Politics is too much. It’s just too big. So many issues, policies, personalities, feelings, fears, doubts, lies, propaganda.
Everything is hyped and overstated. The political and cultural divide grows wider and deeper by the day. In the jumble and tumble of daily politics and market-driven “news” it’s so hard to stay focused on what is real and important.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes for me all of the posturing and gamesmanship gets to be too much – too damned much to digest and bring to any kind of focus or certainty or closure. Too much grey area and not enough black and white facts. It’s no wonder so many people tune out and continue their lives in blissful disengagement. I’m not able to do that (you probably aren’t either) and I find myself sometimes needing the “click” of a padlock – the binary knowledge that I know something is right, and imperative, period.
About every ten years or so I come full circle back to what I know in my guts to be true about life, and how we as Americans (and for that matter as human beings on planet Earth) are wired to make the right choice and do the right thing. And the path revealed is not political. It always comes back to economics.
To hell with politics. Every human being on the planet – basket weaver in India, farmer in North Dakota, factory worker in China, soldier in North Korea – has this in common: we get up every morning and set out to improve the standard of living for ourselves and our families. Period.
Isn’t this true? Can you disagree? We all want a little bit better life for ourselves and the ones we love. It is a universal truth – a metaphysical fact. Forget religion. Forget political party. Forget culture, education, race, gender, age, nationality. We all want the same thing. Better food. A nicer house. Less hard labor. More quality time with our loved ones.
We, the people of the United States of America, have been a beacon of inspiration and righteous success since our nation’s noisy and unconventional birth. We have improved the standard of living for not only ourselves but also for people all over the world on a quantum scale ever since we became a “thing” in 1776. We have set the standard. We are the land of opportunity, the place to be, the bad go-getters and the mean motor-scooters. We have what it takes. We know what it’s all about.
Don’t we? Lately we aren’t so sure. I mean we did, but do we still?
We Americans have generally credited our political system for our success – our Constitution, our three branches of government with built-in checks and balances, our Bill of Rights, etc. Great. It’s all good. But there’s more to it.
I submit that our American success story is the result of our economic system – free enterprise and free markets, equal opportunity, and minimal government intervention.
Because the truth is: every human being is ruled by self-interest.
It’s not a bad thing. We work hard to provide for our families. We help those in need because we know we may, ourselves, some day need help. We look for ways to meet the wants and needs of others in the market because that will reward us, as well as them.
Some will say that free markets favor the greedy and unscrupulous. But America, born a Christian nation, avoided that problem. We trusted each other. We were raised to be moral, honest citizens. We believed in fairness. Our word was our bond.
As long as America is a Christian nation, and makes decisions based on economic merit, and values honesty, we will be fine. But we must each shoulder our responsibility. For every political issue or question we should consider: will this course of action help improve the standard of living for all Americans? And will it be fair to all Americans?
Anything outside that simple framework just really doesn’t matter. Try looking at any political issue or question in these terms. Improved standard of living + fairness/honesty (Christian morality). The correct path becomes pretty obvious.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
I’ve got to get it somewhere
I mean, you never know, maybe
The always awesome Dave Mathews Band: it’s just Too Much! Especially drummer Carter Beauford.