Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ideology is Not the Issue

I am staggering under the weight of this election year. This happens to me every time. I am not a Democrat. I am not a Republican. I grasp tightly to the notion of being Independent. Yes, that may be an illusion, but dammit, it’s my illusion. I vote for people, not an ideology. I try to gauge intent and whether or not a candidate is a good person. I’m consciously na├»ve in that regard. Character counts. When the poop hits the propeller, I want someone who will leap on the grenade, if need be, just as I hope that I would.

I am appalled at what is happening to my middle class. Both sides point at each other and cry foul. I am also appalled that ANYone would take ANYthing that Ayn Rand wrote and find it useable as a philosophy. That shows me an egregious lack of imagination and a profound disconnect with reality. I don’t find any credence whatsoever in a greed-is-good mindset. By definition, it is the problem, not any kind of solution. Financially, we are being bled like sacrificial lambs. Since the 80s, the greatest money-laundering scheme in the history of the world has been eroding capital from everyday working people. It has not abated, no matter which “party” is in power.

There is no such thing as “the liberal media.” It doesn’t exist. I am so tired of hearing it said: “that liberal media just ignores crucial things.” Folks, it is a CORPORATE MEDIA. Hello? Ask yourself who owns the airwaves. Follow the money. Even when I watch my beloved PBS, I see the underwriters include Big Energy and Big Banking. To me, that’s as close as I can get to defining the enemy.

I reckon the bottom line for me is that the manifestation of greed shows itself in profit at the expense of everyday people. A perfect example is the plight of farmers in Pennsylvania who have methane bubbling up through their wells as a fracking drill operates nearby. The company line is that fracking is just great engineering and that there is no correlation to environmental degradation and that we all must sacrifice for the greater good. Say what? A very pertinent question to ask is how much of that “natural” gas will stay in the community and how much will be sold abroad at an immense profit. There is no common sense to any of it. The scenario repeats itself across the board when you look at Big Energy.

Small Business is the lifeblood of this country. It is the American Dream. I hear that government just needs to “get out of the way” and Small Business will thrive. But the way things work is that if government gets out of the way, it will get out of the way for the giants too, which will allow them to sit their bloated butts on the markets and squeeze cash flow for everyone. That “getting out of the way” will, in my opinion, create a one-way highway that will NOT benefit the mom-and-pop farm or the small grocery it sells to in any significant way. We cannot consume our way to fiscal well-being. That is the big lie.

Any philosophy that encourages profit over the welfare of people and their way of life is egregiously wrong. Period. No amount of rhetoric will heal the oozing wound in our national psyche. Be very suspicious of any talking head that demonizes an opponent with unsubstantiated rumor, innuendo, and fast-and-easy sound bites. Consider the source and how it is portrayed. Who stands to benefit?

Everybody who votes in the coming election should pay attention, use their brains, and not vote against their own self interests. Think. Trust yourself. Don’t vote an ideology. Vote for people.

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