Monday, June 29, 2015

Setting the Emotional Trap

     My we are an emotional bunch.  The proof is in the pudding this weekend and the "pudding" for me has been Facebook.  Everybody has chimed in with opinions on the three most visible topics of the week; gay marriage, Obamacare and the Confederate flag.  Those who claim to support gay marriage have been "spiking the football" this weekend to the delight of some and the disgrace of others.  The strange part is that most of the "celebration" and "mourning" is from people that are not affected at all by this ruling.  The tragedy in Charleston has brought the Confederate flag back into the social conscience whether it had anything to do with this horrific event or not.  Those who support Obamacare point to the Supreme Court decision as some sort of justification that the law is sound and invulnerable now.  The media, the politicians and the opportunistic antagonists have come out in abundance gleefully pointing out the differences in us all, claiming victory for left wing extremists' ideals and attempting to blame Christians and conservative thinking folks for all of the atrocities represented by these events; and it has worked!
     I have read posts by friends from all walks of life, all sides of the issues and folks that denounce forcing religious views or beliefs on people as they force their views and beliefs on everyone they are denouncing.  The sad part is that "we the people" are being played like a violin by the political maestros and seem powerless to stop ourselves.  This is the reason I am a registered independent voter; politicians and activists using our emotional gullibility to control a populace unwilling to educate themselves.  The citizens of the United States have participated in an entire sym-"phony" this weekend.
     For a culture enhanced in the movement that is "political correctness" you would think folks would take the time to educate themselves as to the facts rather than believe the talking heads of the media.  Without researching facts for yourself you cannot possibly filter out the embellishments, omissions and plain out lies from the rhetoric of those who profit from our gullibility.  For a nation that denounces stereotypes, we allow political forces to categorize citizens by race, ethnicity, religion and heritage as to who they should vote for.  Organizations who benefit from delivering votes participate then have the nerve to complain whenever they feel victimized by stereotypical type events though they encourage their members to allow themselves to be categorized for political gain.  Fallacies of this ilk exist today though the factual history of this country disprove most of these beliefs. 
     For instance, a belief in our political society today is that the Democratic Party is most sympathetic to African Americans and that they have done more for black folks in this country than the Republican Party.  Probably more than half of our voting population today knows that the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln.  Less than that probably realize that would be Republican President Abraham Lincoln.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by a Congress that was predominately Democrat; 61% in the House of Representatives and 67% in the Senate.  However, without 80% of the Republican Representatives and 82% of the Republican Senators voting "aye" the measure would have been defeated as only 69% of Democrats in both chambers voted for passage.  The same figures exist for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  The National Guard was activated simply to enroll two African American students at the University of Alabama in 1963 when Democrat  Governor George Wallace refused to allow their enrollment against the wishes of  President Kennedy.  I will not attempt to convince you that there are registered Republican Party voters that are not ardent supporters of African American citizens as well all know better.  I will point out that the Republican Party has played an enormous role in the civil rights movement though today's politicians and activists would have you believe otherwise.  It's an insupportable point of view yet by appealing to emotions of folks that are not aware of the factual history of our nation, left wing extremist media and politicians have planted that emotional seed.  A party that had to conduct several voice votes to include "God" in their platform during their 2012 convention is the champion of African Americans?  I have never met a black agnostic and you can't find a parking space within two blocks of a church in east Greensboro on Sunday morning; think about that.  
     The Confederate flag has been scrutinized by citizens for years.  For some it represents history and heritage, others oppression.  Both points of view are understandable.  For most southerners the flag represents family members who gave their life fighting for a cause.  Though slavery was an issue in the War Between the States it was not the only or predominate issue and the flag has no meaning in preserving slavery. For others, the flag is a reminder of bondage.  As one of my friends and former colleagues posted on his Facebook page earlier;
    
"Speaking only as a black man; I must admit that for some strange reason, every time I see the Confederate flag displayed it tends to make me think about slavery".

He further describes paternal great grandparents who were slaves and lived during that time.  His perception is individual and absolutely fair and should be recognized as genuine just as those who support the flag.  He also defends folks that want to display the flag as an individual choice and in my estimation expressed his feelings eloquently and more importantly, civilly.  My opinion is that freedom of speech allows for individual display as a right.  However, the Confederate States of America ceased to exist as a government in 1865; why fly it over governmental buildings today?
     This issue was brought to bare by the shootings (a real massacre) in Charleston because of the suspect's apparent possession of this flag.  The flag had nothing to do with this incident whatsoever, but the politicians and opportunistic antagonists seized the chance to incite emotions by resurrecting this topic.  The catch is that they never seem to quite "finish the job" allowing the flag to escape so that emotions can be incited another day.  You see, something that inspires emotional reactions such as the Confederate flag are much too valuable to allow its' total elimination from society; whatever would a left wing extremist do if we eradicated all the "social" issues leaving them with results of their philosophies and policies to stand on their own merits?
     Same sex marriage does not affect me.  I can marry who I want; I choose to be married to a woman.  That is my belief.  I am a Christian; that is also my belief.  Unless I missed the appointment, I am quite sure that I am not God.  Therefore, I can maintain MY Christian beliefs and interpretation of what the Bible says and so can everyone else.  Is it a sin to marry same sex; not in everyone's perception or interpretation.  Opinions of the populace have changed over the years.  Based on my beliefs will God decide in the end if it is right or wrong; yep.  I understand being a "witness" to Christianity but I am certainly am not qualified to "preach" on the topic.  The fact is that this issue does not affect my life or any other heterosexual person's life at all.  I have no authority granted by anyone to force my view or belief on anyone.  When standing before God on Judgement Day I will be answering for me. 
     This is an issue that elicits great emotional debate that really only affects a small percentage of our population.  Why do people get so upset over something that does not pertain to them?  No matter your beliefs, the judge of all of this is not currently on earth therefore, it ain't you!   And because people on both sides of this issue allows it to stir their emotions so much, it is trotted out every election year as a smokescreen that obscures issues that affect us all like the economy and national security.  Our views are fashioned by political zealots desperate to play on our emotions and sidetrack us from the issues that truly affect and are important to all of us.  The Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage is constitutional.  It is not their job to rule whether it is right or wrong.  Believe what you are convicted of; but fretting about the right or wrong of it is a waste of time unless you are considering participating in a same sex relationship.  Those who have made that decision are not concerned with your beliefs at all.  I assure you that there are those in the country that claim they support it that are disappointed in this decision because it is one less emotional arrow in their quiver to shoot come election time.
     Likewise Obamacare; the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional by a 6-3 vote meaning that Republican appointees to the Court carried the day.  Contrary to media coverage they did not rule that it was a good law as most left wing extremists seem to be celebrating.  That was not their job.  They did say that it is a poorly written law.  We know it is poorly written and a bad law and that it is more about wealth redistribution than health care as most business publications point out.  It is killing small businesses and most of our work force's ability to make a living.  Blaming the Supreme Court is useless; they don't pass or repeal laws.  This is Congress' job and they were hoping the Supreme Court would get them off the hook.  Republicans have told their constituents that they would repeal the law but don't have enough votes to override the veto from Obama and are apparently unwilling to risk future elections by defunding it.  Yet, they allow the ire of the public to be directed at an entity that is not designed to repeal laws and more importantly aren't subject to elections as they are.
     The point of all of this is that the majority of "we the people" have been repeatedly duped into agonizing over emotional issues that have little or no bearing on the majority of our lives.  These issues are being used as covers for failings and crisis' that politicians do not want to address and that affect the long term health, security and prosperity of ALL of us.  We should not show disdain or contempt for the folks that are affected positively by this week's rulings nor should those folks lose sight of the issues that affect negatively the population at large that includes all of us.  We all have to educate ourselves in facts and not allow those who have access to the media airwaves to form our opinions and perceptions for us.  Emotional decisions never work out.  Education can eliminate the effect of our emotions being played by politicians into our understanding of issues.  Personal feelings cannot be legislated but legislators can manipulate feelings; be mindful of who and what you believe.  To make decisions based on actions that have no bearing on your life is to play into the hands of those politicians and media members dependant on your ignorance to enhance theirs.

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