“When group-man wants to move, he makes a standard. ‘God wills that we re-capture the Holy-Land’ or he says, ‘We fight to make the world safe for democracy’; or he says, ‘we will wipe out social injustice with communism.’ But the group doesn’t care about the Holy Land, or Democracy, or Communism. Maybe the group simply wants to move, to fight, and uses these words simply to reassure the brains of individual men.” – John Steinbeck, In Dubious Battle (1936)
This country is in dire need of real solutions to some big problems, but I am concerned as I examine the current political arena. It seems like the goal for some is not to find or offer solutions but rather to stimulate a group of people simply for self gain, self preservation, and/or the sake of entertainment itself. Some people and groups are willing to take a Shermanesque approach of burning everything in sight, even if it ultimately results in their own downfall.
Good people are being villainized if they are willing to listen to opposing factions or if they are willing to disagree with a certain point of view. They are becoming frustrated and choosing to stay out of or reduce their activity in politics due to the frustration. We all end up paying as these people choose to disengage from the process and the wheels of government spin with no traction.
People disengaging from politics is the complete opposite of why I choose to be involved. I want to see people of differing viewpoints coming together for discussion and remaining engaged. I want to see people vigilant in examining what is going on and digging for the underlying reasons why an individual (including ourselves) or a group is doing what they are doing. I want people to find honest answers after a period of research, thought, and reflection.
I am glad that this site seeks to be a mixing pot. I personally welcome those here that I may disagree with. I want to hear from those that have different cultures, biases, and perspectives than my own. We ALL can grow by listening to others, whether the end result is that our own belief is fortified or we make the conscious decision to change our mind.
I fully realize, though, that humans tend to rationalize their motives and adjust their thinking in order to remain on a certain course, even if it is leading towards destruction. Greed, pride, fear, ignorance, tradition, selfishness, human emotions, and outside influences play a part in clouding the thought process. I hope that we can put these aside here and be a part of the process together.