The P Word … May 21st, 2019

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WORD


Today I have two words. Each one individually could fit our category, but together, they become a negative fiasco. So the P word—or words, in this case:

Political Pundit

I hope you can see my point.

Politics, as a whole, rather than being a launching pad for the discovery of truth, has become a rocket jettisoned into the landscape of reasonability.

And a pundit is someone who already has decided, and makes the circumstances fit the philosophy, and the questions conform to stump answers.

Let me further unpeel the onion of nonsense by stating that a conservative approach to life is incapable of providing all the answers.

Likewise, as we take off the rose-colored glasses, let us admit that being liberal doesn’t always honor the kind of hindsight essential to balancing power.

So since both suffer from inadequacy, a little humility might be in order with the body politic—and certainly, the absence of anyone who becomes a champion for one thinking.

Alas, we don’t do it that way. Instead, once we decide on our political position, we become pundits of the party line. This has degraded our national dialogue down to hurling grenades of insults.

We are crazed.

Until we stop accepting politics and funding pundits, we will be a nation under the control of whoever can fund the most outlandish plans and suit up the prettiest announcers.

Political pundits: two words that need to be removed from our lingo.

We don’t need politics.

Just get the facts and make decisions based upon our Constitution and the convictions of our national soul.

We don’t need pundits.

Because once we discover what direction we’re going—whether conservative or liberal—what we are looking to achieve is unity, not dissent.


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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … August 20th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: It really perturbed me.

 

Dear Woman: “Perturbed?” What an odd word.

 

Dear Man: Well, I didn’t want to use “mad” or “angry.” I was looking for a softer term and I came up with perturbed.

 

Dear Woman: So, what perturbed you?

 

Dear Man: I was listening to some pundit on television talk about sexual politics.

 

Dear Woman: Sexual politics… I don’t hear that much anymore.

 

Dear Man: No. because we’ve taken it for granted. Now we call it gender wars, battle of the sexes…

 

Dear Woman: And the reason it upset you?

 

Dear Man: Not everything is politics. Not everything is a struggle for power and money. There are so many lies, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

 

Dear Woman: And if you did begin, you wouldn’t be able to finish because sexual politics is big business. Billions of dollars are made every year in television, movies, books and seminars, keeping the conflict going, so there is a lot at stake to keep men and women at odds.

 

Dear Man: So you’re saying that in a battle for power and money, we pretend that there’s a battle for power and money.

 

Dear Woman: Basically. Here’s how I know. The truth is, women don’t get along any better with women than they do men, and men don’t get along better with men than they do women. Women vie for place and men kill each other in war.

 

Dear Man: Wow. I hadn’t thought of that. Actually, the human beings that get along best are men and women, because they do succeed in procreating and raising families.

 

Dear Woman: Sometimes. But when you add the dimension of politics, then it’s kind of like men become the Republicans and women are the Democrats.

 

Dear Man: I see what you mean. In other words, men are the level-headed pragmatists and women are the “feely-good” liberals.

 

Dear Woman: Exactly. So what I think needs to be done…

 

Dear Man: Let me step in here and tell you what I think. I believe we need to call it out every time we see it. Every time that smirk comes across the face of a man, or a woman takes on the profile of bitching and complaining about a male problem, we should step in and say that if men and women can’t get along, the human race is doomed.

 

Dear Woman: Well, of course it is. If 50% of the people are fighting 50% of the people, you have a 0% chance of survival. But keep in mind, this applies to civil rights, too.

 

Dear Man: What do you mean?

 

Dear Woman: There’s money to be made in civil rights. Keeping black people agitated and white people pumped up with a sense of superiority generates huge donations to causes and eliminates the common sense of finding things we share.

 

Dear Man: So do you think it’s sinister?

 

Dear Woman: No, I think it’s greedy. If you’re a comedian making millions of dollars off of sexual politics, why would you repent and try to find another way to make millions of dollars?

 

Dear Man: So without a quiet revolution which gradually makes prejudice taboo, we will live in an ignited atmosphere of sexual politics, which feathers the nest of those odd birds who want to make a living off of the struggle for more power and more money.

 

Dear Woman: Exactly. That’s why the most important thing to remember is that we have a human problem, not a gender problem. We have a human problem, not a race problem. We have a human problem, not a cultural problem. And we have a human problem, not battles between nations.

 

Dear Man: Sounds impossible.

 

Dear Woman: It does, doesn’t it? Of course, we could take the first step. You and I can agree.

 

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Populie: Vox Populi … July 30, 2014

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The Thinker

The term is Latin for “the voice of the people.”

So today we will discuss the populie of vox populi.

I, for one, would find it fascinating to actually hear the voice of the people. Instead I am inundated in a news cycle which has a simple philosophy: “Who’s screaming the loudest? And please put a camera on them.”

Even though I would not call myself an authority on the American public, having traveled across this country for decades, interacting with hundreds of thousands of people, I do feel confident to advance the following:

  • America is not conservative.
  • America is not liberal.
  • America is not Republican.
  • America is not Democrat.
  • America is not religious.
  • America is not secular.
  • America is not intellectual.
  • America is not ignorant.

All the extremes pushed to the forefront in the pursuit of gaining ratings and pleasing advertisers have absolutely nothing to do with the actual vox populi.

The average American of every race and intellect has two desires:

A.  Give me a climate in which I can be financially solvent and pusue my interests and goals.

B.  Let me do this pursuing with as little interferance and as peacably as possible.

If you have a name for that philosophical stance, you can probably capsulize the American spirit.

But religion, politics and entertainment feel the need to generate a national angst which they feel either fills pews, jams the voting box or sells cinema tickets.

Honestly, when you get out there in the middle of humanity, these issues, ideas, conflicts and even preferences don’t register.

Truthfully, we often tune in the news, watch a movie or listen to some pundit rally for his or her cause at our own peril.

If you’re going to run a wise course through this raging gauntlet of screaming extremes, please take a look at three principles which will aid you in negotiating the obstacles of fury:

1. See how something feels in silence.

Never respond immediately to a fiery sermon.. Never read something on the Internet, assume it’s true and pass the gossip along. Find a quiet place, run it over in your mind and realize that if your spirit doubts the validity of the extreme statement, then your spirit is probably right.

Silence is the environment where ideas can be segregated off into those inspirations that benefit us from the clamor that feed on our prejudices.

2. Can this idea being trumpeted be accomplished without hurting people?

We have become too cavalier in our treatment of human life and the feelings of others. I have never believed that the end justifies the means, but I will go so far as to say that the end does not even justify the bad attitudes. If you find yourself angry enough that you lose civility, you have probably swallowed a devilish glob of nonsense.

3. Has this concept worked in the past, is it able to be applied now and does it have a future?

If you cannot find a grandfather to your idea, then fathering it is not terribly intelligent. And if you feel led to father an idea, understand that your grandchildren will be left to pick up the results–and the bill.

There are things in the past that certainly needed to be changed. But there are truths that endure from the past which cannot be thrown aside just so we can call ourselves progressive.

The voice of the people is not determined by the loudest screamer. We will never convince the media to stop pointing the camera at the most outlandish sight.

But we can listen for the voice of the people in the whisper of common sense in our own soul, telling us to pursue excellence … and pass up really obnoxious ideas.

 

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Three Things … June 10, 2013

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According to the present opinion of our news pundits, politicians and even those we deem to be cultural experts, Little Rock, Arkansas and Carlyle, Illinois would have very little in common.

That assertion is maintained so as to keep us separated, at odds and hopefully placed in unique demographics, making marketing more profitable to those who want us to “cherry pick” with each other and hopefully, purchase their items. Yes, they like us to be fighting–then they can play off of that aggravation to market their cause.

To hell with that.

I hope that doesn’t offend your sensibilities, and if it does, please understand that I mean it literally. There are certain things that need to be cast into the pit of hell, with the door slammed shut quickly so that the backdraft from the fire and stink won’t blow us all away. One of those is the prejudice promoted in our country in order to keep us from embracing one another as brothers and sisters.

Here’s the truth. Clayton would like Keith. Lisa would enjoy Jo Ann. Jonathan would really appreciate Michael. Rachel would have great conversations with Terry. Lucius would chatter for hours with Miguel. As long as they didn’t remind themselves that they were from different parts of the country, and maybe politically a bit variant from each other, they could have the time of their lives fellowshipping.

‘We are desperately in need of leaders who are committed to uniting us. But uniting us over what?

I think three things are necessary in order to have a spiritual, cultural and emotional revolution in this country. If we could agree over this trio of precepts, we could tackle many of our difficulties without ever producing a battle of human egos.

1. NoOne is better than anyone else. Of course, we don’t really believe that. We have all been raised to be prejudiced in some way. Most of us contend that looking down over one’s nose is just another way of saying, “Hold you head up high.” But if we can catch ourselves in those moments when we prefer one group over another or we begin to posture in our self-righteousness, we are on the road to renewal and revival

2. God is our Father. Any attempt to portray God as anything other than a parallel to a really good earthly father is a waste of time. Making God “Almighty,” or turning Him into the Infinite Spirit only creates an intimidating presence or an ill-defined personage. Jesus lived his life and even died for the purpose of showing us that God is a Father.

Matter of fact, he said, “No one comes unto the Father but by me.” I don’t know if there are other paths to the  God of the Universe. But the only way to embrace our sonship and daughterhood is to accept our Father. We waste our time when we study Old Testament theology to find a God who would really just like to be our daddy.

3. And finally, Jesus was human. Once we escape the parlor tricks of theologically attempting to make Jesus BOTH divine and human, we arrive at Jesus of Nazareth–who was filled with the holy spirit but lived a completely human life, “tempted as we are in every way.” This means that just like us, Jesus carried his cross by faith. He didn’t have an unseen advantage and God did not “false advertise” his humanity by inserting magic tricks inside him. The same spirit that dwelled in Jesus can live in us. When we try to make Jesus too hip or too old, we lose Jesus. He was our elder brother, who came to show us how to be human–not a God-replacement, trying to help us become more godly.

I saw no difference between the people I relished in Little Rock, Arkansas and those I so ferociously enjoyed in Carlyle, Illinois. When we get tired of being victims of a society determined to keep us at odds, we can decide for ourselves what we agree upon and begin to launch on those ideas. We can once and for all know that:

  • NoOne is better than anyone else
  • God is our Father
  • And Jesus was human–just like us.

It will give us the balance we need–the wonderful blending of power and humility.

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Two Speeches (not from the stump) … September 23, 2012

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I don’t agree.

Political parties and pundits tend to aggravate some little open wound in my soul which refuses to heal, becoming calloused to the bizarre. I guess the popular thinking is that a certain amount of lying, cheating, attacking, fussing and maneuvering of truth is necessary to win an election. I not only disagree with this premise, but I wonder if anyone has actually ever tried to utilize the facts faithfully to a conclusion before giving up early in the pursuit to strike back over a recent smarting smack.

What I will share with you today are two speeches–one from each of the men running for President of the United States. These discourses don’t actually exist, of course. They are what I feel each individual candidate might want to express if he was intent on winning the job on both merit and humility. I will begin with the incumbent:

My name is Barack Obama. I would like to continue being your President. I guess, in a manner of speaking, you could say that I won the job four years ago. I have learned that there is a difference between winning and succeeding. I was not ready for all the surprises. No one can be prepared–because, dear folks, there is a world of problems out there in what we call the world. It is impossible to understand that in entirety until you actually get in the position where you need to make decisions that affect the lives of millions. But I have learned. May I tell you this–it is not easy to learn. You are tempted to explain your mishaps and trumpet your victories. Here is an assessment: some of my decisions were good. Others are still working out. Some of my choices, though, didn’t completely address the need. Once again–learning. To be President of the United States, in my opinion, means you have to know the difference among those three conclusions. I will tell you, after four years, I understand so much better what is going to be effective and what is a waste of energy. So let me tell you what I would like to do, should you grant me four more years:

1. Abandon all bad choices and pursue the path that is fruitful.

2. Listen to all people who actually want to help the country, no matter what affiliation or what party.

3. Be a President of the conservative, the liberal, the independent and anyone else who is blessed to be an American.

4. Tell you the truth, even when it makes me look bad.

I ask you to give me a chance to use what I have learned. Thank you for your trust.

Another offering:

My name is Mitt Romney. I want to be President of the United States. I have no experience in this job. I have lived a full life. I have a collective understanding of business and commerce, discovered through my work,  family and adult journey. I am rich. It doesn’t make me better. It also doesn’t make me the enemy. I understand that when you are given much, much is required of you. I realize that I will be taking what I have experienced and using it the best I can, while learning how to be a good President. I will need help–not because I am helpless; it’s just that some of the assistance will need to come from Republicans, Democrats, independents and Americans of all types. I will need to listen to all of these voices because they are you. I will:

1. Abandon all bad choices and pursue the path that is fruitful.

2. Listen to all people who actually want to help the country, no matter what affiliation or what party.

3. Be a President of the conservative, the liberal, the independent and anyone else who is blessed to be an American.

4. Tell you the truth, even when it makes me look bad.

Thank you for your time. I can’t promise you an easy solution–I can tell you that we will be able to do this together. I will bring all I know and a heart to learn more. Thank you for your trust.

The pundits would not like with these two speeches. They would insist that showing vulnerability is displaying weakness, and since they believe that politics is a jungle, that such openness would turn a candidate into a lame antelope instead of a roaring lion. Maybe they’re right. But see–we don’t know. There is no way to be sure, because no one has ever had the guts and determination to stay faithful to the understandable truth throughout an entire campaign. I will tell you this–without a heart filled with simplicity and a humble spirit, the responsibility of guiding human beings is carried out by a fool instead of a righteous king.

Two speeches–it is my offering for today. I guess my only counsel to you would be that the more you hear of these admissions from which ever candidate, the better prepared he will be for the inevitable struggle of leadership.

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