Tag: power

political-conflictMainstream politics is slipping deeper into polarity wars for control over us and the direction of our nation’s future. Each side professes to fight for their respective core principles when in reality they fight for power and influence, and the perpetuation of their seat at the table where they get it.

It is their addiction to power that allows them to be manipulated by those who want it wielded in their favor.

As each side takes turns getting its way, it grows the role and reach of government ever larger, ever costlier, and ever-more independent of the people — so much so that it has taken on a life of its own. In short, we’ve created a beast that feeds on power and the struggles of those who want it (for whatever purpose).

These power games are played based in two primary ways. First is to reinforce the desire of different constituent groups to get something they want out of the political process.

The other is by playing upon fears of what the other guys might do.

We the people dutifully do our part by picking sides between them, most often the lesser of the two evils that will give us the most of what we want and the least of what we don’t.

If we’re to reclaim our system of governance and lay the foundations of the kind of world we want to live in, we must first begin to look through their carefully crafted efforts to keep us under their control.

The solution for our political wars isn’t greater control by one side or another who would impose their vision of how things should be. It instead starts with us, the awakening individuals within a conscious electorate. For it is our abdication of responsibility to our lives, to our world, and to the future we crave that allows them to play their games.

This change starts with expanding our own consciousness and calling forth leaders who can advocate the principles and visions needed for the new world while standing up to the powers and temptations that will stand in our way.

It requires personal self-awareness so we can recognize when our fears and desires are being tweaked, and the presence of mind not to jump on their fear or desire train but instead turn away from those who would try to get us to do so. That means not only rejecting candidates in the voting booths, but also turning off the media that encourages their battles by trotting out legions of surrogates to spew their respective venom.

And perhaps most importantly, examining for ourselves the issues over which they fight to understand our own motivations and other factors at play within us, and then balancing them with the many competing interests involved in a manner that not only serves our reason but the inner voice that whispers to us inside.

This process will empower us to break free of the emotional responses their efforts tweak and heal the inner scars that allowed such behavior to form in the first place.

After all, how can we build a new world without a strong foundation of inner and outer peace? And to have that, we must root out the rampant fear and runaway desire that keep our world in a state where conflict and control keep us at odds with each other and set the stage for all we’re trying to get away from.

As always, we must remain cognizant of the collective vision toward which we strive, and align our efforts daily with whatever it takes to get there and live within it.

But that alone will not be enough. For not everyone wants to go where we do. Many still need to experience conflict, struggle, power and control. These include the powers that be that are leading our nation and world headlong toward the abyss.

Maybe we can’t stop them. But we can make a stand for what we believe in, even to the point of shouting it loud enough for all to hear that there is a better way.

Our job is to recognize their efforts, engage and neutralize them as best we can. But always, always, ALWAYS, keep living as if the world we seek is already here and expect — no, DEMAND — that those who are called to lead us are held accountable to act in ways that can get us there.

Above all, we cannot sit idly by and allow power-addicted control freaks to lead us any longer, nor look to white knights to ride forth to save us from ourselves.

The future is not some nebulous concept we can leave to chance. If we want a nation of less cost, less government, less intrusion, less oppression, but with more peace, more prosperity, more joy, more happiness, more freedom, and better relations with our fellow human beings and the world around us, then we need to strengthen our intent to make it so and leave no stone unturned to get there.

We cannot continue to live focused solely on our own lives pursuing courses of runaway self-interest and expect our leaders to do anything else. The only way they’re going to change is if we show them the way — and that change starts within us.

The time for a new beginning is now. Our daily politics are trying to show us the future we want is not in the direction and means of travel our current crop of leaders are trying to take us. So far, though, all we’ve done is allowed them to drag us into the fray so they can keep on playing their games.

It’s up to us to find another way.

The future is now. I can see it. Can you?

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money-signIt’s all a shell game, and we’re the ones being manipulated by these elections into believing our choice — or for that matter ANY choice — will make a difference in the way our system is run.

Combine the inherent corruption of the system with the race between the parties to see who can give away more of our freedoms and ignore the constraints of our Constitution (need I make a list?), not to mention the gross overreaching and general performance of government, and it’s easy to understand that we the people have a long way to go to right our ship and sail it to a destination that really serves us.

No amount of buy-offs or muscle-flexing or promises or political games or programs will do the job. It will take a mass awakening of the people, enough to throw off the yoke of the power brokers and their pawns, and a concerted effort to build something better.

It won’t be easy. But we’d better get ready, because the way it looks, the game is getting out of hand even for them.

If you think it’s just starting, think again. It’s been going on since the beginning, but our Founding Fathers didn’t do anything about it. Neither did anyone else, though Andrew Jackson tried and failed when he created a National bank way back when. Others have tried as well, to no avail.

Even the great (sic) Bill Clinton, supposedly working with the people’s best interests in mind, in cahoots with a Republican Congress repealed one of the few efforts ever made to reign in some of the excesses. The Glass-Stiegel Act was supposed to keep investment (speculative) banking separate from the financial banking activities where the people’s monies were protected.

Yeah, right. We all saw what happened when that single firewall went down.

And how did they pretend to “fix” the mess that resulted? By allowing the big banks that were already too big to fail to grow even larger, aided and abetted by the current and previous Administrations and a knee-jerk Congress that at its best does nothing, and when it acts does so to the peril of us all.

This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans being bad. It’s about a system that’s broken and threatening to crumble under its own weight — and worse, take us all down with it.

Most of them mean well and really believe in the rhetoric and dogma they spew. They think this program will make things better, or that war will make us safer, or this type of surveillance will render us immune from potential harm by those who would want to harm us (now who would want to do that?).

They also think their games for power have consequence and can right the ship, at least if they can find a way to shut the other side up long enough to impose their will upon us.

Maybe they can, to an extent. Then again, most of their efforts tend to make things worse, and perpetuate the inner workings of a system that doesn’t serve us very well.

Sure, some good does come out of it. But it’s usually just enough to buy us off and shut us up for a while — until the next time the excesses come back to bite us.

So as you go to the polls to vote this fall, just keep in mind that by exercising your Constitutional right and duty as a citizen that you are helping to perpetuate the very wrongs you want to see fixed, and empowering them to do it again in the future.

I will leave you today with this quote from Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a speech given at Madison Square Gardens, October 31, 1936:

“We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace–business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs.

We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today.

They are unanimous in their hate for me–and I welcome their hatred. I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.”

I guess we know who the real master really is, don’t we?

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greedGreed isn’t endemic only on Wall Street or in our politicians. It has infected We the People, too.

People vote their own self-interest. It’s the button that’s pushed to get them to support one party or another. When they feel that interest is going to be better served by the promises and payoffs of one candidate than another, then that’s the way they’ll vote.

Sure, politicians give lip-service to broad concepts like freedom, justice and equality. And they wrap themselves in the flag and kowtow to nebulous ideas like family and fairness. But when it really comes down to it, does it really matter? After all, how many people choose their candidate based on their adherence to core principles?

No, most people vote what they think is best for them. And that’s usually a perception based on what’s going on in their lives and how they feel about the prospects for their future.

* * * * *Now I realize that when I talk about not taking sides in their silly games, I’m talking to the wall. Because the political power struggles aren’t games; they’re very real exercises in trying to let people know which candidate will bring home the bacon, and for whom.

Those that deliver the bacon keep getting re-elected. And if they don’t, they’d better make a good case why they’ll do a better job delivering it during the next term than their opponent will.

Isn’t that what our presidential election is about right now? Obama didn’t bring it home last term, but he’s hoping that enough people will buy into his promises that he will this term to keep Romney from carrying the day.

We are a very short-sighted nation. To us there is only now. And the promise of some gain in the short run — a good paying job, training to get a new one, the chance for a college education, lower taxes, a place to live that we can afford, more business or ways to fund it, and so on — carries far more weight for most people than a longer term view of what to do about the problems facing our world.

Fear is a strong motivator. But a fear of something that might come in the future is not as strong as a desire for something we want now, or the fear of the repercussions we might suffer if we don’t get it.

After all, we all know a very big hammer is hanging over our collective heads from the combined weight of our national debt/deficit spending, “entitlements,” foreign wars, housing armies overseas, energy supplies or the state of our environment. But none of those is imminent at sinking us today. We’ll worry about it when we get there.

So even self-interest alone isn’t enough; it’s our interest now vs. our interests of the future, or those of our children and our children’s children. And to them we say, “Son (or daughter), you’re on your own.”

If we are to evolve, somehow we either have to give up this attachment to our own self-interest, especially those in the forefront now, or redefine what that interest is in terms that better serves the kind of lives we want, and the kind of world needed to live them in.

Hopefully, we will begin to see that “me” includes a healthy dose of “we,” since what affects one affects all. Until then, I guess it’s every man and woman for themselves.

So as you watch the candidates blabber on as their campaigns unfold, just keep reminding yourself:

What’s in it for me? What’s in it for me? What’s in it for me?

To consider anything else would be blasphemy, and undermine the very foundations of our society.

God bless you indeed.

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