Sunday, March 12, 2023

Post No. 211: The Problem Being A Forward Thinking, Solution Grounded, Pragmatic Optimist

– © 2023, The Institute for Applied Common Sense™

If I did not know better and did not have the input of hundreds who studied under my mother during the 1950s – 1960s, I would suspect that she was a reincarnated, ancient Chinese philosopher. Always trying to get me to see both sides of everything, thus suggesting therein lies potential solutions. She was bigger than the racial and gender parameters generally assigned to her.

Here once again, I find myself at 3 am reading the National Review, which I am compelled by her memory to absorb on a daily basis, along with watching Fox News, in an effort to: (a) understand the mindset of the conservative / authoritarian governance faction; (b) determine whether there is a commonality of interests amongst a super majority of American citizens; and (c), being a "forward thinking, solution grounded, pragmatic optimist," try to articulate some amorphous consensus around which we ordinary everyday citizens can coalesce.

Contrary to many, I honestly believe that both sides in this ideological and cultural war should listen to and try to understand one another, because the stakes are bigger than any faction, no matter how defined or framed. As hard as I try, I find myself intellectually incapable of defining the word “woke,” other than the time I get out of bed. A central tenet of democracy is consensus finding. However, the professional politicians, like the handlers of heavyweight boxing championship contenders, can’t have that. There’s no money to be made.

Believe it or not, my distant cousin, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and I have not conferred on this idea of dividing up the country. To her credit, she came right out of the blocks advocating it, while those of you who have followed my roller coaster views know that I consider it an option of last resort before bloodshed. Despite coming from two dramatically different types of idiots, our positions have been severely criticized and labelled illogical and insane by 99% of the voting public, or at least the professional, non-resolution oriented talking heads on the media outlets.

And therein, perhaps, hope springs eternal.

Back in 2008, my writing mentor, Willy Hopkins, suggested I take a side on issues occasionally to develop an audience of any value. I ignored his advice, stating I preferred having both sides throw rocks at my positions. All I ever wanted was to have 2 or 3 readers say, “Hmmm.” “Interesting,” is the highest compliment in my view.

I am sure that my cousin from the great, sovereign state of Georgia is dead serious about her position, while I have proposed a national divorce facetiously on occasion, and to stimulate some debate on others. My primary motivating consideration has always been the avoidance of bloodshed, not the practical difficulties, and yet many consider bloodshed to be a periodic, necessary evil, before civilization returns to its senses.

I’m not a fan of politicians. They have few socially redeeming values. The vast majority of them cannot successfully maintain relationships with spouses of their choosing (as opposed to pure happenstance like citizens), successfully provide guidance to the offspring of their delusional blood flow distractions, or even balance their household checkbooks, and yet they have somehow convinced us that they should be our leaders regarding the big policy issues in life.

I invite you to read this piece from National Review, in depth, to gain a better appreciation of how complex a country we really are. No monolithic nothing, according to this analyst. It might also prompt some really creative approaches so we can surgically and strategically focus our work at the local and state levels, to avoid backsliding on individual freedoms and choices. I have to give the National Review writer his props, having exhaustively analyzed the s_ _ t out of the statistics, to show us that there are no true blue or red states, let alone “The American People.” The manipulators impress upon us that we are in separate camps since that advances their interests and enables them to further manipulate us.

I found the following quote at some point within the past couple of weeks and realized that although an ancient Chinese philosopher did not pen it, she could have: “The most powerful way to heal someone is to listen. Don’t think or judge. Just listen. People start to heal the moment they feel heard. You can’t be a healer if you refuse to step outside of your own emotions and view things entirely from the perspective of the other person.”

Our purported elected leaders aren’t in the business of listening. They are in the business of framing, to advance their own interests. The sooner we recognize that, the better off we will be without them, and their manipulative influences.

"There Are More Than 2 Or 3 Ways To View Any Issue; There Are At Least 27"™

"Experience Isn't Expensive; It's Priceless"™

"Common Sense Should be a Way of Life"™