Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Politics as Usual

Everyone has their own perspective on the world and their own circumstances influencing their beliefs. What seems right and just to me can seem horrible and unfair to someone else. The founding fathers of the United States of America recognized this truth; in Federalist #10, James Madison wrote that the various competing regional, religious, and economic interests, factions, and parties would be the guarantor of American freedom and justice.

Everyone in America is entitled to their own opinion, representing their own interests. People can try to drum up support for their own ideas by sharing them with others and these ideas compete for mind share with the ideas of others among the American populace.

This is how politics in America works; it is like capitalism applied to the ephemeral world of ideas. And just like capitalism in the market, it should not be surprising that purveyors of ideas often have their own profit motives.

I suppose that statement is somewhat redundant because I believe, to most, the word "politics" is assumed to be the marketing of ideas with underlying profit motives. In which case, to be American is to be constantly embroiled in politics -- to be constantly inundated with ideas, sometimes of dubious motive.

Which is why it is imperative that we each form our own ideas, reflecting our own self-interests. I would dare say that each and every American has their own circumstances, their own obstacles, their own concerns, as well as their own hopes and dreams. And sometimes people's interests conflict.

So ask yourself: if you could change America in a way that would make your life better, what would you do? If you could improve absolutely anything, what would you do? How would you convince others to help you out? If people don't support your idea, what would you do?

Now ask yourself: what are others doing to try to influence you?

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