Margaret Atwood once said, “There may not be one Truth — there may be several truths — but saying that is not to say that reality doesn’t exist.” And “Reality simply consists of different points of view.” http://www.motherjones.com/media/1997/07/margaret-atwood
We were watching a special on the Notre Dame Coach going back to his home town last night and at one point, he’s flying into his home town airport in a private plane and, as they land, he says, “The ultimate blue collar life.” This was one of several things he said which didn’t seem to match the reality where I live. I don’t know many blue collar people who regularly fly on private jets. His truth is his truth. But that doesn’t mean it is reality. It’s merely his perception of a reality where he is still a blue collar guy.
There are many who are certain this this is “Hillary’s Turn”. Just as they were certain it was “Hillary’s Turn” in 2008. But there is no certainty until the votes are counted. Am I naïve to think that it’s actually Bernie’s time? I was recently accused. I’m not sure if the accuser meant I was 1) showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment or 2) natural and unaffected; innocent. I like to think the latter but I fear she meant the former. It was said with that “Aren’t You Cute?” way I often use when I am condescending. I may not have as many years as she on this planet, but I do believe four and a half decades does qualify me to claim some experience. Wisdom and judgment are another thing entirely and can be largely bypassed even in a long life. But as I think about it this morning, is it possible she could be the one being naïve? There is clear evidence that it’s possible for an underdog to become President. Need I say, Barack Obama?
The Urban Dictionary definition of Naïve is as follows:
Generally speaking, to be naive means you do not think enough. People who are “naive” tend to believe in whatever they are told, without questioning whether it is right or wrong. As for age, it can be anywhere from 1-100. Anyone who has not lived through and seen enough of this world is generally referred to as naive.
In this case, is it possible that many Hillary supporters are naïve to believe the talking heads on television, who all seem to say that Bernie is not in the running? Ironically, it may also be naïve to discount the large group of 18-24 year olds who are supporting Bernie but are probably not in any of the polls they take of “likely voters” as these largely require a voting history, which many of these young people will not have.
There may not be one Truth — there may be several truths — but saying that is not to say that reality doesn’t exist. ~ Margaret Atwood
In the end, I don’t think it’s meanness with which I was accused of naivety, but a sense of certainty. Certainty that Bernie can’t win. Certainty that, while domestically he is the best candidate, he is not as strong on foreign policy to win. Certainty that the big money behind Hillary will win the day. Certainty that a Socialist can’t win.
But here are the questions:
- Does he need to be strong in foreign policy to win? Barack was also accused of being weak in regards to foreign policy… and he won. I would argue that he’s done a great job of leading us diplomatically. And I think we can agree that he is less divisive internationally than his predecessor. Of course, he is not a lone wolf but acts as part of a large group of advisors and leaders, just as Bernie would.
- Didn’t the Republicans have quite a bit of money backing their candidates in 2008 and 2012? Of course they did but it didn’t guarantee a win. The power of the people is in the VOTE. Yes, big money can convince people with lots of fancy ads, especially ones that spread untruths and uncertainty about the opposition, either to vote a certain way or to not vote at all. But in the end, getting out there and voting your truth, not listening to those trying to manipulate you with big money, that’s how we defeat the money in politics. Personally, I am impressed that Bernie does what he does with PEOPLE support, not big money. Yes, he flies commercial, not first class. This gives him a chance to talk with PEOPLE. He carries his own bags which gives him the opportunity to live like the PEOPLE. He has credit card debt. All this makes him more attractive to me because I feel the big money politicians truly have no idea how the rest of us live.
- Is Socialism such a bad thing? If you like Social Security, you like Socialism. If you think public roads, schools, libraries, and utilities are good things, you like Socialism. Unemployment, Medicaid, food stamps – these may not be as popular but if you’ve ever benefited, you’ve benefited from Socialism. If you’re a farmer getting crop subsidies or Dept. of Ag training, you’re enjoying Socialism. And if you were ever in the Military, the largest socialist enterprise in the world, you had housing, clothing, food, transportation, entertainment, education, and shopping all supported by Socialism. We are all enjoying Socialism. Bernie just has the guts to name things what they are.
My husband Dan says I’m not Naïve but a Heretic, one who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle. The root of this word is Greek, hairetikós, able to choose. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/heretic?s=t I like this as it seems more and more that the daily TV programming wants us to simply listen and obey. But I refuse to give up my independence.
Am I certain Bernie will win? No. But am I hopeful, yes. Am I working on trying to energize people for him, yes. Am I knocking on doors, yes. Am I making calls, yes. And whether he wins or not, I’ve had some great conversations about what’s really important in this country and shared hope that we can return our society to one that is more egalitarian and just. It is possible for systems to work for the masses again, not just the minority at the top. We just need to get out and vote to have our voices heard. I’ve met some good people, excited about the chance that we can put a person in office who will fight for the PEOPLE to reclaim our government from the wealthy and powerful forces that currently own it.
One of my best door knocks yesterday was with a woman whose daughter, just inside the living room, heard me say Bernie, thrust her hands in the air shouting, “Bernie!” Turns out, as part of the school trip to Norway this year, she was able to see Socialism in action. She was amazed at Norway and has been vocal with her Macroeconomics teacher at the high school ever since. When he asked if she wanted to pay high taxes, her response? “Sure, if I’m getting the benefits of those taxes.” Well, of course. When ALL of us gain from the system, not just those at the top, this country is a better place. Back when we all paid a fair share, in the 1950’s, the whole country was thriving. Corporate taxes hit 50%, unlike the 0% some currently enjoy. And while people complain about the 91% tax rate for the wealthiest, “The Internal Revenue Service reckoned that the effective rate of tax in 1954 for top earners was actually 70 percent.” “Jobs proliferated, wages rose, and the economy prospered.” (Reference: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2013-01-02/1950s-tax-fantasy-is-a-republican-nightmare)
Paul Wellstone once said, “We all do better when we all do better.” Of this, I am certain.