Shifting Gears

After reading Ben’s piece on Friday, I have decided that I am part of the problem! You see, I don’t watch the news or read the newspaper. I avoid the political fray as often as possible. In an attempt to protect my personal energy and manage my emotional balance, I have removed myself from the political debate. Essentially, I have silenced my own voice.

Mentally and emotionally, I know this is extremely beneficial to me. But, I’m beginning to think it sets the wrong example. By removing my voice, I have eliminated the possibility of intelligent discourse and debate. On a visceral level I know how I feel about the issues being raised by the President’s actions this first 10 days of his reign. But, intellectually, I truly cannot explain the pro’s and con’s behind the issues.

And this is the problem! As a nation, we have quit reading, questioning, and understanding the world and the issues that affect all of us. It doesn’t even matter what side of the political debate you find yourself connected to. You might watch the news or listen to a political celebrity rant and rave on this or that issue. But the news channels, the political commentators, and the people trying to tell you what the issues mean are biased. They have an agenda. Their job is to get you riled up and think a certain way. Because if they control your emotions, they control your opinions. If they can tell you what to think and how to feel, then they can do whatever they want and never be held accountable. And the truly scary thing is that we want to be told what to think and how to feel. That’s why we tune into their shows.

Let’s use the travel ban and the Syrian refugee immigration issues as an example. On the surface, this feels wrong to me. It seems very un-American and hate oriented. This weekend, as I drove through Longmont Co, I noticed a small group with signs protesting this ban. I looked at their signs, honked my horn in support and continued on my way. Now, I know nothing of the facts about this issue. I saw that President Obama spoke out against the ban and since I truly respect and admire him, I find myself influenced by that. All of the news outlets that lean to the right seem in favor of it, but I typically write them off as hate mongers so I’m also influenced by my personal bias. But what does the ban really mean to me personally and the world in general? How do I get that information? And more importantly, after educating myself, how do I inspire you to do the same thing?

You see, we can no longer afford to think like a Democrat or a Republican. Both parties are a mess and no longer capable of governing a nation for the people, by the people. That’s why we are in this mess in the first place. As citizens, it’s time to become educated and aware of the issues at hand. Think about it, how can we decide what’s right or wrong for all of us, if we only know what they want us to know?

Over the next week, I plan to research news outlets that are focused on truly presenting information for the sake of educating people on the issues at hand. Preferably, without any political influence towards the left or the right. I will share what if any, sources I find and if you have any suggestions, please share them with me.

It’s time to become involved.

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