Politics is confusing.
So much positioning.
So many perspectives.
As we prepare for a new year and a potential new political climate, I want to lay out a few thoughts.
1. I tend to lean conservative in my political beliefs. But don’t assume that I am a radical right wing nut job or whatever derogatory label you want to slap on me or others who lean conservative.
2. I happen to work for a news/talk radio station that carries Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. They are 4 of the most listened to national radio talk show hosts. I will listen to them if I am in the car, depending on the topic they are discussing. I do not agree with everything they say. Each of them has their own agenda and it is a combination of gaining and retaining listeners and advertisers. I believe they are true to their own beliefs but some of them, notably Glenn Beck have changed their stance publicly and even apologized for the way he presented himself in the past.
3. I have listened to talk radio for 1/2 my life. Started when I was in Detroit and was bored listening to music radio. I also listen to my local N.P.R. station because I enjoy some of their weekend programs and also their ability to take a deeper dive into some stories that never make it to the mainstream press.
4. I consider myself to be fairly well informed about things I care about. I don’t just jump on a bandwagon blindly. I have a curious mind. I could have been a detective or investigative scientist if I had not entered the radio broadcasting world as a teenager. But I still take that curious approach to life both personally and professionally.
5. I tend to reserve judgement. I believe that there is a reason for people to be passionate about the things they are passionate about. I want to know why they are passionate and the root of that passion. It helps me to understand more deeply the people and issues.
6. The Constitution of the United States of America is still the foundation for our Federal Government and identifies separation of powers on many levels. That includes separation of powers within the 3 branches of our Federal government. Also included is a separation between State and Federal governments. And last but not least, are specific rights of citizens. Unfortunately, over the past 200+ years the politicians have whittled away at these separations and rights and even the branch of government that is supposed to be above the political leanings of left or right, the judicial branch is also influenced by biased judged who are either liberal or conservative.
7. An overhaul of certain areas of government are needed. Theoretically it can be done. A few years ago Congress passed the Affordable Health Care Act which was a monumental change in how health care, health insurance and government interact. But as difficult as it was to pass, it was a step in the wrong direction. Why? It gave more power to the Federal government and took away power from the states. There are lot’s of good things in the law, but I don’t believe it was within the Federal governments constitutional authority and the changes should be made on a state by state basis. Time will tell. We really need to move to reduce the power of the Federal government in our lives or at least simplify the rules and regulations. Taxation could be simplified. I’m in favor of eliminating the I.R.S. and a whole host of taxes that are unconstitutional because they favor one group over another. Instead a simple national sales tax that is paid when an item or service is purchased can replace our current mess.
8. Our government is self serving and not serving the people. We have always had this to some degree, but I believe it is getting worse. People in power do what they can to keep their power. The millions of dollars that are spent in elections is obscene. It that money was spent on helping others with needs, we could help so many families instead of buying votes. A co-worker of mine proposed a 12 year Federal government lifetime term limit. I’ve been thinking about this and like the concept. Keep the two term limit for President of the United States and add this provision President, Vice-President, Senators and Congressmen. How would this work? You get a total of 12 years to serve in any combination of those elected offices and then you are banned for life from serving again.
9. I believe in conversations and finding solutions. I believe in getting involved where we can and making a difference in peoples lives. The lives of our friends and families. The people in our communities, the neighborhoods and our neighborhoods. Break down the racial tensions. Stop judging people based on who they are and begin to understand what they are about. Look for the common. Expand your world by discovering the uncommon. Your preferences are not mine all the time and that’s okay.
10. Get involved and take action. Anyone can post something online. But what about face to face? Over the years I have spent a portion of my time volunteering with a variety of non-profits. In 2013 I started working with others at my church to adopt a neighborhood and make an impact. Now in our 2nd year, I get to lead a group of volunteers who are doing incredible work and only God knows the ultimate impact we are having. This is not a government mandated or approved program. And fortunately our church removed some of the inside political process for us to do this kind of thing. You can join us or join others for a cause. You don’t even need any organization. Just introduce yourself to a neighbor and sit down and talk.
There’s 10 of my thoughts on a few things I care about. What do you think? What’s important to you?