Thursday, January 1, 2015

Poison Politics

We've reached the greatest degree of polarization in our nation in a hundred and fifty years.

Republicans and democrats with help from the media have divided us and disassembled our common values, common goals, and our national identity.

LEFT vs. RIGHT WING.  Did you know that the political Left and Right positions are defined by their view on equality?
The political left favors social equality while the political right defends the social hierarchy and economic inequality.

Did you know that Liberalism is founded on ideas of liberty and equality.  Liberals generally support ideas such as democratic elections, civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free trade, and private property.  Conservativism supports retaining traditional social institutions and cultural norms from recent history.

Liberals led the movements to abolish slavery, to end discrimination, and to create an equal opportunity nation.  Conservatives resisted them all.  Liberals also make the case for abortion, for the redefinition of marriage, and for the welfare state.  Conservatives are pro-life, traditional marriage, and support a reduced deficit with reduced federal spending.

Republicans vs. Democrats vs. People of Faith
Today the Republican and Democratic parties are not merely uncomfortable, imperfect homes for people of faith; they are prisons that artificially divide us and prevent us from coming together as a community to advance the common good. ~Archbishop Charles Chaput

Term limits for Congress, perhaps.  
A shutdown of corporate lobbyists would be interesting.  
A restatement of constitutional values beginning with the 'equal' issues and an analysis of how well (or poorly) we're doing in that arena would be enlightening.  
Our support of corrupt regimes would be an embarrassing subject for a legitimately open forum.  
Government violations of privacy, targeting those who disagree, etc., all would be profitable public discussions.  
An accountability for influence would be extraordinarily valuable; public access to video and transcripts of every conversation by every government power player would be fun.  After all, the NSA does most of that already.  
And lying to us; how about laws against government lying to the public, deliberately stating as fact things they know are untrue.  Those would be particularly encouraging.  
Mandating a breakup of the 'too big to fail' financial behemoths would be a big step in the right direction, too.

Obama has attempted to address the growing gap between rich and poor, but both Republicans and Democrats squashed his initiative.  It would have been a worthwhile pursuit for his final years, perhaps.  (Update: Obama is trying again this year.  Here's hoping the issue gets a chance to be understood.)

As today's version of segregation and discrimination, the inequality gap stems from elitist social and economic structures, it limits mobility and assimilation.  Too, as we've recently discovered, it precipitates troubles - from increased personal indebtedness to increased crime, from increased domestic violence to increased international volatility, and the world great recession of recent memory.  Like poverty, your place below the gap is not something you would choose, of course.  It's something that's done to you.