Thursday 15 December 2022

What's wrong with politics: Me!

It's my fault. I realize this is an odd thing to say, but I've come to the conclusion I'm what's wrong with politics.

Let me explain. I'm Canadian but what I'm saying is applicable to American politics or any politics anywhere.

In Toronto, my hometown, we recently had an election, and I had to cast three votes, for mayor of the city, and in my ward Willowdale, for city councilor and school trustee.

For mayor, I voted for the incumbent John Tory. He seems to have been doing a good job, so why not? But I'm not being honest with myself. I had no idea what the issues were. I had no idea about the other candidates, their platforms, and what promises they may have made during the campaign. John Tory's record was completely unknown to me so I had no right to say he's been doing a good job or a bad job. I've been living my life and paying absolutely no attention to the state of affairs of the city. If we were in the dumpster, I was unaware of it. I have to be truthful and say I haven't been paying attention and anything I've heard about what's going on has been very isolated, merely what may have percolated up to the top in a random headline in my social media feed. John Tory won.

A week before the election, for some inexplicable reason, I had a flash of conscious and spent some all too brief of time researching the candidates for city councilor. The incumbent, John Filion, decided to retire so the field was wide open. I went to the polling station with the intention of voting for Markus Fehr because of his 10 years of experience as the chief of staff for John Filion. However, over the week, I had seen a number of advertisements for Lily Cheung. As I stood in the privacy booth, looking at the ballot, I paused for a moment, then leaned over and checked the box not for Markus Fehr but for Lily Cheung. I don't have a legitimate reason for doing so. It was very much a spur of the moment whim. In the back of my mind, I somehow thought giving a newcomer a chance may lead to fresh results. Lily Cheung won.

I knew nothing about the school trustee. I used my phone to look up the incumbent, Alexander Brown, and voted for him. As of this writing, I see he didn't win.

In looking at the above and in being honest in analyzing what I did, I can't say this is a good example of democracy. As a voter, I should be informed. I should know about the issues and the candidates. I was not. Yes, I voted, but I voted in a capricious manner, something akin to throwing a dart against the wall.

If I take my example and apply it to society in large, what results am I going to see?

Over the past ten plus years with this blog, I have wrote numerous articles about various issues, especially politics. My conclusion is that the average citizen knows very little about the world, and I'm including myself in that assessment. When those citizens step into a voting booth, there is a very good chance their votes, like my votes above, are carried out on a whim as opposed to an informed, deliberate objective. It's amused me to think about the number of people who voted for t**** in 2016 just to screw the system. They didn't do it because they thought he was the best candidate; they did it just to stir up some sh*t.

Chaos Theory
The branch of mathematics that deals with complex systems whose behavior is highly sensitive to slight changes in conditions, so that small alterations can give rise to strikingly great consequences.

I don't know what the f*ck I'm talking about
The Dunning-Kruger Effect basically says that those with less knowledge about something seemed to be more convinced they know the right answer. No need to further investigate anything; they know what's going on!

Over the years, I've come to realize that I am like Socrates: I know nothing. In other words, the more I know the less I know. As John Cleese amusingly summed up when talking about Dunning-Kruger, one has to have a certain degree of intelligence to understand one's limitations. Truly dumb people have no idea they're dumb.

Over and over and over again during this tumultuous period in American politics marked by the great Drumpf, I have seen the vast rise of the uninformed electorate. I am absolutely flabbergasted by the misinformation being passed around as the truth. Alternative facts? Pure, unmitigated bovine defecation! Nobody takes any time to verify anything and as a consequence, they accept anything said by anyone and repeat it ad infinitum. Or is it ad nauseam? As I like to say:

Never have so many knowing so little said so much.

Example: Brittney Griner
A MAGA supporter I know, tweeted the other day that Brittney Griner is a drug addict. At the same time, I found out Griner had been condemned to nine years in prison for smuggling and possession charges over 0.7 grams of cannabis oil, medicinal marijuana prescribed to her in her home state of Arizona.

0.7 grams? This doesn't add up. The story or the interpretation of the story is inconsistent. What's going on?

First off, I have a cousin dealing with a tremendous amount of chronic pain due to nerve damage. He has more experience than anybody I know with various pain treatments, and has spoke to me about using cannabis oil, CBD, etc. He's not a drug addict; he's a man in pain.

With a minimal of searching, I turn up this article from UC San Diego Health, a legitimate, respectable health service provider.

Increasingly, professional athletes in sports ranging from football to bicycling to long-distance running have turned to using cannabis to reduce pain from post-game injuries and to help speed recovery.

I am also aware of cannabis being used to treat pain in cancer patients. In other words, labeling these people drug addicts displays a complete lack of understanding about pain management.

In searching for "Brittney Griner is a drug addict", I ran across far-right journalist Benny Johnson of Newsmax as reported by mediamatters, ranting against the Biden administration:

“They wouldn't allow a Black woman, lesbian woman, drug addict, America-hating – woke, to be kept in prison in Russia”.

I have doubts this reporting is going to be in any way objective. Johnson continues:

So Biden is sitting there bragging about the worst US foreign policy decision in my lifetime. This is on par, in my lifetime, with abandoning our soldiers in Benghazi to die at the hands of terrorists.

Hillary Clinton has been demonized over and over again about Benghazi but here's the point that Johnson, conservatives, and the Right miss out of this story. Republicans along with others voted for defunding security in Benghazi. Yes, you heard me. The people bitching about Hillary are in part responsible for this tragedy. They somehow have conveniently forgotten their part in these deaths.

Final Word
People open their mouths and say stuff with no idea they don't know what they're talking about. People are voting but have no idea of what the issues are or the candidates they're voting for. Many or us or all of us have limited knowledge of how the world works. A democracy means the people vote but people should vote intelligently, being informed about what's going on.

While anybody can be adamant about their views, it strikes me that the Right is angry. I mean like off the dial angry. They are so angry they are blinded to anything but their anger. They are so entrenched in their ideology, they can't see anything else. They are incapable to tackling any subject in a calm, logical, well-researched manner. My way or the highway. Over and over again, I ask a conservative to prove their point to me and I will gladly vote with them but they fail to do so. Their anger has made them irrational.

I'm tired. Politics has always been about bullsh*t but I think this has been taken to a whole new level in the era of t****. It's no longer about "the truth" or making the world a better place, it's about getting and maintaining power at all cost. Lie, cheat, steal, do anything and everything about power. Nothing else seems to matter. The people who are screaming at me that I'm a sheeple because I'm a progressive liberal are incapable of looking at themselves in the mirror. They don't care about being right; they only care about winning the argument. Repeat it often enough and two plus two equals five. However, sooner or later, there will be a reckoning.

The truth doesn't give a f*ck about your opinion.


Wikipedia: Brittney Griner: Arrest in Russia
On February 17, 2022, Griner was arrested on smuggling charges in Russia. She was detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport after the Federal Customs Service found she was carrying vaporizer cartridges containing less than a gram of hash oil. In Arizona, she had been prescribed medicinal cannabis, which is illegal in Russia.

Published Apr 11/2014 by Robert Grimsby
YouTube: John Cleese on Stupidity (0:58)
Cleese explains why extremely stupid people do not have the capability to realize how stupid they are.


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