To this point, I am convinced that the American populace has forgotten one simple, basic fact about this nation. With all of the political pundits, slanted news media, and blogs that present evidence so slanted that some take them for truth, our political minds have become confused. We are a nation that seems to exist on the sound bite, getting only half truths and innuendo from a portion that some slanted news media outlet wishes to give us. As a whole, it seems that we’ve given ourselves up to being on one side only of the political fence, not even bothering to listen to the other side, so strong is our programming to whatever ideology we’ve bombarded ourselves with. We allow ourselves to me molded, fashioned into anything that the media desires, or we go to the other alternative…we simply check out, going with ‘the flow’ of what everyone else in our circle are doing. Maybe worst of all, we do nothing. We don’t vote at all, don’t try to keep up with what’s happening, but give ourselves over to the do nothing portion of the nation. We simply do not get involved on any level.
     Young people, trying to be involved hear half truths and without the wisdom of age, buy into the latest slogan of ‘free’, uttering small soundbites that they’ve picked up on Twitter, Facebook, or some other app not really knowing the context of the statement or the entire statement at all. They present half baked information because of the memorization of one or two lines of propaganda spewed by their favorite news source, or, worst of all, they don’t get educated on anything…anything at all, preferring to wallow in the wasteland of their instagram or snapchat world.
     Finally, there are the 60’s wannabe activists. You know the ones…60+ years old, short little ponytailes on the men with barely any hair left at all. Holding signs, wearing their old, beat up Grateful Dead shirts from the original shows they attended spewing nonesense about socialism, how bad ‘the man’ is and trying to re-live Woodstock. Some of these people have actually become university professors! That is an entirely different article.
     The point is this. Despite all of that disparity, all of those differences, and all of the change, this must be remembered; the source of ALL political power is WE THE PEOPLE. It’s really that simple! The problem is that WE THE PEOPLE have forgotten that small piece of information, and have allowed ourselves to be bamboozled, twisted, and turned by the political machines of all of the major parties, with the help of the news media who have their biases, and wealthy financiers like George Soros and the Koch brothers who purchase politicians and news sources so as to flood us with their messages. We’ve essentially given up our right to free choice by being willing to accept in this 24 hour news cylce that we are in, anything that is said by our chosen “side” without even being willing to listen to the “other” side at all. We’ve acceded our political minds to the programming that has become the norm. We no longer defend an argument, but simply recite the soundbite or talking point. If we are challenged, we don’t respond, we shut down or name call. We allow ourselves to be told who to choose.
     Voltaire once wrote a short piece entitled A Plea for Tolerance and Reason and I would like to echo that sentiment here. I am issuing a plea for at least the reason part. Listen, think, hear the entire sound bite, then make a decision based on what YOU think. Hear both sides, even if it’s painful to listen to, as you may get at least an understanding of their argument. We cannot lose sight of the fact that both sides of the political fence have good points, and we have to get back to acknowledging when one side has a great idea. The only way to hold these politicians accountable is through our vote. Remember…we are the source of all political power in this nation.