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Rated: E · Editorial · Emotional · #2238222
2020 has been a trial for all and the inability to change things is frightening.
Watching people waiting in long lines for food pantries, hearing reports that there is a critical shortage of health care workers and patients are dying, and a President fighting a legal election is enough to make a person scream! Logically, I cannot understand any of this. Realistically, there have been so many mistakes made that caused these dire circumstances.

I suppose it is true that any President's Administration would have had a difficult time handling this global pandemic. I know that I have learned a lot more about government's function at the advanced age of 67. It has always been a machine that worked without much attention from me except for voting. I have been practically glued to the TV news and podcasts for the last four years and right now it is particularly critical.

We have had President Donald Trump in the Oval Office for almost four years now. This is a man who went out of his way to show us what kind of a narcissist he is while he was campaigning. Then people still voted for him to be the leader of the free world. It is not feeling so free these days, we have constantly given this person more power and influence. He has said and done so many things that ordinary Americans would not have put up with from a high school principle, a mayor, even someone in our own family. Still, over seventy-million people voted for him this year and I am shocked. What has happened to America? How did we get to this point?

There have been differences between political platforms since the beginning of this experiment in democracy. That is as it should be. Government that is free, voted on by all citizens is a wonderful combination of mixed ideas, values, cultures and life experiences. But our founding fathers did agree on the idea of a government “of the people, by the people and for the people”. We need a leader that reflects the best of our nation to the world.

People, we are failing, floundering and falling into disarray. The disinformation that is dished out by politicians, the media and the public that believe it is a mystery to me. Is this a lack of education, not paying attention, media; perhaps a combination?

Seeking knowledge will never be wrong and being ignorant will never be right. Knowledge leads to wisdom and discernment while ignorance leads to confusion and bewilderment. Only by fully understanding the forces at work in our diverse world can one expect to truly accomplish good in society. Conversely, an ignorant person can easily be manipulated by deceivers to become their unknowing accomplices.

No matter what term is used to describe the search for Truth, it will always be the noblest of deeds, regardless of one’s creed or religion. The faculties of learning and understanding are not the exclusivity of one group of people. They are gifts endowed to all humans and it is our duty to make the most of them.

“A recent survey of over eleven hundred American colleges and universities found that only 17 percent require students to take courses in U.S. government or history, while only 3 percent require them to take coursework in economics.” Richard Haas, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Unless people are taking it upon themselves to learn these subjects, much of our voting public has zero experience or formal education in the subjects directly related to the issues they are voting on. You simply couldn’t ask for a population more primed for manipulation and propaganda than this.

"Those who make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire told us.

I have hope that “our better angels” will triumph. I want the world to see that we, the average American citizen, share equal hopes and dreams for ourselves, our families and fellow citizens. We have always been a melting pot of diversity. It has made the United States exceptional for many years and although we are not perfect, at least we have been going in the right direction. It is not time to sit down and stop moving forward now.

The most important thing to consider is this: Do you use knowledge to guide, inspire and enlighten or do you use it to control, manipulate and deceive? What will you do with your responsibility to your fellow human beings?

By Kathie Stehr
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