[EM] language/framing quibble
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!
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