This is the central theme of partisan politics. And it’s getting worse. But there is an effective and powerful fix. I promise.
That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode.
We have quickly devolved from conservatives thinking that liberals are stupid to specific insults like “libtard” and derogatory general beliefs, e.g., liberals are nice–naive, but nice–and are willing to give away the farm–yours, preferably–in the vain attempt to right wrongs, and correct loosely defined social injustices.
Liberals are also raising the verbal stakes, upgrading the charges from uncaring to familiar ist-accusations like racist and sexist to newer, less familiar -phobe assertions like transphobe or xenophobe. Liberal J. K. Rowling was very recently accused of being a TERF. (I had to look that one up; Trans-exclusionary Raical Feminist.) Somewhere, likely in a rent-controlled apartment, with politically-correct posters and decorations, someone is making quite a name for itself coming up with these terms. TERF is likely only a temporary triumph, soon to be eclipsed with a new derogatory acronyms, perhaps including, FART: Former Activist (now) Rational Thinker.
Liberals are thought to be stupid, becuse when they see something that needs fixing, they want to rush in with taxpayer-funded assistance, and keep supplying more and more of that aid until the problem is permanently solved. There is more than enough evidence of inefficient spending and questionable results to show this approach to be naive, prompting some to accuse supporters of this process of being stupid.
Conservatives are thought to be mean and uncaring when they wave the “personal responsibility” flag, declaring that to be the way out of anything save, perhaps, an attack in force by a foreign power, or the need for a new police headquarters. Years ago, when I first used the term personal responsibility on social media, I was met with, “Racist much?” When I expressed confusion, I was told that personal responsibility was a dog whistle for racism. By using that term, I was, I was told, like an actual dog whistle, sending out a message that only my selected audience, in this case, fellow racists, could understand.
Let’s combine so-clled stupid, the rushing in with aid part, and “uncaring”, the personhal responsibility part. This correct–ideal–combination of rushing in to fix things and having the person or group in question take personal responsibility is at the core of the Revolution 2.0™ philosophy. Here’s a refresher:
The core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, are:
- Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
- Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.
When someone has experienced a medical emergency and is taken to a hospital, the first thing medical professionals do is assess and stabilize–halt the damage. The next steps include determining the need for any long-term treatments needed to get that person back on track for an independent, healthy and happy life. That’s how medical needs are met. And that’s the right approach elsewhere, perhaps everywhere. Rush in with aid to stabilize the patient, to right wrongs. Then teach personal responsibility to allow the patient to live happily and independently, and to be able to teach others to do the same.
Let’s go back to the familiar “Give a man a fish.” example to illustrate how we teach personal responsibility. After we have given the man a fish to stabilize the situation, motivate that man to fish for himself, and you feed him for a lifetime. Teach that man to be able to teach and motivate others, and you feed a nation.
Knowing how to fish is the how. Motivation is the why. No one will do the how until they know the why.
The process is simple:
- Give away the fish, then
- Teach fishing, then
- Motivate about why to fish for themselves, then
- Teach and encourage people to teach and motivate others
It is not naive, and certainly not stupid, to rush in with needed aid. Immediate aid is needed, and it is the loving thing to do. It is not mean or uncaring to transition to teaching and encouraging personal responsibility. This, too, is needed and it is the loving thing to do.
Today’s Key Point: We need pieces of liberal and conservative thinking to make a coherent, effective philosophy. We need all of us to pull it off and make it work.
“We must all hang together, or we will surely all hang separately.” Ben Franklin. Ben said this just after signing the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from England, the greatest military power the world had ever seen. The references are clearly to the need for the revolutionaries in tiny and ill-equipped America to hang together at all costs–and the need to win in the process–or all be hung as traitors by the British. N.B. Franklin did not say that all of the Northern colonies should stick together, and the Southern colonies could fend for themselves. “We must all…”
Let’s repeat Franklin’s words and apply them to today. “We must all hang together, or we will surely all hang separately.” In Franklin’s day, it was the enemy, the English, who wanted to defeat and hang the American revolutionaries. Today, it is us, we the people, who want to hang each other. “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Walt Kelly, cartoonist, speaking through his swamp possum character, Pogo, in the eponymous cartoon strip.
If you love politics and feel that it is important, then work your butt off to get your candidate elected during the current election process. If you love your country, support whoever is the president at the time in the hopes that our country–your country, and the people in it, will succeed. Even if you think that the current–whenever current is–president is a lifelong criminal and liar, or if you believe the president at the time to be a manipulator and anti-women, working to have that person crash and burn is self-destructive, and destructive to the nation. Would anyone think that working to subvert the pilot of a commercial plane wherein you and your family were passengers would anything but suicidal–and homicidal?
Let’s work to promote the positives of our preferred beliefs and our chosen candidates and office holders. Avoid attacking whenever possible, and by all means stay away from angry personal attacks. Team up with each other, using all of our varying strengths, to make things go forward and be better. Imagine with me a world where citizens and voters, the political parties and the media, all acted in that way. Revolution 2.0™ has that as one of its goals. What are your goals?
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple, Google, or Stitcher.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.