“Another View”, like any group daring to
dispute progressive-approved, politically correct talking points, has had a series
of trolls assigned to regularly post online ‘responses’. Their comments are typically
a word salad, mostly plagiarized, of sentence fragments repeating shopworn memes
and unsubstantiated accusations like ‘racism’, ‘living wage’, ‘human right’, ‘corporate
rule’, and ‘fair share’. Recently, one of our group found, buried in an otherwise
unremarkable rant, an actual whole sentence asking what solutions “Another View”
article, “Expensive Lessons”, discussed fiscal problems in Baltimore City. It
did not pretend to have solutions to Baltimore’s problems. If anyone had those,
the problems would not exist. What a marvelous (and monumental) change of
tactics it would be if we could shift from epithets, curses, violence, blame
shifting, and virtue signaling to civil, fact-based acknowledgement of our
social and fiscal challenges and discussion of real-world, sustainable solutions.
Perhaps, sometime in the future, Americans will stop the insanity and come
together in good faith to sincerely pursue solutions rather than fleeting tribal
victories and work toward being one country again.
That will not happen until we fundamentally transform our thinking and speaking. Consider this September 8 passage by NY Times writer Michelle Goldberg: “…the Republican Party, that foul agglomeration of bigotry and avarice that has turned American politics into a dystopian farce…”. The vocabulary aside, her meltdown is stereotypical of an over-tired two-year-old desperately in need of stern parenting. Michelle and her publisher illustrate one serious problem in America. Both are incapable of and uninterested in contributing to solutions. Her precise motives may be in question but clearly her agenda is fanning hate and widening division. We will make no progress until we relegate such hateful intellectual toddlers to permanent time-out and demand better of our elected and appointed officials, our writers and commentators, and especially ourselves.
be no meaningful improvements while we allow people with disguised personal
agendas at the table. One principle of conducting an effective meeting is that
all proceedings be conducted ‘above the table’. An individual who insists that
it be his ‘idea’ that defines the solution and rudely interrupts whenever the
conversation examines other ideas is disruptive. Those who attend to be
disruptive are said to be ‘rolling bowling balls under the table’ and until
they are silenced and expelled, little or no progress will be made.
the language used by many seeking office, America is a republic, not a
democracy. Our Constitution establishes that and seeks to preserve the rights
of the individual over the desires of the collective or the convenience of the
government. Our founders wisely crafted a republic wherein a simple majority is
insufficient to oppress the minority or the individual. But the Constitution
cannot eliminate the evil that lurks in mob mentality. Many today would abandon
the Constitution because it interferes with their dark agenda of using
government to impose their ideas or values on others. They are unfit to be at
abominable failures have resulted from a thoughtless stampede into the
‘democratic’ imposition of a majority ‘solution’, almost always redistributing minority
income and enabling incompetent bureaucrats to proscribe individual choices. Lasting
solutions will rely primarily on empowering the individual to spend his time
and treasure on the needs of his family and others as he chooses. The
legitimate roles of Government are to maintain public safety, protect
individual rights, and advance the public good. Solutions that keep the
Government starved of resources and prohibited from proscribing individual
choices will advance the public good.
Our challenges are not beyond solving and the elements of crafting those solutions are not beyond the grasp of sincere people working in good faith. As important as the individual is, the family is where individuals learn to live with, love, and care for others. Children raised by people who understand that “parent” is a verb and a responsibility will be prepared to attend schools that educate without being distracted by remedial parenting. An educated electorate will know our history and our past mistakes. They will temper their public discourse, not vent their every frustration, and use language to communicate, not to prevent communication. They will respect the rights and needs of others and either participate in good faith and sincerity to build solutions or at least elect and appoint others who will.
Ken Frederic is a native of Ellsworth and graduate of UMO. He and his wife, Betty Ann, retired to Maine in 2012 after 43 years as a Department of Defense consultant. They now live in Bristol and are active in the community, St. Patrick’s Church, and Republican politics.