Which do you like better: Coke or Pepsi? There’s little doubt that you have one, even if you aren’t a soda drinker, you have a favorite. It’s a marketing trick that is used all the time; make the choice between two options. Rather than Coke vs. every other drink you could have, they make your choice simple, Coke or Pepsi.
Politicians have done the same thing. Instead of bringing together people who represent a multitude of ideas, they have orchestrated a way of dividing the voters into dichotomic thinkers. This allows politicians to maintain their power by playing to their respective bases rather than serving the public like they are supposed to do.
While they distract voters with rhetoric, they take power of the people in order to be able to buy the votes of their constituents. Republicans and Democrats both do it. Ever since the Senate has been democratically elected, rather than appointed by state legislatures, Congress has been able to appeal purely to the will of the majority.
The Root Cause
Before this begins to sound conspiratorial, it is worth mentioning that there are people fighting this, and most participants are simply doing it for job security. The root problem is that people allow it to happen with lazy thinking.
Instead of learning about new topics, old philosophies, history and current events from multiple sources and with reference to each other, people explore ideas in a vacuum. They get their information from Fox or CNN, Breitbart or The New York Times, Rush Limbaugh or NPR. People don’t read the writings of Marx, Jefferson, or Plato to see what they said and use other sources to clarify. Rather they use a pundit’s view as an unbiased source, when it really isn’t.
The messaging is controlled by a few, very large organizations that make a small community. An example of this is the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. The press and politicians get together and schmooze each other for a night before going back the next day to their charades of attacks.
This is why the “fake news” is trending. It’s not fake stories that were obviously ran through Google Translate and are unreadable. Rather it is the facade of impartiality and integrity that is being shattered by the dissemination of information to the public.
Turning It Around
The only way to break through is to know better than to take the news at face value and check them yourself. Learn about the background of what they are debating on Capitol Hill by educating yourself on inflation, taxes, fiat currency and world affairs. Without a background knowledge, it is impossible to decipher truth and lies. Armed with that knowledge, it is easy to know when something isn’t quite right.
It is important to know the founding philosophies of a society so that you ca understand how they might approach problems and discuss topics. It important to understand the Constitution and the documents that they wrote around the time of its writing to know how the politicians will speak about topics today. However, it is important to know Greek thought, European history and Christianity to be able to frame their thought because it was an outgrowth of these ideas.
If we are going to have discussions that produce fruitful solutions, we must educate ourselves on philosophies, politics, history, economics and any influential idea in order to not fall victim to the illusion of the dichotomy. This is a world of nuance. There is opportunity for new solutions beyond choices A and B.
That is what this blog is for, really. It is a place where people can come to discuss ideas outside of Republican and Democrat. Here, we can bring together knowledge of different parts of a problem and create solutions together. This is an open marketplace of ideas where we can test thoughts against each other and sort out the weak and retest the strong. Let’s talk about these things outside of the realm of the dichotomy and find new, better ideas and refine old ones, as we move toward the Truth.
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