Why do I ask this question?
As mentioned, I do my best to forsake the practice of dumping raw sewage into my head. You, know, the kind delivered by the newspaper, TV and online media.
The reason: MUCH of it is the sharing of information which has been sensationalized and spun towards “someone’s” agenda.
Cindy and I have some quality, firsthand experience…You see, several years ago a person very close to us, and his buddy, pulled a teenage prank. One that ANY young lad would have been proud to execute 🙂
And, most of us have done worse; much worse…
It involved the mixing of household chemicals in a plastic bottle, resulting in a chemical reaction. Once the bottle was capped the plastic bottle would expand and ultimately POP. As you might imagine, the more chemicals and the larger the plastic bottle, the louder the – outcome…
Well, on this particular occasion these boys decided to let one of these contraptions loose in a city parking garage. The goal: maximize the echo factor. And, they did just that. With a BANG!!!
I can just imagine the sound 🙂
The police came out in full force!
Why? Because the following day one of our presidential candidates was visiting this fine city. And, understandably, they wanted to contain such matters.
Did these boys know this? Highly unlikely. It is not clear if they even knew who the current president was at the time.
Ultimately, these 2 lads were apprehended and charged with felony offenses. Their mugshots were on the news and in the local newspaper as the authorities shared how they had apprehended a couple of potential terrorists.
All, for a science experiment…
Fortunately, the charges were later (months later) dropped. But, that doesn’t erase the images of these boys as they were portrayed by the news media, sensationalizing the story to get some eyeballs looking in their direction.
As a result, whenever we hear of a story we take it ALL with a grain of salt. The story may not be 100% wrong, but it is just as likely to NOT be 100% accurate. They have ALL been spun to support “someone’s” agenda!
Why am I writing about this?
I am really not a full-fledged Facebook’er.
When I do “go there” it is mainly out of boredom. And, I poke around to see what is happening in the lives of people close to me: my brother and his family who just returned from a month long mission trip to Africa, for instance. I’m also able to get updates on my nieces, nephews, etc.
Like others, I have managed to accumulate a number of Facebook “friends” who range from my grade school to college days, along with others I’ve worked with more recently.
There are some on my (I suppose EVERYONE’s) “Friend List” who seem to take pride in sharing how one political party is comprised of complete idiots, while those who make up the other party are simply geniuses from birth and are well on their way to solving world hunger.
People, please realize. Both parties are sometimes correct (I won’t say right 🙂 ) and sometimes not.
Neither party is perfect nor will either of them get us to the promised land?
Blasphemy, I know 🙂
How can I say this? Because, if you haven’t realized, all political parties are made up of people. People just like you and me. And, like you and me, they make mistakes: consciously and unconsciously.
Let’s not expect anything less from members of “our” political parties.
We are obviously now hearing from presidential candidates and all the greatness they promise to bring to the table along with the horrors their opponents have created. We’ll also hear from pundits and other spin doctors as they dredge up “stuff” (some of which will be true, half-true and untrue) about our candidates.
Realize: All the candidates have “stuff” (a.k.a. baggage) that can be “spun-up” to support “someone’s” agenda. Just like our young lads in the story above.
As such, we must not get ourselves all fired up in a tizzy because of a particular incident or fact shared in the media (which may or may not be true, partially true or completely false).
Instead of listening to someone else’s judgement for or against a candidate or party, it would be more prudent to base our decisions on our own research.
A few, simple, research guidelines we might consider include:
- Viewing a candidate’s “official” track record. What have they actually done (supported) and/or not done (not-supported)?
- Learning about their personal background and experience (political, academia, business, entertainment, sports, military, etc.) and thinking about how it applies to what is needed for our country?
- Realizing, that regardless of candidate, the party they belong to has “tendencies.” Following is a very rough / high level diagram of the political spectrum and these related “tendencies”:
- While the United States may waiver slightly to the left or right, the overall “tendency” is that we are smack dab in the middle.
- I suspect that most readers of this blog will agree that the extreme left or right is, well, VERY BAD!
The good news is that one of the things that makes this country great is that our party system “tends” to keep things “in the middle”, ensuring the pendulum doesn’t swing too far in either direction.
In closing, the spin doctors (of all forms: political parties, political action committees, the media, as well as individuals on Facebook) just love to fire-up the masses (who don’t like to think for themselves) with views, stories and facts that have been sensationalized to create an emotional response for or against a particular candidate or party.
Let’s not get caught up in that crap.
Instead, let’s THINK for ourselves.
All the Best!
p.s. – Enough of this talk of politics. Time to catch some fish!