During the two years since I created this website and began posting to this blog, I have been a more frequent tracker of “news” outlets than I was in previous years [these days, I often put the word “news” in quotes because of all the “fake news” I have to sift through to get the news.] I also access more opinion and commentary material — purposely seeking a broad perspective that allows me to understand both sides of issues that are fueling the current highly polarized environment [sometimes, “all sides” would fit better than “both sides.”]
Last weekend, I was intrigued with a column written by a person you might say is [compared with me] on the opposite end of the ideological spectrum. Her name is Saritha Prabhu. Sometimes her weekly column in one of the media sources I track is farther into the weeds than I want to get on some particular issue. In those weeks, I either don’t read it based on the title, or if I begin reading it and quickly see that she’s just one more voice expressing thoughts I’ve already heard a dozen times that week I quit reading or maybe just quickly skim through the rest of it [she’s very astute, in my opinion, and often expresses broader-perspective, above-the-fray concepts, so I wouldn’t want to miss a unique aspect of an in-the-weeds topic she may be focused on that week.]
I thought her 7/8/18 article was excellent — not because I’m a Republican and she’s a Democrat who was airing what she clearly views as “dirty laundry” within her own party, but because she was rising above the trees to see the forest, and expressing very eloquently some serious faults in our current governmental modus operandi that are highly visible in both parties. I firmly believe that if more Conservatives could read articles like hers and not impulsively jump on phrases they could use to put down on Liberals — and if more Liberals could read articles like this one of mine and not impulsively jump on phrases they could use to put down on Conservatives — this country would be much better off.
Just A Few Examples
Before I move on to the “bottom line” of what I’m trying to communicate in this post, let me just share some phrases from her article as examples of why I found it so impressive [try to ignore Democrat / Liberal / Left and Republican / Conservative / Right thinking and read this without any of those biases]. …
“To many of my long-time progressive readers, I’ve suddenly become an elephant in donkey’s clothing. …The 2016 election was an eyeopener for me. … It was the year I recognized that our two political parties have become dinosaurs, ossified beyond recognition. Yes, there’s grassroots energy in the Democratic party, but party leadership is essentially bereft of ideas. … Sixty-three million voters — including millions of African-Americans, Hispanics and Democrats — rejected status quo politics and voted in a strong, rank outsider to shake the establishment from their comfortable perches. Would Trump’s supporters have preferred a decent, moral, well-behaved, well-informed populist? Sure, but in dire times, you take the populist who shows up because beggars can’t be choosers. … I’m no Trump supporter, but I’ve been horrified and repulsed by the political and cultural left’s hatred, demonization and mistreatment toward President Trump, his family, his administration officials and his voters, which is even worse (if that’s possible) than what the right did to President Obama.”
Why Are You A … Republican? … Democrat? … Independent? … Member Of Some Other Party?
The reason that my answer to that question is “Republican” is not that I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Republican who believes every plank in his party’s platform is exactly the “right” plank. My reason is simply that if I want to be able to fully participate in elections and maximize the effectiveness of my vote in all elections, I have to be either a Republican or a Democrat in what is unfortunately still the Current Paradigm [a New Paradigm is taking over at a rapidly-accelerating pace, but decisions today have to be made based on where we are, not where we’re going.] Any other choice limits my ability to vote in primary elections, making me unable to influence which candidates in the general election will be the “least despicable” if that is the choice that is shaping up [which was the case in 2016 — see my 10/16/16 post Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall, … as just one example of many posts I wrote expressing this thought prior to the election; as for more on the Paradigm Shift, you could go to many of my blog posts, but a good starting point would be the A Major Paradigm Shift Well Underway page at this site.]
Given that restraint, if I look at the platform planks of those two parties and start putting checkmarks by the planks that best fit my worldview and ideological / philosophical mindset and Xs by planks with which I literally cannot identify, I end up with more checkmarks by Republican planks than by Democrat planks and more Xs by Democrat planks than Republican planks — ergo, I’m a Republican. However, I could actually paraphrase some of Ms. Prabhu’s remarks, tailored to my party rather than hers, and come up with a similarly scathing indictment against the Republican Party. …
“Our two political parties have become dinosaurs, ossified beyond recognition. Yes, there’s grassroots energy in the Republican party, but party leadership is essentially bereft of ideas [on which they can agree even among themselves]. … I’m [not a supporter of President Trump as a person, but I’m supportive of what he has accomplished and is trying to accomplish — and] I’ve been horrified and repulsed by the political and cultural left’s hatred, demonization and mistreatment toward [him,] his family, his administration officials and his voters, which is [much] worse … than what the right did to President Obama.”
Come, Let Us Reason Together …
As I began wrapping this post up, my 12/13/17 post I’m With Eliza Doolittle came to mind. In it, I referred to Eliza’s [played by Audrey Hepburn] wistful song Wouldn’t It Be Lovely in the 1964 musical My Fair Lady as a way to say how great it would be if our government could actually function as it was designed to function. Alas, though, that would require a departure from the herd mentality exhibited in both parties and a “Come, let us reason together” mindset. What neither party seems to realize is that by continuing on the loggerheads path they are both following, they are accelerating the Paradigm Shift that will ultimately result in their becoming irrelevant.
[Note: If you’d like to read the article by Ms. Prabhu that I quoted in this post, you can access it at this link: The Democratic Party left me — and I’m not alone]
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Charles M. Jones