I saw a clip of “Morning Joe” where the host, Joe Scarborough, is screaming about lying that politicians are doing regarding the proposed budget. Among other things, panelists after this say that President Trump has lied “440 times” during his time in office. The press has repeatedly pointed out that the administration lied, and used photographs or leaked documents to prove their facts. This results in Sean Spicer getting angrier and angrier with his answers.
To make this less partisan, let me remind my readers that Donald Trump was elected because people were angry and felt lied to. They became insane and stopped listening to anything they read about the economy or their lives. “Fake News” didn’t seem any crazier to them than the reality of their lives. According to the “real news” their lives were getting better. Their reality begged to differ.
(As time goes on, I am aware that there’s more to it. There are people who just hate and will hate others their whole lives. There’s not much we can do about them. People that started off believing in American democracy, however, used to be sane and can be again).
I have seen all of these things in my office. This kind of anger comes from feeling crazy, not being believed, being told what you’re supposed to see and feel, all the while you know what you’re seeing and feeling. Often times it is related to trauma and/or fear of trauma. It looks “crazy” and, in fact, may be altered consciousness. But, with time and trust, feelings of safety can return – and with it, sanity.
So let’s start with some basics:
We can all agree that:
The direction of the sky is “up”. The direction of the ground is “down”. (Seriously, we have to start with basics, and work our way up).
We breathe “air”. The sea is full of “water”. Neither the air nor the water is partisan. There is no Republican water. There is no Democratic water. There is just water. There is no Democratic air. There is no Republican air. There is just air. So far, so good? Good.
Now, water at the oceans is going up and has been for the past few years. Why? It doesn’t matter right now, because some people think it’s a partisan issue. What does matter is that the oceans are rising and we need to do something about it. Any ideas on how to do that are open to whoever wants to do it. Who wants to save America? Who wants to be heroic?
Moving on, people get hungry. All people get hungry. To stay alive, people need to put nutrition into their bodies. Usually, the nutrition is called “food” or comes from food. Some food is better for us than others. Every human without enough food and/or nutrition needs food and/or nutrition if they are to stay alive. This didn’t used to be a partisan issue, but apparently it’s close to being one for at least one legislator, so let’s stop there. We can all agree in this one, yes? Again, as stupid as this seems, this is how far into reality partisanship goes now.
Now, a little on experience: Everyone knows their own experience – not what some else says we think or feel or see. That is all they know. If you have seen something or experienced something, you know it. This includes knowing what you need in a given situation. You are the only one who knows what you need. Other people can say what they want, but you and only you know what you experience. Seeing a story or hearing someone else’s story does not count. You only know what you have seen with your own eyes or heard with your own ears, touched what you’ve touched, and so on.
There are not Republican experiences or Democrat experiences. Democrats don’t know you better than anyone else. Republicans don’t know you better than anyone else. This is reality. It is not FOX news’ reality. It is not MSNBC’s reality. It is your reality. Anything else could be “fake news” or could be “real news”. There is no way to tell without looking more.
Putting those things together, all human beings, if they’re going to stay alive need to eat. They alone know what their needs are. If someone says they are hungry, they should be believed, because they probably are. If someone says they need clothes, they probably do. If someone says they need shelter, they probably do. If someone says they hurt, they probably do.
If you and I can agree on this much, we’re getting somewhere incredible. The possibilities are endless.
All people get hungry if they don’t eat. All people get thirsty if they don’t drink liquids. All people die if they don’t have shelter or appropriate clothes for the world around them. This applies to White people, Black People, “Yellow” and “Red” people, and any variation of those colors. It applies to male humans and female humans.
In addition to basic human needs, people can experience almost anything. They can be poor, rich, or somewhere in between. They can die if they get injured or become ill. They can experience water, or move on land, be in earthquakes, overheat in the sun, live in a horrible house or a good one. They can be abused or treated well – by anyone. There are philosophers and people of all kind who will tell you otherwise. They are wrong. (See above).
Now, on to politics and democracy: If we can agree on all of the above, then we have the basics for a democracy – people have opinions and can know what those are. People have needs and can know what they are. The more people can share their opinions and experience, the better the representation.
See, it is possible to have a United States! If you believe the above, you are not crazy. If anyone tries to tell you something not here, they have to prove it. If someone wants to tell you that any of the above is untrue, there’s a problem and the problem is them.
Now, politicians: There are some things you should know that many of us believe:
1) You should tell us the truth.
2) You should listen to us.
3) “Fairness” means that the rules apply to everyone. If you have and use rules that don’t apply to us, we will think that’s unfair. We don’t care if it’s legal or a tradition, felony or misdemeanor, since we are all humans and we all have needs (and we agree on that!) It is unfair if you have certain benefits that are unavailable to us.
4) You have authority only because we, as a whole, voted for you. You work for us. If you don’t act fairly, you can lose that authority. In fact, you should lose that authority if your unfairness gets to be too much, if you don’t tell us the truth, or you stop listening to us. If you want to test to see how much is “too much”, know that anything might be “that much” to somebody.
There. You’ve been warned. We can all agree on many things, including what you should do. Good luck with work.
Resisting with Peace,