Duck! and Gather

Thanks, Matt, I Needed That

Posted on: August 22, 2009

A couple of posts ago, commenter Matt upbraided me as follows:

Here is your biggest problem Peter – you are so totally enamored now that your ‘team’ has taken the ‘lead’(and you are a ‘team’ type person) that you have submerged your critical thinking abilities so far down that they practically no longer exist.

Actually, I mentioned and addressed this criticism in the previous post. But even after posting that last one, Matt’s comment was still bugging me. Kind of sticking in my craw. My spider sense was telling me that there was more to the story.

Yesterday, while working on some projects out on our land, it hit me. Matt was more than just a little right in his criticism. I looked back over my blog posts since Obama was elected last November and I’d have to agree that there is more than just a little “gloating” from me about “my team” having “taking the lead”.

Politically, I am at the mid-point of Green and Libertarian. …

I have a deep streak of adherence to self-sufficiency and I believe that self-reliance is our best way out of our current national mess. (e.g. For one among a great many examples in my life, my wife and I are planning on home-schooling our daughter.) This aspect of me lines me up with Libertarians.

But while I do not believe that “I am my brothers’ keeper”, I do tend to lean that way. For example, I believe that we are all connected in ways that we don’t even know yet. I don’t just mean economically or via an environmental ecosystem. I mean connections that science hasn’t even established yet. These beliefs draw me closer to the Greens.

I think that my “gloating” about the Left taking the lead in America is about the Left being on the run for the past 25 years. I’m pretty sure that if I’m still alive 25 years from now, and America still exists, I will be sick and tired of the excesses of the Left, and much pleased with a reborn, corrective Right at that time. It’s all just part of the ebb and flow of American politics.

Be that as it may, I’m glad that Matt woke me up to the rut I was getting into. For example, yeah I have a low opinion of Sarah Palin. But, you know, I think I’ve beaten that dead horse enough by now. There’s nothing new or interesting there. So why do I keep returning to that subject, other than for the reasons Matt offered?

Apart from Matt’s timely “cold shower” comment, the other thing that woke me up was focusing on the cognitive dissonance between the media coverage of the health care debates and the polls revealing the opinions of us People. As I note in the previous post, the media paints a picture of a divided nation with us People at each others’ throats. But the polls reveal a much more united nation, with 2/3 to 3/4 of Americans supporting the “public option” in health care reform.

Matt, together with this data, has woken me up. They have popped me out of the latest turn in the Culture Wars, and tuned my attention back to signs of the People gathering mindshare about our greatest threat: old Corporations.

As Matt suggests, I’ll need to brush up my critical brain for this renewed focus. This is because the media is still stuck in 1994, reporting the news solely through the lens of the Culture Wars. I’ll need to read those stories much more critically than I have been this year, to get at the this underlying People vs. Corporations dynamic. I’ll also need to improve my Twitter-trolling skills, to get the “news” in an unfiltered way.

In sum, thanks, Matt, I needed that.

for the money has gone too far

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