Friday, July 9, 2010

A Pandora's Box

I recently came from an online debate where the posted article was about President Obama's broken promises. Being a Facebook "friend" and have engaged in political debates with this person before, I pointed out the one sidedness of this argument and presented the link fully assessing President Obama's promises, those kept, those compromised, those unaddresses, and those broken. It became quite clear that this article was only shared to "demonstrate" their point, that "NObama" was wrong from the start. They were not interested in conversation or debate, but rather to propel their beliefs amongst themselves. They have the audacity to claim they are fair and informed, yet they surround themselves only with information in which they agree. They then thrust this belief system down anyone who they come across who disagrees with them. We are demonized for having an opposing point of view. I refer to them in the plural intentionally. When one member's perspective comes under attack, others come running to the defense. Accuracy of facts are not addressed, just the defense of the message. A civil debate, a redirection to more information, an attempt to point out a one-sided argument is met with mob mentality.

I walked away. But I was posed with a question, was walking away a success to them silencing me and consequently winning their argument by default? I must conceed that the answer is yes. I must contend that I am weaker than the mob. I have no frame of knowledge of how to redirect a mob. I have been shocked into silence. Any words of wisdom?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Your Opinions Are Facts? Really?

Anymore these days, people look at me like I just ate their first born child when I talk about my opinions dealing with politics. After all, they are just my opinions, and everyone has the right to have their own personal views and beliefs. What really frustrates me the most, is when my opinions don't fit neatly into their beliefs with their political views. They either get extremely argumentative or refuse to talk about it anymore with me. I remind them that they are just my opinions and in no way am I trying to tell them what to think or what party to back. I would never tell anyone who they should like or dislike or even what to think because I want people to make up their own minds and to have their own opinions. I know I don't like it at all when it is done to me. I just want people as a whole in today's society to have an open mind and get informed before they start to preaching to others about beliefs that they really don't know much about. Even worse then not being informed is to be ill informed and persuaded by people in the media that say they are unbiased and impartial and just report the facts. Take Fox News for example, people like Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Andrew Napolitano and many others tell stories to stir up fear and paranoia for ratings and to further their own personal agenda. Fox News is in no way impartial because they have to appease their sponsors and pandering to their demographics. How can you report the truth when you are worrying about the bottom line, profits? Most of the guest and reporters are hand picked to go on air knowing that they are in line with their beliefs and political views.

Now that the Tea party is on the scene, they have a new audience to preach their half truths and skewed facts to. These people are eating it up and can't get enough of it. If you were to go to any of these Tea party members and ask them where they get there news on politics from, most of them say proudly with out hesitation, Fox News. To them Fox News is the end all, be all when it comes to political facts. They are taking what they say as if it was coming from their God, himself. I say God, himself because it seems like with the Tea Party they are overwhelmingly Christians and very religious. Knowing that, certain media outlets play on that fact to drive home their points of view on politics saying it is true and supported with facts. Hearing the same thing over and over again by different people with the same political outlook doesn't mean that you are getting the information from a well rounded poll of political peers. It just means you are getting the same information by different people saying the same thing. By hearing these soundbytes and stories repeatedly Without actually paying attention it starts to sound like the truth and then they form their opinions using this information. Most of them do this without listening to both sides and even fewer do any independent research for themselves. That's why at a lot of these rallies and gatherings you hear them shouting and holding up signs in which they really don't know anything about. If you don't believe me just ask some of them about whats on the sign or about what they keep saying and shouting out loud. Most of them, not all, but most of them will repeat a soundbyte they heard from their news source and have no information or facts about it at all to back up their opinions. A lot of them that do this can't go into any details about what it is they are telling other people to think and support. In a rally or gathering situation when you have a huge group of people doing this it just reinforces the beliefs because they are seeing others that they have never met before saying the same thing. Thinking to themselves that if there are so many people saying the same thing, it has to be true. Repetition of a lie or opinion doesn't make that lie or opinion the truth, no matter how many times you hear it. After all, a lie that is perceived as truth through repetition will always continue to be a lie. If these people would just step back from themselves and think using common sense they might just start to think about what they have been saying and look at everything in a different light. But most are caught up in the situation and don't know any other way to think about it. I just want people in this society to practice some common sense and do their own research before trying to tell others what they should think and do. We are all living in the time of information where it is easily found everywhere and even easier to get. It is a shame that with all the information out there, they are choosing to ignore it for a one stop shop media outlet that is saying what they want to hear because they are saying what the are thinking, instead of the facts from both sides. Please, don't be just a follower or one of the pack, but be a leader. Be a leader of your own thoughts and ideas then maybe, just maybe, things in this world will be different and change for the good for everyone, not just the few.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Which Side Are You On?

Society is being bombarded with 24/7 "breaking news coverage". Whether on tv or on the web, we are constantly surrounded with the new soundbytes from which we base our opinions on. Seldomly do we hear the whole news article, and even more seldomly do we research the information we've just been exposed to. We just go about our merry way, with that soundbyte resonating inside our heads. There is no frame of reference. There is no context. There is just that little bit of something we picked up. It may have been a news article or an opinion piece. But we are not sure what we heard, only that we heard it. Does it matter if it's one person's opinion or a factual news article? Without actually paying attention and actually researching what you just heard, you will never know for sure. But it really doesn't matter as you just heard it again, and again, and again. If you keep hearing it, then it must be true. Repetition does not substitute truth, but it's easy and it's comforting.

There has been a lot of arguements as of late over politics. People take comfort in categories. Things are either black or white. But people are also social by nature and have a need to be accepted. Society has alligned themselves into one of two categories, the Conservatives and the Liberals. We are expected to be one or the other. If you are not one, then you must be the other. Conservative or Liberal, Republican or Democrat, society has more than one of two options. Yet we allign ourselves and are expected to allign ourselves into one of these two simple categories. We can rationalize our differences with our alligned party as "there are always exceptions." Yet alligning with either of these two ideals leads to greater acceptance. With greater acceptance we feel more righteous. Our voice is not alone in this world; there is someone else who believes the same way I do! So we become proud. We feel we are right. And if we are right, then the other person must be wrong. Proud, yet bold statements are made. "Democrats are evil." "Republicans are heartless." But don't both parties share the common belief that they are promoting what is best for America as a nation?

Society is at the core, but we are forgotten. What is best for the nation is not always what is best for society, and vice versa. Wealth and Industry are good for our nation, but compassion and work is good for society. Civil rights is good for society, but division is good for the nation. Society benefits from the acceptance to the diverisity of our thoughts and opinions. The nation benefits from a separation of the classes. In every society it is inevitable to have a working class and an upper class. It is a symbiotic relationship. The business owners would not have a business at all without workers. Workers would not have jobs without business owners. When one grows, so does the other. Through mutual growth, society benefits as a whole.

But again, society has been forgotten in this equation of categories. "You are either with us or against us" has replaced "we are all Americans." Compromise has been replaced with one side imposing their ideals unto the other. Our neglected society is broken into one of two categories, the right and the wrong, the left and the right, the Conservatives and the Liberals, and the worthy and the unworthy.

No one person has the right answer to everything. No one party has the right answer to every problem. No one class has the right answer to societal issues. But we are divided, entrenched in our ideals. Both our society and our nation will benefit and grow only through contributions of society as a whole. That was the notion that the United States was founded upon. A collection of 13 individual states, each with their own idea over what is best for the nation. One state falling would be at the detriment of the others. Collectively, they unified their best of ideals which represent the individual states as a whole. There were two separate politcial parties, but ultimately they were united as "Americans".

Each of us have a perception and a perspective on what we feel is best for others. It's very difficult to see the other's perspective. But that does not entitle us to be righteous over the other. That divides our society. Your voice is no more important than ours. Your voice is no less important than ours. But we must be intellectually honest. A voice is only as important as the accuracy of the message being conveyed. One does not have the right to an opinon which they can not defend. We must be honest and sincere. Sincerity must be based upon fact and evidence, not subjective opinion. Basing an opinion upon that soundbyte we sort of heard is not a sincere opinion, it is just opinion over what we thought we may have heard. Basing an opinion over repetition is as equally insincere. We must be honest enough to say that the other has a very right and valid point. Basing opinions upon evidence is more beneficial than subjective talking points. For that is the only way our society will grow. A divided society only defeats itself.

Are you a Republican or a Democrat? Are you a conservative or a liberal? It only matters in a divided society. I am neither Republican or Democrat. I am neither conservative or liberal. I am the embodiment of both ideals, I am an American Citizen. Which side are you on?

-Silence Goodall

Just The Facts Man.

I don't really care what political party you support, please learn the facts before you open your mouth to talk about politics to others. Not only do you sound ignorant but you are wasting there time aswell. Nothing is more fustrating than trying to have a civilized debate with someone that doesn't even take the time to learn about the party they are backing. It is comparable to having an argument with a 2 year old. Though I have talked to a 2 year old and he made more sence to me than a lot of the people out there supporting parties just to be part of the so called" in croud".

New member of the team.

I am happy to announce that Commonsence & Political Doody has a new co-administrator on the team and the New co-administrator is Kirkland Anderson. What he brings to this blog is a fresh new look at today's social and political situations and cuts through all the lies and disinformation to tells it like it is without holding back. This might not be anything new but it is definitely needed, now more than ever. He is the one person I know, that will listen to both sides of a story before he comes to a conclusion that is not only fair, but thought provoking as well. He is not afraid not only to tell it like he sees it but can admit if he is wrong as long as the facts are set forth and the proof can be shown. That in its self is a rare ability in today's climate of blame and finger pointing.

What do the readers expect to see from him? A fair look at an issue with both sides of an argument taken into consideration before he weighs in on it. If that isn't rare enough he welcomes a healthy, intelligent debate where both sides can be heard. If there is no one to debate on an issue then he will tell his side comprising of facts, examples and statistics to back up his conclusions.For that reason alone it would be worth reading what he has to say. Thank you.

Mr. Commonsense

No to Fox

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York, Pennsylvania, United States
I am a very creative person with years of experience in many different creative fields. I am a published writer writing for political blogs as well as product reviews. I have also worked in the Digital Audio/Video special effects business too.

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