Owning up to Poor Judgement

I was just reading an article about how the conservatives on the right use HATE to control voters, and get them to vote against their own self interest.

The article can be found here

And, I was watching a clip of the Rachel Maddow TV show that had been put up as a link on Facebook — basically about how the Republican Party is once again asking Republicans to vote against their own self interest — and how that strategy of hate/fear is being assembled.  The accompanying strategy of how to “bait” democrats with ideas and phrases guaranteed to get them to react, is employed to rally republicans against the opposition.

That clip is here..

We’ve all heard of this idea that thousands of voters are actually voting against their own self interest by electing people who want to raise middle class taxes, and yet refuse to raise taxes for corporations and the wealthiest Americans (and even swear to this pledge, and get it notarized!)

What must these people be putting in the drinking water, to get lower and low-middle class adults/parents to vote for soneone who has promised to keep the taxes of the wealthy low at any cost — even if it means making the low and middle class drop lower and have less?  Or who clearly will not send their own kids off to war, but are eager to send the children of lower and middle class families to the land of IEDs and brain injuries/stress disorders.

It’s Hate and Fear that make such contradictory behavior possible.  If Democrat-A says he promises to make it so that gay people have the same rights as straight people; and Republican-B ramps up your fears and anxieties about gays and lesbians and how they’re out to corrupt your children and move into your neighborhood — then regardless of what else Republican-B stands for, (even if it’s getting rid of your medicare and social security, allowing credit card companies [banks] to charge you 52 different monthly fees, and making it okay for your insturance company to drop your insurance if you get sick)  you’re likely to vote for him — because he’s created/fed/nourished your fear, and made you furious [HATE]  that somebody might want make all Americans equal in the eyes of the law.

This is the perfect button for the current political climage -- I found it online at zazzle.com / I think they sell it for something like $2 each....

But I really don’t think it’s so much hate being sold as it is fear.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of change.  Fear of the “other” — those people who are not like us in belief, diet, appearance, habit, ritual, style, fashion, or behaviors….

It’s FEAR that’s being sold.  It’s fear that’s being bought by thousands and thousands of people.  It has no reason or sense to it — it’s just plain, raw emotion being scooped up and held close as though it were important.  It makes us suspicious — and even paranoid — about our neighbors and friends and governments and police and family and church and teachers and …. and, and and and and and.

And sooner or later, the dust clears, and things DO change, and fears are not borne out, and suspicions prove rediculous.  And yet — nobody says “hey, I was wrong.”  They just pretend — either that it never happened, or that the new change hasn’t actually occurred.

Being proved wrong by time is a tough thing.  It’s really what the whole notion of being on the “right side of history” is all about.  An error in judgement like that leaves you feeling stupid.  You feel left out of the tide of people who weren’t seduced by the fear or the anger or the sarcasm or the pessimism.  You never get a second chance to join in with the fearless and those happy to have been on the right side of history.

A lot of people who aren’t good as the “pretending” part of denial end up isolated and cutting themselves off from friends and family who might say, “I told you so!”

Remember all the acid and fire being spit from pulpits over the Harry Potter books as they were being written/published?  Those books were said to be laid out like cheese for mice, all long the road straight to hell.  Web pages were created to prove that this was the work of the devil, to ensnare our children with witchcraft.  J. K. Rowling was a demon living in Scotland, and her evil writing marked the downfall of civilization as we know it!  Just look at how many books she was selling!  Look at the children reading the books, over and over, through the night.  Analysing every cha…racher for motives and plot details.  The children spend their time making costumes and pretending to be the characters in the books! No human could accomplish that feat!

Well guess what?  Not a single apology from any of those blustering blow hard theologians who burned Harry Potter books and DVDs.  Not so much as an official or even unofficial retraction.  By book #7, they just all quietly slunked away into the shadows.  The websites disappeared.  The objections disappeared.  The froth.  The spittle.  The fireworks.  Gone.

Like it never happened.

There are so many examples of this kind of error in judgement that it’s hard even start a list — much less finish it.  There are so many people out there who want to tell us what we should hate, and what we should be afraid of — what we should spend our energy, money, and emotional capitol on — when all that energy, money and emotion would be so much better served if we spent it on kindness and building the future.

But hating what’s in front of us in the present — and fearing the future — are so much easier….  Especially when were never called to account for having been wrong.  They don’t require any imagination or thought of any kind — much less critical thinking.  It’s just easier to trust some character in a suit — whether  politician, clergy, guru or teacher — that somebody told you was going to have all the answers to all our problems.

But they don’t.  Nobody does.  And inevitably, if you hitch your wagon to some shooting political, religeous, intellectual or spiritual human-star, then you’re going to be faced with having allowed yourself to be influence by them.   And this is where the denial and isolation can begin, unless you jump right off that wagon and proclaim yourself to be human — and as such give yourself permission to make mistakes.

In the end, I think a lot of the denial business makes its profits from those who simply can’t stand the idea of admitting that

Things people (where I live) have not owned up to being wrong about:

  • Harry Potter books (he turned out not to be the son of Satan after all….)
  • -Climate change, Global Warming, Climate reality (it’s all completely normal, they say – La Nina explains it)
  • -slavery (they were for it)
  • -racism (they were and still are for it)
  • -“Bell” racism (they used it to try and prove they were right)
  • -The Dixie Chicks (they burned the DC’s records and refused to play their songs on local radio, even though the DC’s grew up here)
  • -the War in Viet Nam (they were hawks looking for a cold war fight.  Of course it was the right thing to do!)
  • -the Equal Rights Amendment (they still don’t believe women should have equal rights – at least not where their bodies or their salaries are concerned)
  • -keeping organized, mandatory prayer out of public schools (they want to keep the pressure on those “other” children to learn the “truth”)

Things they haven’t even begun to process that they will, sooner or later, have to own up to being wrong about:

  • -GWBush (they want another just like him)
  • LGBT rights (OMG!)
  • -gun control (because every quail hunter needs an automatic or semi-automatic rifle)
  • -the use of growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, and other agricultural errors-in-judgement to increase profit margins
  • -increasing taxes on the top 5% earners, and reinstating the graduated tax code (just because)
  • immigration (because there’s not enough to go around as it is?  because they’re dirty and uneducated and they hate us? because they just want to live on the welfare that we, the taxpayers, pay for out of our own pocket?  because they don’t have the decency to speak English?  Because they don’t pray to the same god we do? — you got me on this one.  Everybody here but the various tribes of native North/Central Americans either immigrated here, or was born to someone who immigrated here.  This whole question is bizarre.)

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