The problem with American politics today
is that the government is suppose to derive its power from the will of the people but the people have essentially given up their authority. Having divided itself into two parties they no longer hold politicians accountable but blindly follow the sound bites of a few who look to obtain power as long as that individual claims are to represent their party. While simultaneously taking only a casual interest in truly educating itself on the issues of the day instead the majority of them allow their opinions to be molded by cable news personalities who profit by espousing the viewpoints of the politician on the side of their preferred viewers.
Inform yourself on the issues
Educate yourself on the options
Hold your representatives accountable
Take control of the government it is after all your government
While it is true that most employees in this country are at will and thus can be dismissed by an employer for any reason and without warning. It is a slippery slope when an employer begins to control an employee’s right to free speech on said employees free time. Case in point ESPN suspending Jemele Hill for her recent tweet pertaining to the anthem “protest” which she did on her own time and own twitter account. Is ESPN infringing on Ms. Hill’s first amendment rights? Do they have the right to control her speech if she is not doing it on their airwaves? And if we were to say they have no right to suspend her then are we also ready to defend the racist who gets fired after tweeting the N word on their own time and account. See not so simple but it still is a slippery slope as it pertains to the first amendment or is it. The part of the First Amendment that pertains to freedom of speech came about due to the past practices of the King of England, who would imprison or otherwise punish political dissenters. Our founders realized a cornerstone of freedom was the ability to speak freely and without fear of the government penalizing them. The key word in that explanation is government. The amendment guarantees the government would not prohibit or penalize any individual for speaking freely. it does not say a business can not make its own rules as it pertains to its employees and their speech’s impact on that business. So in theory ESPN and for that matter NFL owners have the right to expect their employees will adhere to rules about what they can and can not say in public if they believe it reflects badly on the business’ bottom line Whoa! That sounds like if you choose to work for a company you basically forfeit your right to speak freely if the company doesn’t agree with your viewpoint. Yep that exactly what I believe it means. Complicated? Yes like most issues in America it’s complicated. All we can really do is ensure that employers don’t abuse this by hitting those who do in the pocketbook through boycotts and other type of peaceful actions that have negative financial impacts to their companies and brands. Because no matter how you interprete the First Amendment if you allow employers to go unchecked in their attempt to thwart progress by looking to silence rather than engage in meaningful conversation the voices of dissent change will never happen. Because only when the masses rise up and in one voice demand change will change take place.
There can be no doubt that we are a country divided. Sadly there can also be no doubt that much of this division is not based on an ideology by the people on what is best for the people of this country but rather what letter follows your name, (R) or (D). We have become more concerned with ensuing our “team” wins rather than educating ourselves on the issues and how it will impact us. This mentality has led to a blind allegiance to those in power. We have ceded the very government we so proudly hold dear to a few hundred individuals who profit on our ignorance. Our desire to have our “team” win means the powerful does not even need to hide their deception they do it right in front of us for as it was once said “The eyes are useless when the mind is blind.” The more the masses allow their minds to blinded the easier it is to manipulated them. They simply follow their “team” nodding in agreement with whatever decisions it makes. This thinking removes any sense of accountability from those in power as Albert Einstein commented “Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” For any democracy to effectively govern for the good of the citizens it represents those citizens must become informed about issues that can improve their lives. In many countries around the world the government has taken away the will of its people. We seemingly have made the conscious decision to abdicate it to a small percentage of the rich and powerful depending on what letter they have behind their name. We can not continue to allow our government to be dependent on political ignorance and blind allegiance for it will surely lead to our downfall as one of the greatest experiments ever endeavored – a government of the people, by the people, for the people.
What if God answered our prayers out loud. Would it sound like this.
Whoa whoa another moment of silence, another prayer asking for condolences for lost ones coming in from the American Senate. I am angered that my innocent children continue to lose their lives and you willfully choose not to use the intelligence I blessed you with to try and stop it. A child could see the obvious your country has more gun violence because your country has more guns it’s not that difficult to figure out. So stop using me as an excuse to not take action and take action. Prayers of condolences will not bring back the life of my children who were lost. Serious action on your part will prevent another one from losing theirs.
With so many guns I wondered what well regulated Militia the Las Vegas shooter belonged to but the news never reported it.
America wake up!
The false interpretation of the 2nd amendment. The belief that our very freedom depends on our so called constitutional right to own a gun is a straight out lie. What our freedom depends on is our ability to protect ourselves and our young from harm. The very founding fathers who wrote the constitution understood this believing that the purpose of government was to protect life, liberty, and property from what they called the depravity of human nature and what can be more depraved than the actions of the Las Vegas shooter and the many who came before him. Research shows that America leads developed nations by a wide margin in gun related deaths largely because guns are much more accessible here and where guns are accessible those who are depraved will obtain them.
We must act now and put a stop to this madness. We must get serious about gun control in this country. Poll after poll shows the majority of Americans support stronger gun control now we must let Washington know that with our voices at the voting booths. We must counter the money of special interest determined to not only keep the status quo but to roll back the few regulations we have now over the lives of the innocent and that is a lot of money to counter. In the 2014 midterm elections the NRA’s own super PAC and 501c4 political organization which can run its own political campaign. combined spent more than $27 million dollars. They upped the ante in 2016 betting on Donald Trump and six Republican Senate candidates locked in highly competitive race spending $50.2 million, or 96 percent of its total outside spending, into these races, and lost only one.
We can choose to continue living like this, offering our condolences, praying for the families who lost loved ones, offering calls for unity while stating now is not the time for a political debate on guns and then moving on with our lives until it happens all over again or we can choose to stop the madness and get serious about gun control.
Now before you respond by saying she started it by making it political we as a country have to be angry that we continue to see innocent lives taken from us way to early at the hands of guns. America has 4.4 percent of the world’s population, but almost half of the civilian-owned guns around the world, more than 1500 mass shootings than Sandy Hook alone and America far and always leads developed countries in gun related death in comparison to just two other countries America has six times as many firearm homicides as Canada, and nearly 16 times as many as Germany. Meanwhile The National Rifle Association took a historic gamble in 2016, and it paid off in a huge way. The gun rights group placed multimillion-dollar bets on Donald Trump and six Republican Senate candidates locked in highly competitive races. It poured $50.2 million, or 96 percent of its total outside spending, into these races, and lost only one.
The time is over for politicians offering their condolences and prayers to the families of the victim. The time is over for using the excuse that now is now the time to bring up the gun issue now is a simply a time for healing. Now is not the time for offering up lame one liners like guns don’t kill people people kill people. Now is the time to face the truth that the US is an outlier on gun violence because it has way more guns than other developed nations. The NRA gives millions of dollars to Senators and Congressperson to ensure that doesn’t change. Yes now is a time of healing but the only way we will truly heal is to combat this problem and if that means calling out groups like the NRA so be it.
Are we afraid to admit that we’re Americans and with that comes not only all the good this country brings but the sins of our past, the blood of a uncounted indigenous people, the subjugation of the African American, the continued social injustice faced by people of color to this day.
Are we afraid to confront those sins so we can begin a dialogue in which different cultures, religions and races listen to and work together to make things better tomorrow then they are today.
Are we afraid to make our voices heard through non violent resistance/protest because it would make people who have a differing belief uncomfortable and lash out with at us moral outrage when their value is transgressed even slightly.
Or are we fearless enough to say enough. Fearless enough to say today we confront our past sins. Today we accept that yes there are social injustices in society. Today we reject those who even tough it’s blatantly obvious that if it is wrong would have us accept the status quo. Today we begin to respect each other regardless of race, religion, culture, gender, sexual orientation or other differences. Today we begin the process of working to make our country live up to its unlimited promise. Today we begin to heal.