So yesterday I was looking through past posts to find a Throw Back Thursday one to link and I couldn't quite decide what to choose. I don't blog a ton in January it seems. So there were only a few to choose from. Two from 2011, one on politics, one of books I was currently reading. One from 2013 that was a little quirky fiction piece and one from last year. There will always be one from last year this month since I did the blog a day in January kick off. So which to choose?
The one from last year didn't seem like it was that much of a throw so I dropped it off the list. The book one just didn't really grab me. So that left the fiction and the politics. You know the fiction won out. I really like that story. Even though it was only two years ago I had sort of forgotten I wrote it. That happens to me more than I would like to admit. I write a lot of my short pieces that end up here really fast. I spend a few hours with them. That's it. So sometimes when I am looking for something and end up re-reading them I am surprised. I don't remember the story at all, I know I wrote it, it's here, but it's new to me. Thank goodness I generally like them.
That left the political blog just floating out there. Or I guess not really floating out there, more correctly poking me in the ribs. It's four years old. I talk about how things have to get better. We have to learn to talk to each other. To come together. To stop blaming and start fixing. And we know what happened. The Tea Party that I mentioned instead of reclaiming their grassroots common sense stance ended up solidifying in to the Ultra Right of the Right Wing. Instead of finding compromise they actively worked to shut down the government when they didn't get their way. Yes, that's how our Congress worked. By not working.
Being willing to work on bi-partisan solutions to problems will get you your ass handed to you in primary elections. You cannot be a liberal seen with a conservative and vice versa. What used to be praised as a valuable skill set is now seen as capitulation. Each side blames the other for stalemates. The cycle keeps turning.
We have our own new-stations to watch that only feed us our already held viewpoints. We cull our circle of friends down until we have a nice tight little group of people who think the way we think and agree with everything we say. People who don't agree with us are libretards or repugnicans.
I see such a high level of intellectual dishonesty and cognitive dissonance in my news-feed on a daily basis that I think I might just scream. The one this week that is driving me nuts? Please for fucks sake stop acting like your health insurance bill has never increased before. The highest amount I can remember having to deal with in a company in one year? Thirty five percent. Let that one sink in a bit. A 35% increase in insurance costs. I believe it was before Obama was even a senator so hard to blame him. Though I am pretty sure people probably will. As I bitched to Brent last night about this particular irritant he put it so well, "There wouldn't have been a perceived need for the ACA if insurance companies were known to be reasonable in their pricing." Yes! This! Exactly. We still need to fix our broken health care system so let's stop bitching about Obama care and pretending it used to be good and FIX IT.
We have reached a point where you cannot speak out on an issue without being branded as something negative. Don't like the president's policies? Well you are a racist. Don't like the way grand juries handle deaths at the hands of police? Well you are obviously anti-cop. Point out that there is a problem with race relations in this country and get told you are the reason there are problems. Yes, you cannot point out an issue without falling in to the age old argument of whoever smelt it, dealt it.
And it's insane.
Our voices matter. Talking to each other is the only way we get through problems. Being able to point out things that aren't working is the only way things get fixed. Working with people who have different view points than you do is the only way to see the bigger picture. You have to figure out a way to talk to people. You have to figure out a way to have at least a touch of empathy for those you disagree with. You have to figure out a way to compromise so we all can move forward. And to do this you have to talk to each other.
When speech is silenced the bad guys win.
Ask the families of those that were massacred at Charlie Hebdo.