[EM] language/framing quibble

Fred Gohlke fredgohlke at verizon.net
Sat Mar 7 15:44:08 PST 2009

Good Afternoon, David

re: "Your quote sounds like part of a thought I would have
      expressed - be nice if you tied it back to:  Tue, 03 Mar
      2009 15:43:34 -0500

      My real question then was what label you would be willing to
      use for what many of us call "campaigning", since you seem
      to use a different meaning for that word."

I believe your reference to the 'Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:43:34 -0500' post 
must be to this passage:

     "Because parties are usually involved, those of us sharing
      thought will call ourselves the 'People's Party', though it
      does nothing outside our village."

This passage suggests that, if several people hold a common view, they 
have a right to organize themselves and enforce their will on the 
community.  A central, though unmentioned, tenet of this approach is 
that it is proper to take advantage of the fact that many people (as 
James Gilmour points out) put other interests ... perhaps the economic 
well-being of their families ... above their political interests.

I don't agree.  I believe democracy imposes an obligation on all of us 
to seek the views of all the people.  The fact that our interest in 
politics varies does not give the cynics who bend this circumstance to 
their advantage a right to usurp political control of our existence.

It is interesting that your suggestion shows this distinction so clearly.

re: "If the people of Owego are to get into the business of
      deciding what they want, they better get more into
      understanding this task than many of them realize."

That may be true of 'many of them', but it is not true of all of them. 
The task of our electoral process must be to identify the most cogent 
views on the business of the community.  If your thoughts are 
beneficial, they will withstand the careful scrutiny of your peers.

re: "Again, what word can we get together on as to offering?"

Persuasion might better fit the case than campaigning since it implies 
converting by force of reason rather than selling by force of manipulation.

re: "My first step, perhaps with help of some friends, would be
      to get a petition signed by enough voters to qualify myself
      as a candidate.  I would call the next step campaigning in
      preparation for voting."

Your approach is excellent ... in a world dominated by partisan 
politics.  At the moment, it is the only way to 'get something done.' 
If you are able to thrive in this environment, it is to your advantage 
to pursue this approach.

If, however, you feel, as I do, persistent reliance on war to settle 
differences of opinion, destroying our environment in the name of 
'growth', and institutionalizing greed and theft in our society are 
matters of public concern, you may feel the need to devise a more 
democratic method of selecting those who represent us in our government.

Political parties have controlled our existence for 200 years.  During 
that period, we have seen incredible advances in technology, but, 
instead of those changes redounding to the benefit of the people, they 
have empowered a few at the expense of the rest of us ...

   "Slowly the increasing complexity of tools and trades
    subjected the unskilled or weak to the skilled or strong;
    every invention was a new weapon in the hands of the strong,
    and further strengthened them in their mastery and use of the
    weak ... So in our time that Mississippi of inventions which
    we call the Industrial Revolution has enormously intensified
    the natural inequality of men."
      Will Durant, The Story of Civilization,
      Volume 1, Our Oriental Heritage, page 20.

We can do better!

Fred Gohlke

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