March, 2016 Archives


Due Diligence

by pjbowman in Random, Writing

Choices. It isn’t always about the lesser of two evils, but right now it sure feels that way.

We all, hopefully, have a wide range of friends with an equally wide range of political views. Perhaps some civilly discuss their differing views, but that has not been my experience. Some may invest the time and effort to do due diligence and research out which political candidate truly reflects their values, concerns and personal policies. I believe the evidence indicates most do not. Perhaps news agencies are providing us with good information. Again, evidence indicates they do not.

Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 5.59.26 PMRecently I watched a political segment with Ben Carson. Regardless of if you are a Democrat or Republican, please consider his comments. He addressed the current campaign climate and remarked, “Somehow we must abandon the thinking that there’s a bunch of politically elite people who know what’s best. Let the people determine for themselves what they think is best and who they think is best to serve them.”

What a novel idea.

He went on to point out that it is the media’s job to ask the questions that would expose the candidate’s policies. The media should be probe and provide really good unbiased information so the people can make good decisions. The media should ask the questions and the candidates should back up their responses with their policies and their plan to implement those policies. He stated that the media seems to be more interested in causing fights and conflict.

And I concur.

But as citizens, why aren’t we demanding or seeking ‘good’ information? Is it too hard to disseminate? Too time consuming? Not exciting or dramatic enough? Perhaps we have become comfortable or complacent. Have we become reliant on those within our social circle to trickle down what to think? Or perhaps we have become dependent on political parties or government leaders to plant and fertilize our thoughts. ‘They’ provide the selected items of information. Few consumers take advantage of the not so secret menu that is available.

Perhaps we have become too committed to our particular political party. Let’s not forget our tendency toward loyalty. No one wants to believe they are just sheep following the herd, but consider the possibility that we might be doing just that.

Americans are fed synthetic, artificial, polluted and canned phrases that have no intrinsic value. We digest the fastest, loudest and most toxic diet of words and smirk in America’s socially acceptable way. But hey! These political leaders serve us. They are applying for a job and when vetting them if we don’t know and value their qualifications we shouldn’t hire them.   We have the right and responsibility to ask the questions and receive the answers.

At least as of today we still have the right to ask and the right to know.

Hence the debates.

Can we depend on the news stations to deliver us unbiased information that enables us to discover who most closely reflects our values and concerns? No, unfortunately we can’t. It is clear that the news stations are not concerned with educating the masses about the candidates’ political platform, their policies or their plan of action. News stations are not concerned because that isn’t their number one priority anymore. Their job is to get high ratings. Where does that leave us? We have to find, validate and understand the information ourselves. Then decide if that person reflects American ideals, American integrity and America’s commitment to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity

Instead the marketing numbers show that our interest lies in the sensationalism of the moment. And there are those who understand that and manipulate each situation to showboat their agenda or degrade another’s.

How many citizens have gone onto all or any of the candidates web sites and read or listened with an open mind to each candidates ‘business plan’? It is right there, just a click away waiting for us.

I have asked people over the last several months who they were leaning toward. Many hesitate unsure if they are in safe waters. I can see the wheels turning. Is this a person who hates who I hate? Do they belong to my ‘club’?

Is that the requirement for a dialogue? Do we only talk to those who agree with us? Do we only read articles that support and justify what we already believe? Are we allowing ourselves to be exposed to the diversity of thought that can produce new insight and solutions? Perhaps, but I sense more then ever that we discuss our ideas only with like-minded folk. It is validating and allows a venting session to privately bash, belittle and bully. It must feel good on some level, that bonding between bullies. I have witnessed it. It isn’t pretty and in my opinion, it isn’t American.

But I digress.

When I ask family, friends and associates which candidates policies they agree with many stumble and begin ‘the detract and/or deflect’ defense. Many just regurgitate the latest sound bite that was smart, clever and heard that morning on talk radio. And some even lie about knowing anything about their candidate or of even voting!

Who have we become? Each of us, really. Who? Look inside and be honest. The president is a reflection of the American citizen, of you and of me. Is your candidate of choice speaking your words and expressing your thoughts and if so, is that a good thing?

So let’s commit to do our due diligence. We are Americans. We are educated. We are the light on the hill. We need to be better and do better. Evil does not have a place here. It should never have a place here.

Choosing the lesser of two evils just isn’t good enough for America or Americans.







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