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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Don't Drink the Kool-Aid

I'm not saying I have the knowledge to fully understand the world and all that's happening in it. I'm not saying my opinion is more valid than anyone else's, or that my political and social views are the standard by which others should gauge themselves. I'm just trying to express my concern for the scary societal tendencies that I see all around us. It's as if there is no room for pause in our worlds anymore - as though people must decide how they feel about the issues facing this election season immediately. As though choosing sides is more important than weighing the issues and deciding what works best for you. I guess it's not so shocking when I consider how readily people succumb to the numb and dumb entertainment that is reality tv. Here you get comfortable in your role as a voyeur. All the thinking you have to do is to decide who you'd like to see lose most. You watch people playing people who are pretending they are not affected by the cameras around them - that their ultimate goal is not the exposure they need to promote themselves but instead some important cause - something like speed dating in order to marry a complete stranger. It's mind-boggling to me that the only form of news these people see is Entertainment Tonight and the 10 o'clock news. Like the fish we are, we drink whatever Kool-aid we are fed, and we don't give any thought to verifying information - to research of the issues and serious thought. I think people spend more time researching Internet myths on Snopes than they do researching the news. And CNN is NOT the news. Once upon a time, journalists were objective - their only goal to report the truth. Their personal opinions were expressed in a shrewd sentence or two. Now we have entire newspapers endorsing political candidates. Tell me, are you going to get objectivity from a news source like that? Are you really willing to pass up the American right to decide for yourself because your candidate is young and cool? I know we have to choose between the lesser of two evils, but before you rule out the old and garb yourself in the new for the sake of "hope and change" - spend some time researching how these candidates voted on the issues. They are senators after all - so you will find public information about their voting histories. You can find how they compare on all the major issues. Read what they have written in their lives. At least read excerpts. And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE remember that the government who promises to GIVE you everything for the promise of your vote can take it all away. You've worked hard, haven't you? You've been down in the dumps, you've risen up from nothing, and you've made something of yourself, right? So tell me, do you now want a government that is willing to support those who have not worked and will not ever work as hard as you? And the financial security you aspire to - you're willing to put that at risk so that people who won't work for health care and won't work to better themselves can have what you've paid for with your hard work? I promise you there is no lack of support in terms of government programs that help the needy. Do a little research. The help has always and will always be there. We are a free market economy on the verge of a socialist overhaul. And if you don't know what that means . . . I'll just say it's not good. It's not good.

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