Monday, April 16, 2012

(Not) Stating the Obvious

Everyone is frustrated.  Most can be quite accurately described as disgusted.  And while at its root it's due to modern society's blatant greed, corruption and dishonesty, shielded by increasingly heavy - handed authoritarian tactics, I think there is one single thing that is mostly responsible for the hopeless antipathy and head-shaking revulsion so common in our daily discourse.  And that is quite simply the immense disconnect between what we can see with our own eyes and what we are told we are seeing.  We're not blind, and in many cases we're not stupid - although Americans greatly facilitate the process by their frequent denial of inconvenient facts and unwillingness to become informed - if we can see it, and yet the media won't even mention it, even the participants deny it, then we are left with an overwhelmingly cynical view, a regularly-reinforced belief that literally everyone is lying to us.

They start out in school, telling kids with regular, day to day experience that marijuana is a dangerous substance.  And they look around and wonder why these adults, these educators and authority figures, would tell them such blatant lies.  We could easily see that since the election of Barack Obama, the Republican Party has worked desperately to prevent any hint of an economic recovery.  This was apparent in every action, every word, and every smirk.  It is hard to imagine a more pernicious betrayal than for virtually one half of our elected officials to work to immiserate their own people to gain scant political advantage, but despite their unabashed treachery, no one spoke up to challenge them.

Over the weekend, representatives of the Iranian government met with European and American negotiators to discuss their nuclear program.  With international trade, particularly in crude oil in freefall and inflation skyrocketing towards 30%, there is reason to believe that the sanctions have actually "worked" and the Iranians are prepared to accede to some of the primary demands of the international community.  There is every reason to believe that a reasonable agreement could be forged that would afford the Iranians at least most of their rights under international treaties like the NPT, and allow the confrontation to ease and the region to move toward a sustainable peace rather than an imminent war.  But that rosy scenario depends on one key premise: That the powers negotiating with the Iranians actually WANT peace.  And once again, all we have to do is look with our own eyes to see the US, goaded by the Netanyahu government and dragging the UK, France and Germany along behind, working to sabotage any possibility of an agreement, already beginning to lay out the next round of unilateral sanctions.

They keep telling us to fear the consequences of our deficit, but not only will they not tell us why it is such a huge concern with 10 year real interest rates still negative, but they refuse to take ANY reasonable steps to increase revenues.  We can easily see they are lying to us, manipulating us, but nobody will stand up and say so.  They tell us that someday Social Security might be unable to pay the full benefit promised, and their "solution" to this problem is to cut benefits today.

So much of the insanity and catastrophic failure of the American system of governance could be brought to an end, quickly and effectively, by merely having the people stand up and speak with one voice.  We do not have to agree on policy - that's the question politics exists to answer - but we should be able to agree on what constitutes reality.  We should be able to believe what our own eyes tell us...


  1. Sadly (Or not, 'cause what do I care, really?) most on the right seem to have made reality dependent on politics.

  2. We should be able to believe what our own eyes tell us...