Expensive health care that doesn’t cover anything. Jobs with low pay and lousy benefits. Crippling student debt. Rampant corruption and indecency in the Republican Party. A deteriorating civil society and changing climate in which our children’s and grandchildren’s future is increasingly bleak – that’s what the D.C. Republicans and weak Democrats have inflicted on us.
Yet most of the news coverage and daily conversation is about fringe issues that affect very few people. Some trans kid somewhere wants to use one bathroom or the other. Politician X said something that can be used against him. Someone, somewhere, culturally appropriated something. Up-to-the-minute polls show people think this or that about the outrage of the day, or something they know nothing about.
No matter the topic, the core message is always the same. Be angry and afraid about this or that nonsense. Meanwhile, everything that actually matters in our lives continues to get worse.
I’m running for Congress because I think I can cut through all that propaganda, disinformation, and silliness to help people with the important things in their lives.
Our health, our work, our families, friends and neighbors. Our quality of life. Those are the things that matter.
I understand how the media, both old-fashioned and new-fangled, are used to manipulate and divide us. I understand how they manipulate us to focus on issues that don’t matter much in our real lives. I understand why so many lies and so much misinformation is directed our way.
They want to keep us riled up about things that don’t much matter so that we don’t vote based on the things that do.
I’ll say it again. It is in the interests of the few, of the Larry Bucshons of the world and those who cut their checks, to get us to vote based on things that don’t matter, rather than on the things that do. And they use the media – old, new, and social – to manipulate and divide us. They do that very well, and we vote accordingly
Yet as manipulated and divided as we are when we go to the voting booth, in our real lives we are more likely to work together toward common goals, whether it be within our own families, or out in the larger community.
When I got involved in local politics, the thing that surprised me most was how well the Democrats and Republicans worked together. Going to City and County Council meetings, or community board meetings, it was very rare to see any kind of partisan nonsense. With very few exceptions, I saw people working together to solve the problems of the community.
And in our own families, we don’t agree with all of our parents, grandparents, siblings, and children on every political issue; often we are diametrically opposed, but we still help each other, pray for each other, sing happy birthday to each other, and want everybody to be healthy and happy, regardless of how they feel about the news of the day.
As Americans, I think the biggest challenge we face is communication. It is like the one ring that rules them all. Sure, our health, education and welfare are the most important things in our lives; and climate change and viruses from China, and who knows what else will threaten our civilization and maybe even survival as a species; but as long as we cannot communicate truthfully and effectively about these issues, we will not be able to do what’s best.