The Longest Year

The older I get, the more quickly each year seems to pass. Unless of course, it’s an election year. It’s a long, long, time until November, and between now and then, we’re going to be inundated with nasty and mostly untrue attack ads.

Liberal and conservative are not just names hurled from one end of the political spectrum to the other. They represent different points of view about how to solve problems and move our country forward. There are real and significant differences between these opposing points of view. Neither end of the continuum is always right or always wrong. Real problems require solutions that draw upon the best ideas from both ends.

Compromise is an essential ingredient to solving society’s problems. It’s the give and take of compromise that has made our country great. Without compromise, you end up with a dictatorship or some other form of a totalitarian state. It’s all or nothing–my way or the highway. Without compromise, there’s no need to discuss differences of opinion about how to solve problems. Right or wrong, the bully on the playground always gets his way.

The gap between liberals and conservatives is wide enough without all the lies, obfuscations, and distortions that now pass for political debate. These days it seems like the goal of both sides is to win at any cost. Finding solutions isn’t easy in the best of circumstances. Starting with flawed information and an absence of facts makes it difficult, if not impossible, to find an effective solution to any problem.

It’s not just the politicians, though they’re bad enough. Some of the worst come from what I now refer to as “the religious wrong.” I wouldn’t care, but they are working hard to influence the outcome of elections. In a nutshell, they are opposed to government intervention, except when they’re not. They fear Islamist and sharia while espousing a Christian version of the same thing. Worst of all, they lie and make outrageous claims that simply aren’t true to inspire fear among the ignorati…all in the name of God.

We deserve better. It’s time for voters to demand honesty from our elected leaders instead of lies and empty promises. Our elected officials and those desiring office need to be accountable for their words. Spouting outrageous lies, false claims, and inflammatory rhetoric is not leadership, and those who engage in these behaviors do not deserve the publics’ trust. Similarly, religious groups that do the same thing don’t deserve your support.

Do your homework. Check facts from a variety of trusted sources–and in case you didn’t know, the media–whether Fox News or MSNBC or anyone in between–cannot be trusted to provide the unvarnished truth.The same with Limbaugh and Maddow and the like. They have opinions that are designed not to inform, but to attract an audience.

There are a ton of big issues our country needs to address. Take a look at what Congress accomplished in the last term: Slightly more than nothing. Their approval ratings suggest that everyone but their family members are dissatisfied, and all they do is point fingers across the aisle. It’s our fault. We keep re-electing these dumb asses while they feather their nest with “contributions” from mega corporations. Suckers.

Demand better. Insist upon it. They work for us, all of us, not just the corporations and the rich. This year, when it comes time to vote, I plan to send exactly that message from…

My Glass House

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