Stupidity – a Reminder

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Ed. note: This post was originally published in summer, 2015, but this is the start of our primaries and it’s time to pay attention and take action.

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Said Harlan Ellison, “The most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.” That is cynical and harsh, yes, but there surely is an element of truth to be found in that statement. Let me offer a simple syllogism:

Doing self-destructive things is stupid.

We Americans are doing self-destructive things.

Therefore, we Americans are stupid.

Perhaps your mind is instantly pushing back on that condemnation. Fair enough, yet here is a short, off-the-top-of-my-head list to make my case:

  1. We are largely ignoring the threat of climate warming that shows us every day that the planet is going to hard boil us. Evidence of our folly: We subsidize fossil fuel industries and pay scant lip service to non-carbon based energy sources, all of which makes things worse.
  2. After nearly forty years of failure, we still practice the same supply-side, trickle down economics that has forced millions of Americans into poverty. Worse, we keep electing the same self-serving politicians who perpetuate this reverse Robin Hood of ensuring the stuffing of the pockets of the wealthy and subsistence and hopelessness for the masses.
  3. We have waged roughly 50 years of near-continuous war, largely because we have tolerated a spineless Congress that abdicates its responsibility and caves to the war profiteers.
  4. We have allowed our state governments to abdicate their financial responsibilities for the deferred pay owed to state workers. That may put millions into retirement age peril by denying them the pensions they earned.
  5. The First Amendment gives us freedom of speech and that includes the right to lobby Congress. However, we have allowed huge corporations not to just speak, but to control our laws and regulations. That has given us more guns and murders per capita than any other western nation, crops that are designed primarily to resist ever-greater applications of toxic pesticides, rather than delivering safe, nutritious food  – the list could go on and on.
  6. We have passively allowed the need for huge amounts of money to control our elections so that now we hear more about campaign fund raising than we hear from candidates about their proposals for the betterment of America.

All of that and more goes on because we fail to show up on election day. That’s self-destructive. stupid.

Your primary election is coming up soon – here’s a link to a primary election calendar. Find yours and put it on your personal calendar. Do it now.

The general election for all of us is on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Put that date on your calendar now, too.

Then VOTE! Can’t find a great candidate? Then pick the least bad one, because failing to vote isn’t an act of rebellion: it’s surrender.

Failing to vote is, well, stupid. And you’re too smart to do that. So, show up and vote.

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Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

ACTION STEP: Please offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe.  Thanks!  JA

Copyright 2017 by Jack Altschuler
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2 Responses to Stupidity – a Reminder
  1. Jim Altschuler Reply

    Voting is each citizen’s right, responsibility and obligation. When a citizen fails to vote they are also giving up their right to complain about what congressional and senatorial representatives do or don’t do.

    A citizen failing to vote is failing to advise those representatives what he/she thinks of the job they are doing and whether you want them to continue in their jobs, what he/she thinks about ballot measures, how the governments prioritize projects and spend the money that they collect.

    Failing to vote is unacceptable.

  2. Joni Lindgren Reply

    Not only do we have to worry about the privatization of our water supply from the likes of Coca Cola and Nestle, but after Flint, if you read these two articles (links below) about an interview Erin Brockovich had with Steven Colbert, you’ll realize that the threat of poisoning by water is of even greater concern!! We will truly be fighting over water in the future!!

    AND….a second scary thought, if citizens don’t vote these Republican governors off the island for crimes against the poor, disabled and seniors, we will truly be a society of the haves and have nots. Republican governors will sicken their citizenry, all to save that ‘fiscally conservative” buck by applying the “business model” to their voters. The business model is: defund, fire half of their staff, then bad-mouth it in the court of public opinion, then either privatize it (water supply and public education come to mind), then give the pieces of what’s left to their rich buddies!!

    http://ecowatch.com/2016/01/29/brockovich-colbert-flint-water-crisis/

    http://www.brockovich.com/my-story/