I am more than somewhat befuddled with the state of affairs in America today. It appears the desired profile of leadership is a dumbed down one. “Back in the day” as some like to say, or at least when I was a kid growing up, there was a premium put upon being a smart person. We wanted the President of the United States to be the smartest person in the country surrounded by people just as smart. We trusted scientists and researchers who gave their lives to discovery of truth, based on the scientific method and factual findings. We valued curiousity, in depth critical thinking and appreciated the hard work that goes into reading, discussing and seeking out divergent points of view that result in good decision making that benefits the public good as well as the banking accounts of those involved. Integrity, character and public service were highly valued. There was a clear distinction between the true value of both the public and private sectors and the real need for both to thrive successfully. My folks taught me that taxes were the price you paid for living in a free and democratic society. I still believe that is true. Speaking of truth, I learned that “honesty is the best policy.” Today’s leaders pay big bucks to have professionals “spin” their stories to give the followers what they think they want.
What is wrong with this and with the American public? How stupid can we be? How lazy are we in our thinking. We seemingly allow corporate executives, politicians and celebrities to get away with intellectual murder. The fall out of it all has political, social, economic and international ignorance at the core. The talking heads feed us the pabulum and kool-aid of half truth, innuendo and outright lie via emotional, unsubstantiated, vitriolic rhetoric and we as a nation and individually swallow it hook, line and sinker. WE THE PEOPLE need to stand up and once again embrace critical thinking, quality research and real facts. We must demand a respectful, thoughtful public discourse on real issues that will affect our future and not emotional, ungrounded, ignorant, divisive rants that plague our society, our republic and endanger the future of our nation.
So here is the challenge, become informed beyond what FOX or MSNBC tell you. READ and understand the different points of view. Engage your congressmen at state and national levels. Know what the issues are and study them. Then and ONLY then will you be ready to vote. The same thing can be said about challenging private sector activists. Ask about the propriety of them spending money to influence the outcome of elections. Will their support positively impact the public interest or just their personal and corporate profits. It is time to embrace thinking and to support and practice lifelong learning. Don’t be a bystander. Think, act and become involved as an intelligent, well-informed public and corporate citizen.