I would also like to point out that Americans used to have more courage than they show today.  Now politicians, the corporate media and corporation bullies can scare many in the American electorate into doing what they want.  The responsibilities of a citizen include staying well informed from objective sources year round, not just around election time.  If a politician drastically changes his or her views before an election, how are you to know if you are not paying attention?  How are your elected officials to know your opinions on issues if you don’t communicate with them year round?  How can you exercise your ultimate power over our government if you fail to vote?  In this area, Americans have become sloppy and lazy.  The only way to make a difference is for the American electorate in all its diversity to work together toward the goal of improving the performance of our elected officials by actively participating in the process.  If not, we deserve what we get.

I would also like to point out that Americans used to have more courage than they show today.  Now politicians, the corporate media and corporation bullies can scare many in the American electorate into doing what they want.  The responsibilities of a citizen include staying well informed from objective sources year round, not just around election time.  

If a politician drastically changes his or her views before an election, how are you to know if you are not paying attention?  How are your elected officials to know your opinions on issues if you don’t communicate with them year round?  How can you exercise your ultimate power over our government if you fail to vote?  

In this area, Americans have become sloppy and lazy.  The only way to make a difference is for the American electorate in all its diversity to work together toward the goal of improving the performance of our elected officials by actively participating in the process.  If not, we deserve what we get.

"… we shall all hang separately."

Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, I am continually jolted by how people talk to each other.  Perhaps when I was growing up the conversations were not as “real” as they are today, but they also were kinder, gentler and conducted with consideration for others.

I have to wonder when we started treating our fellow Americans like the enemy when they don’t agree with our opinions.  I subscribe to the Star Trek ideal of IDIC:  Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.  After all, this is an idea that was part of the foundation of our country.

Talking to people about politics and current events helps me learn what other people think and why.  It is one of the ways I process information and decide what I think about things.  Has talking to someone ever changed my opinion?  Yes, sometimes.  However, I can say with certainly no one who was offensive, insulting and/or ignorant of a topic has ever done so.

Apparently, conversation no longer includes the option of persuasion.  You cannot persuade someone to consider your point-of-view by calling them names or belittling their opinions.  As a result, most conversations seem to occur in a climate of verbal violence … not pleasant, to say the least.

If we as Americans could start such conversations by remembering that we are all in this together as a nation and that if there is to be change, we must work together, then perhaps that would help.  If we educated ourselves year round in the issues, we would better be able to identify which side of an issue to be on and which candidates to vote for.

All Americans, I believe, should be practicing good civic responsibility.  Keeping ourselves informed from objective news sources (pleural) in multiple media should be part of our everyday routine.  Considering issues in the frame of reference of how it will affect all citizens rather than just ourselves is the mark of a responsible citizen.

For instance, I have no children in school, but I routinely inform myself about it and vote to provide the best educational services possible.  If there is a candidate who changes opinions dramatically six or 12 months before an election, I would not to trust that person in office.  I communicate regularly with my elected officials on issues and expect them to respond appropriately.  When they don’t, I let them know how I feel.

We cannot as a nation survive such divisive, polarizing, negative climates and emerge unscathed.  “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” - Benjamin Franklin.

only-me-in-paris

look if you unironically say ‘money can’t buy happiness’ then either you’ve never faced a real financial struggle or you’ve achieved enlightenment, because goddamn does financial security feel an awful lot like happiness when it’s something you’re not used to

If I really believed that money could buy happiness, I would condemn myself to be eternally miserable.  I choose instead to work hard to live within my income and find my happiness in what I consider more important areas, like enjoying my family, making new friends, exploring and expanding my quality of life in other ways.  By the way, unironically isn’t a word; perhaps you would consider using the phrase “without irony?”  Just sayin’.  Love you, Renie — Mom.