A Poverty Of Thought

Dedicated to Blog Action Day, 2008

 

As a country, as a society of people being born, raised, educated, and living, at least until recently, in the most economically advantaged of nations, and been given reign to plot our destiny, we seem to have, in many instances, lost our ability for critical thinking.   I say it again, we have lost our ability for critical thinking.

How else could you explain our allowing:

Our government continuing to place our troops in harms way in Iraq, continuing that drain on our treasury.

Our government continuing an ambiguous “war on terror” instead of terming Al Qaeda common criminals, hunting them down, capturing them and treating them to the real rule of law, instead of maintaining the pointless charade of Guantanamo.

Our tolerating the many criminal acts of the Bush administration: whether the Plame affair, warrant less wire taps, suspension of habeus corpus, or presidential signing statements contravening hundreds of laws passed by Congress.

Our tolerating the the gross mismanagement of government departments, which led to a total breakdown in relief for Hurricane Katrina, illegal firings of U.S. Attorneys and the almost total abandonment of regulatory and supervisory responsibility of the financial sector.

A lack of a national strategy and policy to find alternative energy sources when it has been a known fact, for generations, that there is only a finite amount of carbon resources available to burn.  A total “head in the sand” mentality by big business and government about Global Warming.

Our tolerating a financial system where the Wall Street elite have totally shafted all common Americans, all the while engorging themselves on their unjust riches, and then standing quietly, like the cat who ate the canary, while tax payers for years to come will be bailing their sorry asses out.  (And how soon will that be forgotten, and a similar situation engulf a future generation?)

Our own cave in to our baser instincts of greed, avarice and mindless consumption, lapping up the milk of aphrodisiacs foisted on us by the mass media/marketing colossus that has become our most prolific national “product”.

Our own stupidity at buying in to the easy credit, no credit necessary, play now, pay later, more stuff equals more self worth fallacy.

Our failure to adequately educate our children and see innovation and industry leadership and jobs leave our shores.

Our toleration of allowing our appointed and elected leaders to fail the public trust by being co-opted by the business interests with the deepest pockets.

We have truly achieved a poverty of thought, to have allowed all of this to happen on “our watch”.  It is imperative that right now we regain our ability to apply critical thought to our decisions.  We must all begin reading and listening, and not just to a single source for our information, but to every possible diverse source of information and opinion, to think about what we see and hear, to analyze it, to compare it, to weigh it, to measure it, to apply our personal values to it, giving ourselves the opportunity to make informed decisions.   Instead of drinking the Kool-Aid being proferred by any one ideological imperative, it is time for us to mix our own recipes for living.

Once we have our critical thinking engines running on all cylinders, it is time to express ourselves, in our thoughts spoken and written, in our actions and deeds, in our votes.  November 4 is our opportunity to prove that we have not lost our ability for critical thinking and to begin the arduous process of rebuilding what was lost during the past eight years.

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