Washington and the media tend to love a good conspiracy. I do not want to let anyone believe this post is ridiculing the need to understand better what transpired at Benghazi, yet the story has become more on the unhealthy aspects of the investigation. I think the Congressional Committee has every right to ask questions, but at the same time I do questions some motivations as we live in a world of “gotcha politics” where someone has to win and someone has to lose. As an Independent voter, I see the opposing parties purposefully disagree, as they dare not agree on something the other side said.
Yet, what we often overlook in the sensationalism involved with these events are the conspiracies that happen everyday. These more routine failures to look at issues and how to solve them allows special interest groups to conspire to leverage the issues for their gain. And, as a result, we average citizens end up losing as we don’t have healthy debate about issues of import or shine spotlights on areas where we should. Let me mention a few as they are so very important:
Global Warming is Hoax – this conspiracy troubles me greatly, as global warming is definitely not a hoax and, as reported today, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is at a very precarious level. The hoax crowd have the full backing of the fossil fuel industry who stands to gain from the perpetuation and advancement of more drilling for oil and natural gas. And, with their significant funding of the Republican Party, Tea Party and ALEC (who feeds langauge to conservative state legislatures), the war on the environment is waged with money and misinformation. The scorecard you should pay attention to is 97% of scientists believe it is happening and man-influenced, but only 26% GOP congress people. That is a startling differential.
Drones Make us Safer – while I am not a fan of drones, I had previously understood their role in warfare. Yet, my blogging friends Hugh and Barney have convinced me that the use of drones is actually not making us safer, but quite the opposite. The use of drones, coupled with night raids in Afghanistan (where our troops crash through the door to get a perceived bad guy, but kill innocent people), and the prison torture and inhumane conditions actually make us less safe. America is not seen as the “shining city on the hill” as much as it once was. In fact, we are more despised in the Middle East than before and our allies question are methods. We have to be better than this.
People in Poverty are lazy and less virtuous – you would think with so many white-collar workers who have been downsized, right sized, RIFed, laid off, furloughed, and fired, this perception would change, but it has not. Poverty is the absence of money – period. We have 48% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. We have 50 million people in poverty. We have people with college degrees working for minimum wage jobs which perpetuate poverty. This is where the middle class went. Yet, the Democrats do not talk enough about this issue and the GOP is kicking the fragile millions in the groin and stepping on them. I have said this to GOP leaders – poverty knows no political party. It is an equal opportunity offender. So, when you cut unemployment, give tax breaks to the wealthy, increase regressive taxes on the poor, not extend healthcare, not increase the minimum wage, and restrict voter rights you are not helping those who need it. All of these plans are right out of the ALEC playbook.
Guns are not the problem – this one insults my intelligence and should insult every American, including gun owners. It stymies me that people can be led to believe that gun deaths have nothing to do with guns. I know the issue is bigger than just guns – we have a more uncivil society, we have a more depressed society, we have a violent culture which is in our face daily, and we have poverty which leads to crime. But, make no mistake, of course it is the less constrained access to guns and assault weapons that are a key part of the problem. The NRA also heavily influences the GOP as the GOP knows they have to appease this voter base to garner their votes. This permits the GOP to perpetuate an agenda that is not in the best interests of most of its voters. Yet, the problem of kids killing kids will occur every day. When a 5-year-old kills his 2-year-old sister as occurred last month or a child shoots his brother in the bathtub as occurred this month, this is not a surprise in America. The shocked and now mourning parents may be surprised, but I am not. It is like parking your car on the street and then being surprised when someone hits it.
There are more daily conspiracies I could mention, but I wanted to highlight a few that give me pause. These conspiracies are preventing debate on effectuating needed change. I will save some more conspiracies for next time. Please help shine a spotlight on these issues. Please share your thoughts with others. And, with it being Mother’s Day, we should honor our mothers by dealing with these issues.