CBS’s Secretary Of State Got Me Thinking
As I was watching CBS’s Secretary Of State tonight on CBS All Access I was moved most by the ending scenes. I watched as the main character met with her predecessors, some Republican and some Democrat, and it was moving as they all discussed a basic idea of America. The show followed with an even more amazing speech against nationalism, which, as mentioned in the speech, is not to be confused for patriotism.
It made me think more about America, some of what has made it great up to this point, and my views on a number of things concerned with it. I won’t say we have been a perfect country nor should anyone looking at its history. We are not alone in many of the errors we have made though.
We don’t all share the same religious beliefs and we can often differ on many issues that are meant to be debated rationally. But, we all strive for freedom, the pursuit of happiness, and equality at the base of things.
Even free trade requires a level playing field, though it can be hard to accomplish at times. And, while we are not perfect, we are constantly working towards being better. Some would call me a Socialist, and they would be wrong.
I do not believe in pure Socialism, nor do I believe in pure Capitalism or even in Communism in its modern form. At their core, there are problems with all of them. With Communism, power is controlled by one person, essentially, and everyone is treated equally thereby stifling innovation, as Socialism in its pure form threatens to do.
But, pure Capitalism, as is being pursued now, is more like feudal Europe. It requires people with ideas and resources to produce things to pay as little as they can for anything to be produced, which can keep wealth concentrated in certain areas. While destroying the supply and demand system as it was envisioned at the same time.
This is bad for trade on all levels. Since you need buyers to consume your finished product to make any profit. And if you are paying too little to your workers you can’t make any profit. Nor are the workers protected by law in a pure Capitalistic society. So, everyone ends up losing out and the economy collapses.
Ideally, the best course, so far, is finding a balance between Socialist and Capitalist ideas overseen by a government made up of multiple parties answerable to the voters making laws to keep the balance. Right now, we don’t have such a government. The Founding Fathers foresaw this being a possibility hence why they left room for the Constitution to be amended.
Now I fully admit I tend to side with Democrats on a lot of issues legally. Even as some I would not want in my personal life. But, I am also a traditional Conservative (as was outlined in an article from The Atlantic) in many ways. None of us are completely one party or another, at least we shouldn’t be. None of us can blindly vote just because someone is the same party as us. We have to view issues with facts, weighing who will represent us the best at the moment in time to vote. And, there are those who will seek to twist the facts and news coverage to sway people to their side.
That is why we all need to learn how to filter things in the digital age. After all, there are good players and bad players, which each side will use to try and win. Lately, there are some people who have been more vocal about how they view certain issues, but they also are not listening to facts about those issues at all. Such as what the voters want or on things like climate change.
Unfortunately, there are people in every party who will seek to isolate America with Nationalism which shouldn’t be confused with Patriotism. Something that continues to be twisted around many times. We have to remember that, yes, we are Americans and while we want to be the best in the world, we have to lead with actions that show the rest of the world what should be strived for as the best.
Being a leader requires balance, like anything in life, as well as dealing with the global community. Right now, America looks like a nation gone bad with how we remove ourselves from any agreement that threatens what we want in the world. I don’t mean “we” as in the people either, but “we” as in the government.
Just because we are America some would say we can do no wrong and they would be wrong. Our government belittles and removes itself from any group that doesn’t agree with it. The U. N. has been made out as an enemy, which it is not. Its founders knew the need for diplomacy after World War 2 as the world became more intertwined on a global level. They had the foresight to try and make it as peaceful and cooperative among all nations much as this country tries to with all of the states in it. As you get more countries and opinions in the U.N as you do with states it gets more complicated with more cultures same as with America.
The American Government gets a bit arrogant at times and thinks it can do anything it wants just because it is America, which flies in the face of our origins as a country since we needed the French’s help to become independent. We paid them back last century, but we seem to have forgotten that no country can go it alone. As well as why America has been a powerhouse since the end of World War 2. After all, it was partly being so intact infrastructure wise at the end of that war. Along with having such good public relations on America’s side that helped.
Though our education system needs improvement so that our future leaders and citizens are more intelligent on all issues before entering whatever secondary education they will need for their careers. We accuse teachers of being biased, and they have opinions, sure, but they still teach based on facts. Though we sometimes don’t agree with them.
They are the ones acting the most like judges are meant to. Even the majority of journalists are falling short of what they are meant to do. Part of that is by making the news part of the rating wars. Journalists are meant to give us the news, yes, but also the facts to the best of their ability. That doesn’t always mean giving equal time to both sides of an argument. Journalists are meant to try to get to the third side of an argument; the one that is some mix of each perspective argument in the issue. They are meant to be a mix of judges and teachers. A fourth wing to the checks and balances to help the people keep from being blinded.
Does it mean you will always agree with what they report? No, but there should be some basic idea of what the facts are with any story unlike what we have at the moment. Hence the need for education on filtering media information. Right now, the best news I am getting is from reading news instead of watching or listening to it.
And, I will be weighing in on issues until voting day in both my blog and here. To do my best to apply logic and common sense to things that many are not in the mainstream news as well as society. My goal is simply to give the two perspectives as I see them and come out to a conclusion somewhere between the two as I convey them to you.
It doesn’t mean you have to agree with me after reading my articles and blog posts, but it at least opens a door for a reasonable conversation about it. Much of the country sees things as black and white as I once made the mistake of seeing it. We have forgotten that life and the world contain many shades of grey. I’ll demonstrate ways of that in the next article. I’ve given you enough to digest for one article.
*Tips his hat and walks out the door preparing for the chaos to come*.