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December 28, 2019 / paulio10

How to Know What’s Right in Politics

People read a logical statement somebody wrote online, and because many people around them believe it, they do too, especially if it matches their emotional reaction to the topic – without researching the “facts” stated in the article or understanding the opposing viewpoints. But how do you know that is the correct viewpoint, the best one for you, your family, our society, our world? The “proof” most people accept happens when people with their same viewpoint report on what “the other guys” are saying or doing, through a cloudy lens, making the other guys seem like complete idiots and evil anti-human beings.

If there’s anything I’ve learned about politics it’s this: as soon as you conclude the other guys are complete idiots and intentionally doing evil things, immediately stop – because something is wrong. Your BS detector should be going off like a fire alarm.

It means you have insufficient information about the people on the other side, and are getting twisted news about them. You deserve better – you need unbiased facts, not twisted cherry-picked misinformation. No political party is completely evil, no elected official is completely stupid. If they were, they wouldn’t be where they are today. They would have no power, and you wouldn’t have heard of them. No, there’s something else going on here. Each one is driven by beliefs that are largely valid, if you could only have a chance to hear it from their viewpoint. To ignore their viewpoint and declare it stupid, ignorant, or evil, is to completely misunderstand them. You can understand another person’s viewpoint and why they believe it’s true without being forced to believe it yourself. You can have your own opinions, and still understand all the details of opposing opinions. If you cannot, then maybe it’s time to take a debate course – I bet there are some good ones online. Emotionless, factful debate. Go for it.

It doesn’t matter whether you are Democrat or Republican, Green Party or Libertarian or something else. All parties do the same thing. Any time you choose one side over another, understand that you’ve already made a big mistake – you will now receive a lot of misinformation that makes logical sense to you on the surface, so you will begin to believe it. Social media and friends all around you will only reinforce the mis-information, because they are in the same boat – only hearing one side, like you.

Once you are able to see and understand all the viewpoints for a given topic, you just may discover that they are all valid points, and the solution needs to take all of them into account.

So What Do We Do?

Instead, begin with a pure principle in your mind that will help everyone in the country, world, neighborhood. For example Unity, or Health, or Justice, or Joy, or Freedom. Pick just one to start with. Focus on why & how that one principle is valuable. Specifically, why is it important?

For example, take Unity – you might realize our society is more powerful when everyone is united towards a common goal; less powerful if some people are fighting against the common goal; and completely neutralized when half the people are fighting against it and half for it. Completely blocked; spinning our wheels; stalemate.

It’s simple physics, really. It’s like a rocket-ship with lots of little jet engines pointing in different directions, and the rocket ends up turning in different directions, spinning randomly. You cannot travel great distances like that. What if your car had two engines, one pushing you forward and one pulling you backward? How far will you be able to drive? In what direction will this silly contraption move?

Put all your Wood behind one Arrow

To solve a problem in the best way that everyone can agree on, take the pure principle and apply it to the problem at hand.

Example Problem:  Immigration

Example Principle:  Unity

Think: does Immigration cause more unity over a longer period time? Of course the answer is Yes. The USA would be nothing if it weren’t for past immigration. Some of our greatest scientists, artists, business people were immigrants, or their parents were, or their grandparents. But, does Immigration cause troubles in the short-term? Of course this answer is Yes.

Because of these realizations, you can see we should not throttle or eliminate immigration, but be hyper-aware of the problems it causes short and medium term. For immigration to create the most benefit with the least harm, we must identify and address all of the problems head-on, in an unbiased way, without ignoring them or hiding from them. In an emotionally-detached, thoughtful manner.

When the costs and work required to deal with the problems caused by immigration are understood, we can identify some useful facts: work that needs to be done to safely integrate immigrants into our society, and dollars-per-immigrant that need to be spent to do the work and deal with any problems. Only then can we determine how much of our budget we are willing to spend on immigration each year, year after year. We probably need a mechanism to throttle immigration, so that it doesn’t overrun the money available to handle the incoming people – while, at the same time, weighing the value of this immigration against all the other things similar money is spent on – because if this is more important or less important than something else in the budget, perhaps we should allocate more money to more important things, and less money to less important things. Only by trying to see the big picture and focusing only on facts, can this be done.

Feedback loops will be necessary to verify everything is going well over time, and make adjustments along the way. Maybe the cost per immigrant over 10 years goes up, because of inflation; maybe the cost goes down, as the service organizations working to help these immigrants figure out more optimal ways to get the work done. Budget calculations should be adjusted over time, as new facts and numbers see the light of day.

To not look at the facet of immigration in our society with the light of Unity, is a disservice to all of humanity. This is true for each issue in our society, and each principle we stand for as one humanity.

To split the voting public into two (or more) sides, each of which sees only a highly biased viewpoint of incomplete information filled with over-exaggerations and lies, is a huge disservice to our one humanity. It prevents society from moving forward in a natural and healthy way. It wastes a tremendous amount of energy – physical energy, emotional energy, and thought-energy. We could be using this energy to solve other problems in our society – there certainly are MANY things left to solve, and many more coming in the future. Money is a form of physical energy – let’s not waste that, either. Taxpayers want to know their tax money is going to the right purpose.

Thoughts to Think About

Can you think of other core principles besides the 5 listed above (Unity, Health, Justice, Joy, Freedom)?

What do those principles really mean, why is each one important?

Take a problem you see in our society and apply one principle to it, and see what happens. Do the results match what Democrats believe? what Republicans believe? What Green Party believes? What Libertarians believe?

Could a politician take action in line with that principle, despite their political affiliation? What specific action?

What can you do right now to encourage your politicians to take that action? To help them think in line with this principle?

Repeat for each of the principles.

Repeat with each of the problems we face today.

 

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