Solutions

By Ken Frederic | Sep 26, 2019

“Another View,” like any group daring to dispute progressive-approved, politically correct talking points, has had a series of trolls assigned to regularly post online "responses." Their comments are typically a word salad, mostly plagiarized, of sentence fragments repeating shopworn memes and unsubstantiated accusations like "racism," "living wage," "human right," "corporate rule," and "fair share." Recently, one of our group found, buried in an otherwise unremarkable rant, an actual whole sentence asking what solutions “Another View” would propose.

The subject article, “Expensive Lessons,” discussed fiscal problems in Baltimore. It did not pretend to have solutions to Baltimore’s problems. If anyone had those, the problems would not exist. What a marvelous (and monumental) change of tactics it would be if we could shift from epithets, curses, violence, blame-shifting and virtue-signaling to civil, fact-based acknowledgement of our social and fiscal challenges and discussion of real-world, sustainable solutions. Perhaps, sometime in the future, Americans will stop the insanity and come together in good faith to sincerely pursue solutions, rather than fleeting tribal victories, and work toward being one country again.

That will not happen until we fundamentally transform our thinking and speaking. Consider this Sept. 8 passage by New York Times opinion writer Michelle Goldberg, “...the Republican Party, that foul agglomeration of bigotry and avarice that has turned American politics into a dystopian farce…”. The vocabulary aside, her meltdown is stereotypical of an overtired 2-year-old desperately in need of stern parenting. Goldberg and her publisher illustrate one serious problem in America. Both are incapable of and uninterested in contributing to solutions. Her precise motives may be in question, but clearly her agenda is fanning hate and widening division. We will make no progress until we relegate such hateful intellectual toddlers to permanent timeout and demand better of our elected and appointed officials, our writers and commentators, and especially ourselves.

There will be no meaningful improvements while we allow people with disguised personal agendas at the table. One principle of conducting an effective meeting is that all proceedings be conducted "above the table." An individual who insists that it be his "idea" that defines the solution and rudely interrupts whenever the conversation examines other ideas is disruptive. Those who attend to be disruptive are said to be "rolling bowling balls under the table," and until they are silenced and expelled, little or no progress will be made.

Contrary to the language used by many seeking office, America is a republic, not a democracy. Our Constitution establishes that and seeks to preserve the rights of the individual over the desires of the collective or the convenience of the government. Our founders wisely crafted a republic wherein a simple majority is insufficient to oppress the minority or the individual. But the Constitution cannot eliminate the evil that lurks in mob mentality. Many today would abandon the Constitution because it interferes with their dark agenda of using government to impose their ideas or values on others. They are unfit to be at the table.

America’s most abominable failures have resulted from a thoughtless stampede into the "democratic" imposition of a majority "solution," almost always redistributing minority income and enabling incompetent bureaucrats to proscribe individual choices. Lasting solutions will rely primarily on empowering the individual to spend his time and treasure on the needs of his family and others as he chooses. The legitimate roles of government are to maintain public safety, protect individual rights and advance the public good. Solutions that keep the government starved of resources and prohibited from proscribing individual choices will advance the public good.

Our challenges are not beyond solving and the elements of crafting those solutions are not beyond the grasp of sincere people working in good faith. As important as the individual is, the family is where individuals learn to live with, love and care for others. Children raised by people who understand that “parent” is a verb and a responsibility will be prepared to attend schools that educate without being distracted by remedial parenting.

An educated electorate will know our history and our past mistakes. They will temper their public discourse, not vent their every frustration and use language to communicate, not to prevent communication. They will respect the rights and needs of others and either participate in good faith and sincerity to build solutions, or at least elect and appoint others who will.

Comments (13)
Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Sep 28, 2019 17:48

Bravo, Richard.  Excellent words and even better sentiments.



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 28, 2019 15:34

"Stuff That Needs To Be Said"   "I'm Not  The Radical Left, I'm The Humane Middle" by John Pavlovich

Apparently, I’ve been radicalized and I wasn’t aware.

Certain people call me the “radical Left” all the time.

I never considered myself radical before.
I just thought I was normal, ordinary, usual.
I thought equity was important to everyone.
I imagined America was filled with people who took that Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness stuff seriously—for all people.
I thought the Golden Rule was actually mainstream.

Recently I took an inventory of my positions, screening for the extremism:

I believe in full LGBTQ rights.
I believe we should protect the planet.
I believe everyone deserves healthcare.
I believe all religions are equally valid.
I believe the world is bigger than America.
I believe to be “pro-life,” means to treasure all of it.
I believe whiteness isn’t superior and it is not the baseline of humanity.
I believe we are all one interdependent community.
I believe people and places are made better by diversity.
I believe people shouldn’t be forced to abide by anyone else’s religion.
I believe non-American human beings have as much value as American ones.
I believe generosity is greater than greed, compassion better than contempt, and kindness superior to derision.
I believe there is enough in this world for everyone: enough food, enough money, enough room, enough care—if we unleash our creativity and unclench our fists.

I’m not sure how these ideas became radical, though it seems to have happened in the last few years.
I grew up being taught they were just part of being a decent human being.
I grew up believing that loving my neighbor as myself, meant that I actually worked for their welfare as much as my own.
I was taught that caring for the least in the world, was the measure of my devotion to God.
I thought that inalienable rights of other people were supposed to be a priority as a decent participant in the world.

I don’t think I’m alone.

In fact, I’m pretty sure that most people reside here in this place alongside me: the desire for compassion and diversity and equality and justice; that these things aren’t fringe ideologies or extremist positions—but simply the best way to be human.

I think most people want more humanity, not less.

I think the vast middle is exhausted by the cruelty of these days.

That these aspirations seem radical to some people, is probably an alarm that they’ve moved so far into the extremes of their fortified ideological bunkers and been so poisoned by the propaganda, that normal now seems excessive, that equality now seems oppressive, that goodness feels reckless.

Maybe the problem is, these people are so filled with fear for those who are different, so conditioned to be at war with the world, so indoctrinated into a white nationalistic religion of malice—that they’ve lost sight of what being a human being looks like anymore.

I am pretty sure that I don’t represent the “radical Left,” but the vast, disparate, compassionate, humane Middle; people who are not threatened by someone else’s presence, who do not see someone else’s gain as their loss, who don’t worship a Caucasian, American god.

I suppose humanity feels radical to inhumane people.

In that case, I’ll gladly be here in my extremism.

 



Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Sep 28, 2019 06:41

There's a reason for all this conflict, Richard, and we both know what it is.

 

'Our task was to set Americans against their own government': New details emerge about Russia's trolling operation


A person who worked for the Russian "troll farm" Internet Research Agency discussed the organization with the independent Russian news outlet Dozhd.

The secretive factory had several components, including a "Russian desk," a "foreign desk," a "Facebook desk," and a "Department of Provocations," according to the former troll, who went by the name "Maxim."

The Russian desk operated bots and trolls that used fake social-media accounts to flood the internet with pro-Trump messages and made-up news.

The foreign desk was more sophisticated, with trolls required to learn the nuances of American politics to best "rock the boat" on divisive issues.

"Our task was to set Americans against their own government," Maxim said, "to provoke unrest and discontent."
https://www.businessinsider.com/former-troll-russia-disinformation-campaign-trump-2017-10?fbclid=IwAR0BEeFn0V5fL__olGrmUZSLffn0Ezbgkh38Vv1nPprcG06u2aOsbTn-RCg&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=topbar&utm_term=mobile&referrer=facebook

 

And Trump was backed by Putin's troll corps for just that reason, to create chaos.  They chose the American right wing as the easiest side to pervert for their purposes.  We see from Mr. Frederic's twisted logic just how easy that was.



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 28, 2019 05:25

Imagine what could be accomplished with some empathetic dialogue. May even come up with a solution for our logjam. ;)



Posted by: Harold Bryson Mosher | Sep 28, 2019 05:06

The first time I remember the term "word salad" used, I think, was in reference to Sarah Palin's disjointed blather.  The term was well applied because it was impossible to make sense of what she was saying.  I can understand what the "trolls" here are saying.



Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Sep 27, 2019 18:56

May not be speech at its finest but it is Free Speech.



Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Sep 27, 2019 18:42

The Dumb Party and or the Party of Greed. No different than the Democrats. All one party. They win no matter who wins.



Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Sep 27, 2019 18:09

"In fact, young people have made up their mind about the Republican Party, that it’s kind of the dumb party.” -George Will

 

And they're right, aren't they, Ralph.



Posted by: RALPH WALLACE | Sep 27, 2019 09:55

Reasoned profundity met with babbling stupidity. This is delicious irony in light of Ken Frederic's topic. I think I know why the editors of "Village Soup"  allow these nuisance troll posts (mizsppelings and awl) - to provide comic relief . Indeed, it is both sad and funny.



Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Sep 26, 2019 19:02

My, my, Mr. Frederic is becoming embittered by legitimate criticism leveled at the partisan rants of his conservative cabal.  Who would have guessed.  I wonder if he even realizes that every biased point he aims at his opposition is even more true of his own side in the national debate.  He rants about "mob mentality" without mentioning the howling mobs that attend the "rallies" of his favorite demagogue.  Talk about lurking "evil."  Really, who wants to "abandon the constitution" more than trump?  Who but trump has the "dark agenda" to undermine our government and dreams of forcing it into an authoritarian dystopia of his own making?  Who but trump and the Republican leadership (if I can call them that) has a "disguised personal agenda" to destroy the efficiency of government, all in the name of the economic elite.  And how do you reconcile trump's underhanded approach to the leader of Ukraine as "above the table?"

 

No, this is just another of Frederic's poorly disguised screeds where he accuses his critics of the very crimes committed by the conservative right.  As Goebbels once said, "Always accuse the other side of that which you are guilty."



Posted by: Kevin Riley | Sep 26, 2019 17:53

Oh, look we are trolls assigned to respond.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

Post your proof June/Jan.



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 26, 2019 15:48

Oh-ho-ho-ho ho! Now we are being called a series of trolls. If it wasn't so sad it would be funny.



Posted by: JUNE DOLCATER | Sep 26, 2019 14:27

An excellent review of one of the most serious problems that exists in our country today. Hopefully we can come together in a rational manner in the near future and begin to solve this problem.

Jan Dolcater, Rockland

 



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