Lansing lessons learned
What I found out these past two days from the protests against the tyrannical rule of Michigan Governor Snyder is both sad and eye opening. Far too many of the people at the protest really didn't have a good grasp on the why of the protest. A lot of them knew about a few things the governor wanted to do that affected them personally but far too many didn't know about the rest of his agenda. They knew how one or two things negatively affected them but failed to understand the damage to a lot of others also. A lot of bus drivers teachers, and other union members were rightly protesting because their pay and benefits was being impacted negatively. Most people agree that a 20%+ back-charge to them for benefits gained in years past, in lieu of wage increases during that period, is less than fair and equates to a 10-15% pay cut. In return for their sacrifice, they see the giving of large tax breaks to businesses by the governor. Some shared sacrifice huh?
Too many that I talked with though didn't realize the increase in taxes to the retirees was as big of an increase or larger,than their own concessions were. This disconnect to others peril bothered me enough to ask questions of a lot of the attendees as to why they didn't know or understand the complete details. Some said they hadn't heard the other parts, some said the were only concerned with what affected them, some of them needed examples of how x+y=z before their eyes were opened. From that point on I used examples of what ALL people were losing under the budget plan of the governor and r/tp controlled legislature, not just one or two groups. Several people apologized for thinking of only themselves, several more urged me find a way to try to get the politicians to give examples of HOW they are being affected, so that more people like themselves can better understand and relate to it.
Far too many sheepishly admitted that they didn't have the knowledge to figure out how to do it on their own. This included the handful of tp'ers spouting the talking points from the right. When asked to explain why they felt their position was correct and the other side was wrong, all they could do was follow the talking points. When presented with facts showing their points were wrong and why they didn't pass the smell test, even then a lot of them said they were just repeating what they heard. They said it sounded good to them even though they weren't sure why, other than we need changes and the points sounded good to them as to who was at fault.
From the close to 500+ people that I talked with, I would guesstimate that only about 20%, on either side, really understood the facts and how it would affect most people. I wish I could say that this was an aberration, but from the lines drawn even on the vine, and the same responses to most every issue, it appears that there are far too many people who lack the ability to fully comprehend issues and how they affect most anyone other than themselves. Maybe the politicians DO need to give examples that people can understand, maybe our citizenry has already been dumbed down too much for our own good, maybe our country is already too close to being a lost cause. I sure hope not.
Although there were only about 5k protesters for the event, I am glad that I was able to see first hand how much ground we need to make up for the benefit of us all, political leanings not withstanding. Virg Bernero, who lost to Snyder in the race for governor, gave an impassioned speech to the crowd but it still looked to me like too many people were only hearing some of the things that affected them personally. They were mad at what was happening to them, but didn't really seem to completely understand the HOW part of achieving results that benefit the greater good of the state and the country. Bernero, in my opinion, didn't adequately use the protest as a teaching experience, just more of the same talking points, without enough realistic solutions to the problems we are facing. This is true for most all politicians though, promise the moon, say what we want to hear, bad mouth the other side, and offer very little substance on the specifics of the "how to" needed for fixing problems. I think more people can associate with results that work out for the benefit of the state and the country, if they can be given examples both pro and con. The right seems to grasp this concept, the left is failing miserably at making this concept work for their benefit and by extension, to our benefit as well.
The major tp rally yesterday (all of 300 people+/-) proved how fast they are losing credibility with those who have the ability to comprehend between right and wrong, good and evil. I talked with a few of them in trying to get them to explain why they felt their views were anything good for the country. In all but a handful of cases it was the same tired response that it was the welfare queens, illegal aliens, corrupt SS and medicare programs, that were/are the reasons for the problems this country is facing, and all due to the greedy unionized public workers and their obscene wages and benefits. No amount of facts were going to prove otherwise to them because they KNEW it was the hand of God that gave them, and only them, this insight into the ills of our country. Facts be damned when you have the scapegoats of society dead in your sights and God as your wing man. When I pointed out that it seemed as though they were both scared and jealous of the public workers, I got called every name in the book and threatened with getting my commie opinions shoved down my throat or in places where the sun don't shine. My friend was scared by some of their remarks enough that I let her pull me away from some of the more threatening ones. To be fair though, there were also some of the same threats from the left when I questioned them why they weren't as concerned about the tax increase on pensioners as they were about their own benefits being cut.
Changes need to be made to the political landscape in many areas but they need to start with educating the masses enough to make informed decisions in the voting booth. Campaign ads that only sling mud should not be accepted by the media as it does little to focus on issues, and instead just transforms the votes into a popularity contest on who can say the most outrageous thing about their opponent. Most of the issues seem to be just an afterthought, and appear to get little air time. I blame the media for this even more than the politicians, because they could choose to not air them based on morals or ethics, but that seems to longer exist in either media or politics, only the chase for the almighty dollar.
Changes in tactics, changes in attitudes, and changes in results are what are needed. Things that will either save us, or doom us, need to be front and center of any strategy to educate the masses, nothing else appears acceptable. The very survival of this country depends on people becoming less apathetic and getting more educated. We owe that much to our grandchildren at the minimum, to try to save at least a portion of this once great country, in the hopes that they can return it to its' once great beacon of hope to the world.
I urge everyone to go to www dot usconstitution dot net and read up on how to start the process of calling for a Constitutional Convention. It may be one of the few manners we have left to effect true change, change that benefits all of us, no matter what party you associate with.
Another article outlining the needed steps for a CC can be found at www dot americanchronicle dot com/articles/view/19276.
Knowledge is power and we need all the help we can get to help right this sinking ship. Do your part by becoming informed. It is NOT too great of a sacrifice to help our country recover from the corruption and money that is destroying our values and our country. Common ground is needed to help fight the corruption and to help right the wrongs dividing us. No matter your party, it is to the point of us having to correct the ills of this country as it appears the politicians care more about getting reelected than they do us mere peons. Time for some real change that we can all believe in, no matter what party you affiliate with.