Validation and Hope


John Wright


I occasionally tune in to the Lou Dobbs Show on CNN©, for that show is the only one that I know that routinely presents ugly truths about outsourcing and other national concerns that impact the general public, and which should have their full attention. Last evening one Marcie Kaptur was interviewed. Marcie is a Democratic Congressional Representative from Ohio. In the space of five minutes of listening to her talk about issues I have discussed in Destiny and in my articles, I found myself for once feeling hopeful that indeed there are some useful, intelligent and honest people in politics.

Marcie did not mince words about the stupidity of outsourcing or oil exploration. She is strongly in favor of forcing development and implementation of alternative energy sources to meet our needs. She clearly has little respect for George W. Bush. She is anti-NAFTA and wants that mistake reversed. She calls the pro-outsource pundits liars and she proves her points with job loss statistics. Most of all, Marcie is rightiously angry and I really like her spunk. The truth is I do not know much about her but I intend to learn more by researching her history.

I hope you noticed that I said Marcie is a Democrat, from one of our conservative states, Ohio. If she is ready to throw down the glove I wonder if more members of Congress will have the guts to come out of the woodwork and start running this country effectively for our long-term wellbeing? What I am saying is that the coming elections might be won in a landslide through a populist movement, and not be lost to big money buying airtime and lying.

The biggest problems I see are getting a sensible and complete platform and candidates that are really excited about forcing change. Money for airtime and other media will come if enough public voices open up and speak with candor and commitment. But will the Democrats at the national level have the guts to trust and lead a populist movement? Will they come forward and declare themselves opposed to the economic positions of their most powerful campaign contributors?

For that matter, I wonder how many Republican candidates may be ready to go head to head with the existing party power structure in the coming election? I fear too few will abandon what they believe to be their job security, and that too many current members of Congress have their heads up their respective places where the sun doesnít shine. Well, the fight has to begin somewhere and I hope that moderate Republicans or Independents can be found.

In the meantime, each of us should make time to write a personal, prioritized list of issues that we believe the federal government should address, starting early next year, i.e., after the elections. The list is good reference point for identifying what candidates do and do not say about their post-election priorities, and how they might expect to accomplish their objectives if elected. Yes, the existing Congress could help pass corrective legislation during this year in any number of areas, but they wonít. At the moment politicians are "sniffing the wind" to figure out how to represent themselves to optimize the odds for re-election.

Speaking of representing themselves, I was surfing through the TV channels provided by DirecTV® and, as so often happens, I could find almost nothing of interest in well over 100, or was that 200 channels. Hmmm Ö what I didnít see was a collection of channels through which political candidates could state their priorities and methods for making the USA and the world a better place to live. Alas, John is about to identify yet one more fantastic idea that has virtually no chance of happening.

Suppose we had a mere nine channels allocated, full time, as a government subsidized public service (yeah, I know, subsidized, Uh, Huh!), to allow political candidates to state their views about the important issues, as they see them, where they stand, why, and what they will do, and how, if elected or re-elected. Oh my, it sounds so simple! There must be something terribly wrong with my thinking! Why nine channels? Well, we have liberals, moderates and conservatives, and we have Democrats, Republicans and "Others." Three times three equals nine (do the math!).

Now, letís take this one step further Ö is there any good reason why a given candidate should be forced to declare a general position? Why couldnít an individual be a conservative on some topics, a moderate on others, and a liberal on yet others? Voila! All of a sudden we only need three channels! Why? Party affiliations and party platforms suddenly become irrelevant! That thought was so good I have to state it again in other words Ö party affiliations and platforms Ö could they really be irrelevant? Isnít that truly interesting? All candidates can be grouped by issue as conservative, moderate or liberal. Wow!

Okay Ö it looks like John is on to something. Now letís see how John proposes to avoid having three hundred channels for three hundred "issues." It comes down to a simple matter of summary beliefs and commitments. All issues can be presented on all three channels in tabular form, with candidate names associated with positions that are basically conservative, moderate or liberal, by issue. Such representation would make the job so much easier for voters, pollsters and party/election planners. We might actually see and understand!

Whoops! I am so sorry. I forgot the real point of campaigning, which is to look good to everyone by using only platitudes and generalities! Oh, *(&^%^, I guess John isnít so smart after all! Then again, if we could have the three channels, I wonder if the bullshit artists would continue to prevail? Comparative statements by issue and position and plan would be a most interesting way for voters to see the candidates. Who is relevant? Who has the most appealing ideas? Who is off in the woods? Now, can we make the "general public" take the time to read and think about the provided information?

Double whoops! Here I am, blithely assuming that the average "Joe" gives a shit, let alone reads. Yet, that same "Joe" votes, maybe. Or call the person Josephine Ö it doesnít matter. Stupidity or ignorance, lack of education, lack of aptitudes, lack of interest, all are gender neutral. I guess the tabular positions idea fails. How then might we accomplish the necessary conveyance of useful information to the dull? Pie Charts?

All of a sudden my positive attitude when I started this article is waning. Validation and Hope? How about Who Cares and Get Lost? Marcie, Marcie, Marcie Ö I still love your beliefs and ideas Ö but it seems we need a form of alternative energy to power the minds of the common people. They have been oiled and slicked, and nudged into meaningless positions based on platitudes and half-truths. They lack the means to lift themselves. What to do?