Sunday, November 20, 2011
Like Lincoln, I have always believed "If given the truth, they (American people) can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts." Our present puzzlement, however, comes from the fact that we are unsure who has the facts that we can depend on to not be skewed or full of lies. Do we listen to Glenn Beck? Does Chris Matthews have the answer? Have you found some other news source that relies on facts?
The longer I'm on earth, the more slippery facts become; we are getting so good at distortion, concealment, and manipulation of our facts, that we seem able to fit pseudo-facts into any number of prejudiced points of view. Ergo - Backfire. As difficult and time-consuming as it is, the truth of the matter is that I must ferret out what appears to be facts from sources that "appear" to deal squarely with both sides of issues. Otherwise we will be able accept as a candidate for president of the United States someone who states proudly, "I'm a leader, not a reader." It is obvious this kind of leadership is based on Backfire. It's like deciding to make an apple pie and making it with cherries. However, because of some garbled recipe, or regard for the person who gave us the recipe, we stubbornly insist that "This is APPLE pie!"
Perhaps the time has come when we can no longer depend on anyone for facts - perhaps we must take the time away some other part of our lives to test ourselves: do I know how much the national debt is and to whom I owe it? Do I know the facts about the decline of the middle class and what that means to America? Have I listened to those who call themselves the 99% or have I simply labeled them based on my favorite commentators prejudices?
Find some sites that you trust: Here are some I subscribe to. I don't guarantee their complete nonprejudiced point of view, but at least they assess fault or honors for both parties and multiple points of view:
http://factfinder2.censu.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml (This gives fantastic info from the latest census.)
Just a few facts from that last site:
One third of the population earns less than $35,000 a year.
7.4% or 8, 478,651 ppl earn less than $10,000. (That's the size of a large city full of Americans.)
15% of Americans have no health insurance. How many million is that? Where do they go and what do they do when they are sick? Who pays for it?
6,421,415 children under 18 have no health insurance coverage. Another large American city's worth.
Of our 18-24 year olds, 14% have less than a highschool education. How many million is that, 30% of whom will live in poverty.
Facts are like eating food that is good for us. We may not like it, but we're better for it and we will make better decisions with it. The more we look at facts, the better we will like ourselves and the less likely we are to be victims of the manipulators we are exposed to. The more often we will ask questions about what 9-9-9 really means and why we can't provide work for those out of work.
Backfire will kill us.