The 2020 election is over. Joe Biden won. There was no massive voter fraud. With the exception with a handful of prosecutions, many of which were Republicans committing the fraud, no investigation has uncovered anything of significance. Over 60 court cases, including at the Supreme Court, have been thrown out. Investigations in Arizona, and now Wisconsin, claiming they would uncover massive fraud have failed to do so. Worse yet, the firm in Arizona has shuttered its doors and failed to turn over its public records. In Wisconsin, two judges have warned that investigator, a retired state Supreme Court justice, that his team must not destroy records. The second judge actually said she was "amazed" such an order was necessary. For over 240 years the credibility of our election system has never been in question as it is now. The Big Lie is causing changes at the state level that will damage credibility even further, causing potential irreparable harm to our .democracy. I know I shouldn't be as dumbfounded as I am to believe that those who fell for the "Mexico will pay for the wall" continue to believe lies that simple common sense would prove otherwise. My case in point. we have 538 members in congress. Not a single one says there election was fraudulent, only the top line on the ballot was affected. I wonder if it's me who is ignorant, those who believe only the presidential part of the ballot was tampered with, or the Democrats who supposedly committed the fraud and somehow didn't overwhelmingly change the makeup of congress in their favor.
Authoritarians seek blind submission and obedience of its citizens to their authority. This reason alone should be sufficient justification for enhancing voting rights. So citizens have a voice. Making voting harder leads us closer to those in power expecting submission and obedience from those not in power. We start living under minority rule by those who will do anything to maintain their power. Undermining the basic foundations of our democracy and causing doubt in the credibility of our systems is a start. No one has come for our guns yet but taking away a women's right to choose; of the ability of her to even leave her state to go to another were choice is legal; we need to open our eyes. Rights being taken away now that are important to others has opened the door more fully to take other rights away in the future. Though I believe our democracy will ultimately prevail, remember a poem posted at the US Holocaust Memorial, "First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me".
I can't believe I even have to address this. Studies have shown some psychological reasons why people believe in conspiracy theories. One of the simplest factors to understand is that they don't know how, or choose not to, research other sources of information and facts. They rely on a small number of sources whose narrative fits the profile of what they are looking for to feel safe or for their own validation. News has become entertainment, often providing misinformation. A recent example, a group of Fox News viewers were paid to watch CNN for a month. At the end of the study, some Fox News viewers changed their minds on a range of issues. I believe the current polarization being experienced in American society is directly related to people limiting their sources of information. Now keep in mind, though Fox News has the highest primetime ratings for cable news, more people are watching the Kardashians, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Survivor, America's Funniest Home Videos, American Idol, or twice as many for 60 Minutes or the fictional show FBI. It just so happens that media whores are using conspiracies and misinformation to inflame a base that would buy a vowel to solve C_NSP_R_CY.
From congressional leaders stating on day 1 their sole purpose is to block an administrations agenda, or to refuse to move forward a valid SCOTUS nominee based on a philosophy that is rejected when their own preferred candidate is up for a seat, to holding up legislation after moving a goal line that was previous stated, enough is enough. I remember in marriage counseling it was called tit-for-tat. I don't know about you , but I'm expecting our elected officials to work together so that the country succeeds. History has shown that the general belief that Republicans are better for the economy, in the long-term, is wrong. As mentioned in the issues section, debt should be of major concern to everyone. While Republican policies of lowering taxes, especially for corporations, seems sounds, the long-term effects will be devastating. An example will be when Social Security, a liberal program that I have yet to see a conservative refuse their share, runs out. Overspending of our annual budget, deficit spending, increases our debt. The fact is, though Republicans don't like it, that Democrats are better at reducing the deficit. Politically they pay a price for that, but it's a way of putting country above party. We need to stop obstruction of the progress of either party and let the results speak for themselves at the ballot box.
Defined as violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups TO FURTHER IDEOLOGICAL GOALS STEMMING FROM DOMESTIC INFLUENCES (my emphasis). There is a difference between a peaceful protest that experiences criminal acts such as looting and an event such as January 6th. While I strongly condemn actions such as looting, that act is self-serving for those who commit it. They are not doing it to further an ideological goal. An insurrection influenced by violent rhetoric and false assertions had a purpose to further the ideological goal of overturning a valid election by force. There is no comparison in my mind. With free speech, comes responsibility. Domestic influencers are more and more stoking the fires of fear to try and influence actions to further their ideological goals. This influence is increasing the threat of domestic terrorism and yet, these same influencers who swaddle their message in the flag and constitution, are the first to not accept responsibility for their actions.
We are being pulled apart as a nation in so many ways. I believe we have more in common than we have differences. It is really only the single-issue or pronounced issues that divide us. As we enter another election cycle, you see fear being used to divide us by party. Your elected representatives should put their constituents, their country, and their morals first. We need to stop party politics and get back to people-oriented politics and doing what is right. As citizens, we may have fundamental differences with each other, but we are not enemies.
Our current media amplifies the words and actions of those believing in conspiracies. Again, we are being driven by fear and not reality. This comes from the fringes on both sides. The silent majority, those in the middle who are just tired of the bullshit, want positive change. Wondering how, for all of its faults, our country worked and was the beacon of democracy around the world. We need to get back to common sense and reality and get away from those who use conspiracies to try and maintain their control and power.
In psychology, projection refers to placing one own's negative traits onto others, usually without reason. We see this with many of the talking heads in the media, both media personalities and the elected officials they interview or write about. It is hard for me to understand how people are so quick to put aside their better judgement in reality to fall for the tag lines. The politicians who project need to be held accountable for t heir their own shortcomings in which they use projection as a means to distract from their own flaws. If you can't respect others differences and projection is your means of defense, I would say you are in the wrong business of being an elected official.
Many of the fringe politicians, or those who are some of the most common talking heads we hear from, suffer from hubris. Their excessive self-confidence and/or arrogance in the face of knowing better, want to appear that they know better than anyone else. Their hubris covers up their own lack of understanding an issue from the many different sides it must be approached from. The major sense of hubris I see is in the sense that it is either red or blue in any matter. It is not, I would rather see humble, honest, and fallible representation.
I am a second generation American. My grandparents immigrated from Mexico. I have been told more than once I should go back to where I came from. Orange County? I can only imagine the hateful racism that is expressed more openly these days. Racism is a form of domestic terrorism meant to instill fear in others. We see this in the recent shooting in Buffalo, New York. The current trends that are highlighting "replacement theory" and "critical race theory" are dog whistles to create fear in a decreasing base of voters who, again, are too easily persuaded by a vocal few than using their own critical reasoning to search for truth. We must look to a person's abilities, in a fair and equitable manner, over their race.
GIVERS / TAKERS
This is one of my biggest pet peeves. When it comes to federal taxes we pay to provide revenue to the government, 40 states take more back than what they give. 25 of those states are Red, 15 are Blue. Of the giver states, 2 are Red, 8 are Blue. As Republicans, we can talk a good game about welfare but in essence, many Red states benefit from being welfare states. I would rather states get back a fair share of what they are putting in and stop the wealth distribution they so loudly rally against. Examples are states that have no state income tax. Why are California tax payers footing the bill for what their non-existent state income taxes would pay for? It is great a state can have no state income tax but they should be honest and admit they are living off the welfare those 10 giver states provide for them. And as California is a giver state, I would like to see more money coming back to us to lower our own state taxes.
This happens from both parties. The days of doing as I say and not as I do need to end. One of the biggest hypocrisies was Mitch McConnell's handling of Supreme Court nominees. I politics, the playing field needs to be fair and by the rules. To bypass Merrick Garland's nomination based on upcoming elections but threw away those rules to get Amy Coney Barrett on the court was beyond the pale. This is but one of the many hypocrisies that I say it is time to stop.
We are too easily influenced by the fear that the media (cable, print, social) expose us to. Each of these mediums is run by corporations. Corporations answer to their shareholders. They sell to us what we are looking for. Sadly, we have met the enemy, and it is us. Each medium profits by getting users and selling advertising. What they sell is fear. As long as we let fear guide us, then we should expect to get what we deserve. We need to stop being scared by what is being sold to us and to stand up for truth, even in the face of what we want to believe. Remember, when what Tucker Carlson says scares you, many more people are watching sports, Jepardy, Wheel of Fortune, Judge Judy, 60 minutes, and more. Don't let fear be what drives your choices. Reason, common sense, and rationality should be your guide.
It just needs to stop. Because someone has different views, it does not always mean they are an Authoritarian, a Socialist, a Communist, left-wing, or right-wing. We are all Americans trying to do our best to survive and in most cases get along with others. We each choose what we want to be and name calling only reflects on the low value of others the name caller has. I choose that these values be used as a strength.