Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I don't care what you think...just please do it for yourself.

So, where am I going with my rants on our responsibility to know our national history and also know our Constitution? Quite simply...I just want people to think for themselves!

We don't for a single second have to all agree on any particular issue to be good Americans. What we do need is for everyone to be able to develop and express an opinion based on the most accurate information available. As I stated at the end of the first post in this series... an intelligent, rational debate requires the element of intelligence.

Please don't misinterpret that statement. I'm not saying that only highly intelligent people are capable of rational debate. Actually, I feel that each and every citizen has a civic obligation to participate in matters of government...whether that means being loquaciously verbal or just by casting a vote alone in a booth on election day. However you chose to participate in our democratic process, please do so from a position that is informed.

Knowledge. That's what motivated me to write this series because without a basic understanding of our shared history and without a working knowledge of the Constitution that is the foundation of what makes the United States so unique, we are left to rely on the untrustworthy sources of a profit driven media, self-promoting pundits/talking heads, or worst yet...politicians themselves...for information.

I'm not real comfortable with that prospect...are you?

Let me provide two recent examples. I was watching a clip of interviews with people right after Glenn Beck's American Revival in Orlando. It does my heart good to see people passionate about our federal government on either side of the argument, and everyone seemed charged as they left the rally (I personally know someone who was there and said it was very challenging and uplifting). The person conducting the interviews stopped one particular, enthusiastic lady and ask if she had come away better informed. Her response without hesitation was she better understood about our Founding Fathers, God's role in the development of our country, and how we were going down the wrong path with Obama, bailouts, and health care reform. I'm shaking my head in agreement and anxious to see what she says next...

The reporter ask the women if she opposed the recently past Health Care Reform bill, and again she immediately responded with emphasis, 'I absolutely do!' When ask why, 'Because it's socialized medicine, and I don't believe in socialism!' Then came the question if she was happy with her current health insurance and feared it might be changed, 'Well I'm on Medicare, and I'm sure my benefits will change because of Obamacare.'

So much for the infusion of entertainment and enlightenment on her part...

Next we have U.S. Congressman Phil Hare from Illinois who was busted cold stating when it came to Americans receiving health care, he doesn't care about the Constitution. After being pressed by several media in attendance on the statement, he then quotes the Declaration of Independence thinking he's quoting the U.S. Constitution (see YouTube clip here).

Did I mention this was a United States Congressman?

His YouTube rebuttal is weak and pathetic as he tries to explain he was quoted out of context. Apparently he's ignoring the fact the words are coming directly from his own mouth and not paraphrased by a jaded journalist. He also references his military service and commitment to 'this constitution' several times. You just can't make stuff like this up...that's what's scary.

My point truly isn't to degrade Glenn Beck, his fans, or even Congressman Hare. I just want people to realize how foolish it is to let someone else do your thinking for you. Politicians and media types, especially talk show types, are demagogues that thrive most in hostile environments. That's how they make money...and lots of it. You will never, and I mean never, get objectively presented facts from either source. Right, left, red, blue, up or down doesn't matter...each side needs the dichotomy in order to thrive.

Do your homework. Brush up a little on our Nation's history. Know at a minimum the framework of our Constitution. Get involved in the democratic process, but do so armed with knowledge. Our federal government is completely out of control, and we have nobody to blame but us...and our own apathy and ignorance.


David said...

Think? I thought we were just teaching kids to pass tests?

I once had a math teacher that gave us riddles and problems to solve. I had a sociology teacher that gave us current and relevant social problems and asked us to solve them - the Vietnam War, Watergate, the poor, the race struggles of the 60's, Woodstock, and more.

Those teachers taught me to think, to solve, to question, to look for facts, state my sources and be prepared to be challenged.

We are now raising a generation that cannot think, believes the news, and is polarized to ideological stances. Even independents seem to take one side or the other.

I have written a couple of blogs where I have waded through a lot of junk to come up with solutions and answers on Fire and Grace.

They Are Going to Tax the Rich

Green, the Slippery Slope - Because Cap and Trade Won't Work

One is decidedly left, while the other is decidedly right.

Thank God for freedom of speech!

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Tony, you're so idealistic! It's just so much easier for people to make lazy arguments and not think for themselves! ;)

Michelle said...

Let us just say..."Thank you government run public education for teaching us what to think and not how to think." :)

I like Glenn Beck. He has great thoughts.

I thank GOD that I'm going to be home schooling. I have so much to learn that I didn't catch the first time around because I was taught to pass a test. (Which I did brilliantly by the way.)We...are...dumb. Very, very, VERY few folks my age have a clue what is going on and as college graduates we are completely uneducated.

photogr said...

On the lady on Medicare, I will have to favor her concerns some what. Having been with out medical insurance for three years and working for an ex employer that was too cheap to offer it, I was estatic to get on medicare after paying for it for decades. The wife had pre existing conditions that shut the door on us getting private insurance.

And yes Obama care is going to cut our medicare coverage. It already has happened and I am sure there will be more cuts in the future.

Obama and Socialism has nothing to do with health coverage.

It is the fact there are going to be many cuts to the point you may be denied life saving care because of your age or some coverage will be cut causing severe financial hardship on persons that do have coverage.

All in all , the Obama health plan has too much red tape and too many government personnell in between you and your doctors deciding what care you will be allowed.

Allowing funded abortions, illegal immigrants free health care at the expense of ones that paid into the system, and hiring on a labor force to manage this atrocity is certainly going to be not cost effective or productive. Just more government red tape and waste at the expense of the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Glenn Beck is an idiot-period. There are so many examples of him flip flopping on issues through the years.

The sheep continue to follow blindly.

Chris Denning said...

We have had Medicare and Social Security for generations. FDR made sure that "No da#* politician was going to mess with my Social Security!" It has made dependents of us all. Who is volunteering to take care of their elderly parents? Who will pay for open-heart surgery to save the life of your 85-year-old father, costing over half a million dollars? Who is ready to forgo an expensive cancer treatment and die? Tough questions all.

Billy Coffey said...

I'm in total agreement here. As much as I don't really like the current political climate and all the name-calling, I think it's great that so many people are finally beginning to take an active role in what's going on in Washington. That's really nice to see.