This is part 2 in the series on challenges of our days and solutions. In part 1, The Corporate America Challenge, we discussed the challenges that corporate America presents to our society and some straight forward solutions that “We the People” can implement. In this articlewe will look into some of the more obtuse challenges we face from our Government and we will explore some basis for real solutions that we the people can implement for real change.
There may not be a more talked about subject in the media today than this one. We constantly hear the banter, hyperbole, and whitewash presented regarding problems with our government and all the wonderful solutions proposed by our leaders. Clearly, this subject is too vast to wrap up in a single article or a hundred articles. But perhaps this commentary will plant some seeds; present some basis for thought and discussion that will help us to step back and consider reasonable things that can be done to make a difference.
I will not pretend to have all the solutions to our government challenges. But I will propose that real, effective, and lasting solutions really do exist. These solutions may not always be easy. But they can be truly effective. Where do we find such real change solutions? They exist in the simple, heartfelt realms where wrong and right, integrity, and sensibility reign.
Remember the book, Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? In this book, Robert Fulghum takes the reader through a delightful series of essays on common thought; simple ideas that are paramount to getting along, enjoying life, and living well. Mr. Fulghum did not provide explicit solutions in the book, but he appeals to what it means to be human and to be part of a world much bigger than our individual selves. I believe that he was on to something powerful. The answers are far simpler than the problems. When we strip away all the debates, the rhetoric, the party jockeying for supremacy, and just look at our government problems with simplicity and honesty, there exist real and practical solutions that just make sense.
I have been accused of being a utopian idealist. My friends remind me that the vices of human nature—greed for money and power—foil the attempts of the dreamers. Could the solutions really be simple? Will that simplicity work when confronted with villainy?
Nothing except for the simplest of solutions will ever be truly effective. If a solution is not very simple, then it will most always lead to bigger problems given time. Come with me. Let’s put a lid on Pandora’s box. Let’s explore a couple simple concepts that lead to simple solutions.
#1 Representative government has been compromised.
Our republic stood as a beacon of hope to humanity for centuries. People from all lands, tribes and tongues journeyed to the land of the free and the home of the brave to be a part of the great American beacon of opportunity. Reasonable people understood that liberty provided the greatest avenue toward chasing their dreams. People wanted to live in a land free of tyranny where they could own land, raise their families without oppression, and elect like-minded folks to serve (yes, as in servant and not ruler) to protect these liberties. The great United States of America had created the best system of governance the world had ever seen for maintaining individual freedom and opportunity.
Why do I speak in past tense? Throughout history, there have been those who believe they are not like the rest of humanity. They had been taught that there exist a few people like them and then all the lesser others. This mentality, put into practice, led to the feudal systems of Europe, for example, as well as hundreds of similar social structures in cultures all around the planet. Those who operate according to these ideas have found ways to rule over others throughout history regardless of the type of government in place. The United States system of government was architected to keep this oligarchy at bay. And it did so fairly successfully for much of its history.
But it seems that true representation has been replaced by a behind-the-scenes vetting process conducted by both major political parties to assure that few come to power who are not supporters of the oligarchy. Lobbying, the high cost of political campaigns, and career politicians who serve the oligarchy rather than the people complete the compromise of representative government.
But “We the People” can quit depending on big government by creating the types of businesses and jobs described in part 1, The Corporate America Challenge. We can begin to care for each other and support each other through local organizations. By doing business locally, creating jobs, eliminating the need for federal programs assisting the under- or non-employed, we win back liberty. And perhaps more importantly, we give back the rewarding sense of responsibility that makes communities strong. People who are struggling now under the inadequate federal system will begin to grow the seeds of hope.
“We the People” can also vote for individuals rather than parties. We can promote grass-roots change that breaks the yoke. We can participate in local government at the city and county levels and, in time, start making impacts at the state level.
“We the People” can even create alternatives to some of the federal social programs in ways that empower people toward self-reliance and self-respect. “We the People” can become strong again and in so doing, we will make the nation stronger. We can restore the land of the free and the home of the brave. All we need do is start. Get involved. Do local business. Get to know your community. Be a part of the new grass-roots economies! In so doing, you will bless your community and our nation.
#2 The left verses right paradigm is.
It is true that the “left” and the “right” adopt different political platforms. It is true that we all identify more or less with one side or the other. But this polarization of political, social, religious, and economic viewpoints traps us into thinking that there are only two options: the left or the right. This is NOT TRUE. And I would argue that the most effective answers to the challenges we face in our communities, states, and nation are NOT EVEN ON THE LEFT/RIGHT CONTINUUM.
If we swallow the lie that we have only two options, then we will continue to vote for, rely on, and support one of the two camps. That is a very effective system for the two camps. It is also an effective system for the oligarchy. After all, they purposefully support BOTH camps. Interesting, isn’t it, when one takes the time to consider the ramifications of this….
“We the People” have a very diverse collection of viewpoints. No two people agree completely on any belief. We should not be divided into two camps. We should not live under the threat of the wrong camp taking charge. We should be generous enough to allow people the personal liberty to seek truth on their own terms as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others to do the same. By obeying this simple rule, we can then encourage each other to share ideas in love and in unity. We cannot all be right. But we do not all need to be right. As we grow in the strength of friendship and community, we will be better equipped to understand each other and make wise community decisions that benefit all of us. This provides greater opportunity for all of us to grow in wisdom and truth.
“We the People” do not need to be left or right. We can instead reflect the full spectrum of human potential and convictions and from this practice of creativity and reflection, great new ideas will be born that can grow into life-giving solutions to major social problems.
Listen, I have strong convictions about what is right and what is wrong. I also believe that truth cannot consist of multiple conflicting ideas. But I know that I am not the keeper of all truth. I know that I am growing and learning and being corrected as a part of my journey toward greater understanding. I also respect the rights of others to do the same. Divided we fall. Can’t we agree to disagree and embrace the true liberty to think for ourselves and give others the respect to listen to their ideas too!
There are not two camps. There are thousands. And value can be found in the majority of them. Life is not binary. Humans are not binary. Politics can NEVER BE BINARY. We must wake up to this reality and start behaving accordingly. Otherwise, we will lose our nation. It is as simple as that.
As a nation we cannot continue on our present course. We are living now on borrowed time. We must do what we can now to grow strong communities of competent people who are not dependent on the oligarchy. I did not present a single solution to a single federal program in this post. But I did present a couple of ways of understanding our times that can give birth to thousands of simple solutions. I have ideas about how to fix deficit spending, the national economic threats, the Social Security problems, illegal immigration, the failures of our healthcare system, poverty, destruction of the environment, world hunger, and even tyranny. But I purposely did not discuss those here. To solve these problems we must first understand where we are today and what is really getting in the way of resolving these issues. Yes, there are other root causes and blockades to real change. But “We the People” can begin today to create real change right here, right now, right where we are. We can shape real change in our families, neighborhoods, communities, cities, counties and beyond.