Camille Granito Mancuso: Chatterbox
Taking issue with not taking issue
Two weeks ago, I mentioned that there are times I wish I were a hamster on a wheel. Well, just think of it: water; a bowl full of food; aspen chips; and, of course, the wheel. That’s a good, simple life.
Lonely … boring even … but simple.
For people, life’s not simple unless we create isolation, a hefty price to pay for personal peace. To be alive is to be part of the greater society and to participate is to care, but to do these we must be informed, and therein lies the rub.
Today, there are so many ways to garner information. All of us, even those who live busy lives with jobs, homes, kids, and insane schedules, must choose. We can allocate whatever amount of time and energy we want, can, or even must, to participate in the world and its news in the way we wish.
We may choose to completely bury our heads in the sand, full-time until further notice. We can do the turtle thing and poke our heads out from our shells when we feel strong enough to take a full dose of whatever reality is ours. We can be the firebrand and engage it full-time, full-throttle, full-on, and dedicate ourselves to creating positive change. Whichever way we go, or don’t go, it affects all of us anyway.
Still, what gets Americans motivated and thinking? Some just opine childhood standards given by others, never questioning them or seeking illumination. Some, gather information, mix it with standards and beliefs as learned through life, perhaps peppered by childhood teachings or some impact thereof. Others, while devoted to certain policies, remain broadminded and open to change. Then, some of us just sway with popular stance.
Whatever any us subscribes to, there will always be those among us who will choose a stand and, stick to it, even when it doesn’t serve us or make sense to us anymore. Ergo, at the moment, I’m confused, as many of us may be.
A recent news story inspired me to research the laws that have changed or are about to change, in this country – so many, so quickly, so radically. Swinging such a swift sickle, our government has altered many laws that have worked well, most of their time, for most of the population … the earmark of good democratic law. Our new, huge, quick changes should be raising red flags and, while the situation begs to be questioned, we are finding, for some reason, this administration has devotees more implacable than many in the past.
With so much to question, some Americans pride themselves in remaining steadfast in support of, not just some of the changes but all. It’s rare to find such complete support across the board for any administration and for so many changes, but we also are seeing a rise in comfortable, public displays of prejudice. The two may be connected in terms of certain tolerances.
Certainly, many, if not most, of us agree with one thing or another this new administration has accomplished. Still, it’s also clear that, internationally, many of the new administration’s actions seem to provoke other nations’ people and leaders, and divide our people. Domestically, swift changes in policy create hardship for many Americans our government should be serving.
An elected American president is obligated to fairly represent all the people, but many recent actions are disassembling the national safety net. Fast paced changes in laws and altered policies overtly ignore issues critical to America’s general population, especially our poor, while seemingly advocating on behalf of the wealthy, powerful, and corporations to near exclusivity.
Ironically, many Americans remain steadfast in their support of the current administration’s agenda, even while the needs of too many are ignored, even while their own hardships deepen and their prognoses worsen, even as they are hurt by much of it.
One factor of blind support is always denial that one has been duped … that’s understandable. However, to continue to pretend to support such practice, to pretend not to notice it, or to allow oneself to let it occur repeatedly, all in a vain attempt to camouflage it, is nonsensical as well as counterproductive.
Such implacability indicates that the victims either remain gullible and unaware of moves being made against them, or it makes them voluntarily complicit in them. In either case, it is unacceptable for citizens of a free nation.
Our responsibility is to question, to examine the issues, and to demand balance and equality.
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