat “tribelism” which only fuels the division in this formally great united country. The “bubbles” also do more harm to one’s own belief system then helps it in the long one. For it stiffles intelitual curriosity and a wanting to learn and gain knowledge. Thus, those who are stuck in a “bubble” are less able to defend their postions and explain the reasons for them to others.

We must also be consestent with our beliefs and how we act them out and treat others. We can not hold one person or a group of people to one standered and others to a completly different one. That is one of the cheif reasons for a lost of trust and crediblity in this nation.

Yes, it is #obvious that the United States is no longer “United.” The Question is; what are we going to do about it? We need to stop talking about the problem and start acting on it, and changing how we as a society behave and act with each other and those who we disagree with. Love and understanding is what we need!

 

What are your thoughts on this subject? Please share them! All thoughts and Viewpoints are welcomed on this blog!

“Open Doors” Matter


This is a response to the one-word prompt “Gate” by “The Daily Post.”

Do you want to connect with your community and those around you? Do want to help grow your church, business, and/or organization you are a part of? Then you need to make sure that your “door” is always “#open.” That is, in order to be inviting and attract people to you and/or your organization, then you need to have an openness to you/your organization’s personality.

It does not #matter how much effort you put into getting the word out there about your organization, if once people “get there” they don’t “feel” invited. As humans, we are all “social animals” that is we crave social interaction and attention. Thus, if one goes about life with an “open door” personality saying “come let’s have a conversation” then one is more likely to make friends, connections, and bring in new people for one’s organization.

Being open also shows others that you are “real” and “authentic” and are more likely to connect on their level. There is just something to be said about someone who is “open” or joyful and shows it. A good example is my church’s new pastor,  she always has this “joist air” about her, and you can’t help but feel it and catch some of that joyfulness as well, in conversations. Having and showing an open door is very much like a “wave of sunshine” falling on you after you get out after falling into a lake or river of freezing cold water.

When we meet new people and/or join an orginization, we want, no we need to feel invited and wanted.  Warm welcome of joyful friends

We can’t feel that when the person/people on the other end are either ambelvelent or just for some reson unwelcoming. In welcoming people in through the “open door” one needs to be more and do more than just saying welcome and directing them “inside.” There needs to be a real ethustism that just “bleeds” from you into the air around you and the peole you are welcoming.

In getting to know others and/or welcoming them into your home, church, orginization, etc., you need to actually get to know them; to get to know their likes, dislikes, needs, and so forth. Or at the very least make it known that you are willing, able, and actually wanting to do so. When you do this, then they will want to get to know you in the same way, and thus you have the begenings of a real, long, and fruitful friendship, and/or very productive working relastionship.

We are very much in a divided world to day, in our politics, faith and so forth that we are unwilling to “open our #doors” and let people in that don’t confirm to our own beliefs and expectations. 

Unfortinatly, that only creates and feeds an ever growing cycle of more devisiveness and devsion. This is not the natural and atended state of human behavior/exsistence. We as social aniamls, are ment to get along and be happy together. That is how God attended life for us and wants life to be for us; for us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind; and to Love your neibor as yourself.” Matthew 22:36-39. We can do much to correct this imbalence in our world and daily lives, in our commmunities/societies if we just learn to “open our doors” more to others.

So do you have and present an “open door” to others when first meeting them and in all your interactions with them? Why or why not? And if so, how do you make sure you have  and show an “open door?” What are your thougths on the matter? Please do share them; they are very much wanted and creaved here! 

The Double Meaning Of The Fable, “The Fox And The Grapes”


The Fox And The Grapes

A hungry Fox saw some fine bunches of grapes hanging from a vine that was trained along a high trellis and did his best to reach them by jumping as high as he could into the air. But it was all in vain, for they were just out of reach. So he gave up trying and walked away with an air of dignity and unconcern, remarking, “I thought those grapes were ripe, but I see now they are quite sour.”  Jones, Vernon V.S., ed. Aesop’s Fables. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2003.

When I read this fable, I see two posible meanings and takeaways. On one hand, the story is saying that when you come across something that looks good, that you want, and you make an effort to get it without success, don’t let it bother you and just walk away going about your business. On the otherhand, the story is also saying (perhaps) that when you are not successful in getting something you want and on your own give up ataining it, don’t then “turn around” and “mock” it and the source of your setback.

Either one of these two meanings are useful and good take aways, it just depends on the person/s reading the story and how they see it. The great, useful thing about fables and stories in general is that there are multable things to learn and take away from them. They are both “one size fits all” lessons as well as “custimizable lessons.” We certingly see this in “The Fox and the Grapes.”

What are your thoughts on this fable and its two lessons for the reader?