A couple of weekends ago, there was a huge shake up at one of my, once upon a time, favorite blog sites. I can say once upon a time because long before the shake up, I was heading out the “door”. The shake up happened over a few member bloggers versus the front page bloggers and a supposedly “super secret cabal” engaged in gaming the top recommends system in place. Ironically, the “super secret cabal” was one of the motivators that had me heading out the “door” because the so-called cabal was made up of front page bloggers, blog moderators, and community member writers alike. We were all supposed to be equal but as such things go… no we weren’t. There was a hierarchy on which I was so low that I was virtually forgotten about.
I’m not going to name the blog site or the players involved, though I come down on the side sent (banned) and gone (left on their own reconnaissance) away from the blog. Names are just not important to this story but the fact that a lot of misinformation was handed out to which others, not a part of the “super secret cabal”, reacted badly. The misinformation involved who was actually involved in the “super secret cabal” and what the cabal was about.
When the group was first formed it was, in my mind, a poor man’s think tank where ideas were brought up about how to advance the conservative message to counteract misinformation being handed out like candy to the uninformed. We had no funding and used Google groups as the central point from which we supposedly did a number of nefarious things. At one point I believe the member numbers reached 87 and then went down hill from there. Some of the members weren’t even affiliated with the unnamed blog mentioned above. One thing we were not and that is the right’s version of a journolist. We simply didn’t have the power, of any kind, that is being attributed, not to mention the fact that no two of us agreed on anything 100%. Group think and conservatism are often viewed as polar opposites, so that’s not really surprising.
I could quite easily pull up emails from the group and name the names involved so you’ll see that there was nothing nefarious going on but that’s not the point, either. The point is integrity and honesty and neither was prevalent in this episode of internet history; at least not until a few uninvolved members got involved to attempt to counteract the misinformation. Misinformation won because to think otherwise about those who did the deed felt wrong when one thinks fondly of a community site. In other words, emotions won over facts. Whether that will continue to be the case in the future, only God knows. The facts will remain the same but emotions may be entirely different; or may not.
And that is the point of this story. Facts versus emotions. I’m a facts person but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel strongly about a lot of subjects. I simply don’t base my decisions on how I feel at any given moment. Some may see this as dithering or even slow headed but “decisions made in haste are repented at leisure”. I think Ben Franklin said that though it could be I simply have a fondness for the old reprobate of a founding father.
And so it is with our politics and the government we have been given as a result. Politics has invaded every aspect of our lives, even to our chosen forms of entertainment. Take for instance, the sacking of the fashion designer. How can he be blamed when politics has informed him, by politics’ own anti-semitism, that it’s okay to hate Jews? Of course, they don’t call it that but anybody with half a brain can add 2 and 2. Also, is it the fashion designer’s fault that he has only half a brain and those who taught him, badly, forgot to inform him that it was okay to hate Jews but don’t ever mention Hitler? Talk about a political faux paus. That does tend to be a problem in politics; when the words mean more than the deeds when the powers that be decide they should. And so it was with the topic that begun this post. Words meant more than deeds.
Mike, who has just joined us as a contributor here at Hillbilly Politics, wrote an article about the potential government shut down, which has garnered some discussion about Grandma’s social security check and even getting rid of social security altogether. Mike is right about not fearing a government shutdown. Grandma won’t starve because there are avenues other than government to help Grandma. Also, there is the fact that a government shutdown is not exactly a government shutdown on the scale that is being fear mongered. See? There’s that emotional thing getting in the way of facts. The problem is, it’s not the people who should fear it but the government that should fear it. It just wouldn’t do for people to have a moment to realize they can do some things for themselves much better than the government ever could.
As for shutting down social security, there is only two ways to do it properly. One is to convict everyone involved in the theft of the once called trust fund; of those still alive, that is. That includes sitting and retired Congresses and Presidents who did not stop the theft helped themselves to heaping portions. Bernie Madoff went to jail for the same thing. Or, refund every penny to every person who paid into the so-called trust fund and allow them to invest, or not, at will and take their chances with their own future well being after retirement.
I didn’t say it would be easy but it is doable. The government, unfortunately, is adept at one thing and one thing only: Keeping the right hand from knowing what the left hand is doing. It’s the only way to justify the waste to justify the taxes to justify their spending of other people’s money to make them look good to keep them in power to tell us what to think, drink, eat, or sleep and heaven help us if we want some little portion of that money back because we need it more than they. The red tape alone means you could quite possibly die before you find the end of the tape to justify your taxes to justify the bureaucracy that administers your money that is to be spent in the way government says to make them look good to keep them in power to tell us what to think, eat, drink, or sleep.
It works for them, the longer they get away with it. A lot of people become terrified at the thought they might have to do those things for themselves; you know, make basic decisions about one’s own life. We used to call that feudalism. I don’t recall what the current name for it is. Progressivism seems so cliche. I’m sure the metaphorical they have thought up a new name by now. I just haven’t heard it, yet.
And so, people are fearful (emotional) over an existential threat (that may be imagined) that may or may not happen but fearful enough to support anything that takes the fear away without ever having to face the fact that the government has misinformed them to make them fearful just as the unnamed blog above misinformed on some key facts to “save face”.
Moving forward, don’t let emotions rule the facts. You just might find life is both easier and more complicated (and “funner”) if you work it in the opposite direction. Let the facts inform your emotions, instead. Life is messy and complicated and filled with lessons to be learned and quite fun, too. To give that over to someone else to decide might make it less messy and less complicated (depends on what end of the red tape you’re on) but you miss out on the lessons and the fun of having lived a full life versus the mediocre. You can’t move forward with a life like that. Only backwards or nowhere.