I went to Cardinal Spellman high school in the Bronx. In addition to being the alma matter of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor among other things it had a forensics team that competed nationwide.My senior year I was proud to say I was President of that forensics team. For 4 years I competed on the forensics team’s cross-ex debate team.To this day I credited my experience on that team as being a major part in the development of who I am today. The rules of cross-ex debate were simple enough if you were on the affirmative side of a debate you needed to show:
Significance of both the problem and that the benefit must be substantial enough to merit changing state or national policies affecting millions of people.
Inherency of the the problems cited must be inextricably connected to elements of the status quo are relatively enduring or are unique to the status quo or cannot be eliminated without reform to the status quo.
Plan that includes a concrete description of actions that will be taken to solve the problems cited in enough detail that the negative can understand and, potentially, criticize it.And finally
Solvency – present claims and ground to prove the benefits of the plan and that is it solves the problems cited.
If you were on the negative side of the debate you could win by proving through evidence that just one of the above was not true.
This I learned as a teenager. Sadly in today’s highest chamber of debate, Congress, none of this is practiced. Instead the debates have devolved into a I want, you can’t have, battle based not on facts and evidence and most importantly what’s good for the country but rather special interest and if you have a (D) or a (R) after your name. Adults elected by the populous acting more like children and having temper tantrums when they can’t get their way.
I’m thankful for the life lessons debate taught me I just wished the majority in Congress would share in those lessons.
The problem with politics today is that the government is suppose to derive its power from the will of the people but we have essentially given up their authority. Having divided ourselves into two parties who no longer hold politicians accountable but blindly follow the sound bites of those in power based on if they have a (R) or a (D) after their name. Individuals who. have only a casual interest in educating themselves to maintain their wealth and power.
Let us take back our government by
Informing ourselves on the issues
Educating ourselves on the options
Holding our representatives accountable
Let us retake control of the government after all it is our government
The foundation of any great democracy is the
education of its citizens. For any democracy
to flourish its people must be knowledgeable
enough to comprehend the matters of
contention which are paramount to the well
being of the masses. Without an educated
populace democracy becomes nothing more
than an illusion to be manipulated to the will of the few.
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.
There is a reason they disparage those who educate our youth, mock those who embrace intelligence and make higher education unaffordable to the masses. It is to ensure we remain easily mislead. It is to ensure that misinformation remains a way of life because
Misinformation leads to ignorance
Ignorance leads to fear
Fear leads to isolation
Isolation leads to mistrust
Mistrust leads to intolerance
Intolerance leads to hate
Hate leads to division
And division ensures we that we never band together as one but continue to fight each other over the crumbs they toss us. It is to ensure we remain victims. It is to ensure their way of life.
– Matthew 12:25 New King James Version (NKJV)
But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. –