Tag Archives: Politics

Living in An American Fairy-tale? Time To Grow Up

kim-k

“The hardest part about growing up is letting go of what you were used to, and moving on with something you’re not.” – Lyrikal

Growing up is hard. Things are never what they seem. You can kind of  live in a fairy tale, seeing life the way your parents kind of want you to. But as you get older you realize things are not as they seem.

Everyone is not your friend nor do they have your best interest at heart. Your parents aren’t the worse thing ever or vice versa, they are not the perfect people you thought they were. The realizations aren’t all bad. Like learning that those vegetables you used to hate actually taste pretty good and you really do need to eat more of them. Your parents weren’t lying to you.

Growing up was something I always wanted to do before I was ready. My mother reminded me often to not rush growing up. As I grew older, I learned that she was right. More importantly, while I was rushing to grow up, I learned is that I got to live in my fairy tale much longer than most.

Some kids don’t get to live in this fairy tale ever or very long. They come from very traumatic and abusive backgrounds. They get a tough reality check from almost birth. These kids have to grow-up fast, and it’s sink or swim.  They don’t get to complain, because what’s the point? They have to accept their pain and punishment, because who knows when the next traumatic event happens.

So, how does this relate to America?

For many Americans, they are finally growing up as it relates to America. Seeing America for what it is. It’s always been the same, but how it manifest itself is always changing.

The ones in power get to make the rules. We’ve had a few shiny moments. But often those in power are preying on the weaker, abusing natural resources for personal gain, and using that power to push their ideals forward with no consideration of certain people.

The Republican Party, of late, always seem to be quite aware of this and in national politics are a little more vocal about ensuring their best interests happen against all odds, and to some extent, can you blame them? Since they live in this reality, the last 8 years would have been hard on them. 8 years of Barack Obama where ACA was passed, gay marriage was legalized, and the economy improved under a non-Republican. Holy mother of WTF?

If liberals were less idealistic at times and awake to how America truly works they would have been getting their knives ready, because the GOP, no matter who the candidate was going to be, Trump or not, they were coming for the jugular.

Now, this is hard for me to say as someone who used to be in love with all things America (told you I lived in a fairy-tale). It is still a noble thing to be an American, to be born American, but how we go about life in politics is no longer noble.

We really have to start the conversation there.

We have to grow up and get it back to being noble. People still believe that most politicians go into politics from a good place. This could be true, but the system consumes you and spit you out a different person. I don’t care what anyone says about Hillary. I think people fail by talking about her like she was this young, wide-eyed law graduate with ideals of making this country better. At one point in time, she probably did. But after 30 years of being involved in the political game, she couldn’t help but be tainted by it.

And somewhere along the way, enough Americans convinced themselves that Donald Trump, who was not a seasoned politician, wasn’t tainted by the system. But he comes from the system, business, that majorly taints the political system. Dollar dollar bills ya’ll.

At first, I didn’t really get what “Make America great again” meant for Trump. People always assume that he is talking about when people of color, liberties for women were oppressed. Sometimes I believe he’s referring to era of American monopolies when one person completely controlled the market and working conditions and treatment of employees was poor. Trump and Rockefeller would’ve been best friends. That is the America Trump wants. But I digress.

Back to seeing America for what it is.

Since the election, I have been surrounded by people who were truly traumatized by Trump’s election and people who were not surprised. Now, this is my experience so hear me out.

The people who were traumatized, all white. Caucasian. Not one single black friend or family member was truly surprised or traumatized by the election (that I know of).  Yes, black people are like those children who grow up in trauma. Even black people who are born with a better station in life feel the pains of race (unless they are rich enough to lie to themselves). We aren’t complaining about Trump, because anything can happen when it comes to us in America.  When you’ve spent years seeing things happen unfairly right before your eyes or receive mistreatment simply because the color of your skin, it isn’t surprising a man could win on divisive rhetoric.

So it was no surprise that my Facebook timeline was full of people of color commenting on all the white woman who finally woke up to what America is. It has ALWAYS been this way. Listen to when I say this, it is nothing new. But here’s the thing, we can’t get upset at people who are in the ivory tower and they didn’t know they were up there. Once they recognize it, do we want them to stay up in the tower? No, we want them to come on down and join us.

The need for solidarity was important for many people this past weekend who have finally grown up to see what America is. But just like Trump can’t make America great again and turn back the clocks, every one whose eyes have been open can’t want the America that it was, because you were wrong. When people say they are fighting back, let’s be sure we understand what we are talking about.

Citizen participation

Citizen participation is necessary …. but it has always been and will always be, not just because you are unhappy with what’s going on at the moment. Understanding different perspectives and keeping them in the forefront is important. Speaking about your thoughts and beliefs so someone can correct you, and this goes for all people, is important. Each of us has a weak spot or bias. Lately, I have allowed myself to listen and be educated by Liberals on their ideals, their hesitations and frustrations. I don’t always like or agree with what they have to say, but I am not acting like a child with my fingers stuck in my ears. I am adulting. It’s not going to be easy, but that is the only way to push America forward. I am ready. Are you?

America… Voting Isn’t Enough

not-enough

“There is a lot of mediocrity being celebrated, and a lot of wonderful stuff being ignored or discouraged.” – Sean Penn

Yep, I said it.

Let me first say that I am happy that people are voting, I really am, but something has really been annoying about this whole election from two different angles.

For one, people who say:

“I am not voting, because we have TWO bad candidates”

And for people saying:

“I voted! Voting is the most important thing I can do”

No, no, and a really big NO to the second one.

I have tried to restrain from sharing my frustrations about both of these sentiments, because for some reason I feel like I am being a negative Nancy. But the more I marinated on these statements, the more I felt convinced of my perspective.

If you have a problem with both candidates, you know that you are part of the problem, if you’re only engaged at this point in the process.

I am not saying that Bernie Sanders would be doing any better than Hillary, but for liberals who don’t particularly want Hilary, if you weren’t out there pushing for him and his movement, he was a pretty good alternative. Otherwise, shut up and Vote for Her.

I really wanted Kasich to win the Republican nomination, but he didn’t. And to be honest, I step back and see Trump as the candidate of my former (sort of) party, and it is part of my fault. I did not volunteer in the primary election and take the campaign of Donald Trump seriously, and for that I am sorry.

If you don’t like Hilary or Trump, what have you personally done besides take your ass out to the polls. Like seriously. Did you canvass? Did you make calls? Have you ever in your life?

People need to hear this. People need to keep saying this till they understand.

There are ways to change the candidates in our political process, but you have to be engaged to do so. There are too many of us that are convinced that are voice doesn’t matter, but the Tea Party HAS PROVED THIS TO BE WRONG. The Tea Party, in the past, has completely changed the outcome of statewide elections and now has a Presidential candidate with the help of evangelical conservatives. Their insistence on coming together and making their voice heard…. it worked ya’ll. It didn’t happen overnight either. This has been brewing since 2009.

They have literally taken over the Republican Party and people still have the audacity to say things can’t change. Oh, they can. We have ALL seen it. Now, this doesn’t mean they have enough power to win the election, but it was enough to get a candidate to win the nomination based on some sound fiscal policies, but completely combined with racist, bigoted and archaic policies as well.

On to point two, voting is just simply not the most important thing you can do. It’s just not. Not even a little bit. And I feel weird writing about this, because I want people to vote. But, I want you to see the importance of it, but it should be paired with something else besides simply casting a vote.

What else are you doing in your community?

What other conversations are you having with people outside of your comfort zone?

What are you doing beyond yourself?

Anything? I literally mean anything!?!

Now, I have written about how people in Austin love animals, especially their dogs, almost to a fault. The community will come out and save animals when we have a disaster such as a flood. It drives some people insane, and rightfully so, because it’s like, “What about people?!?” But I can respect people with different passions if they are committed and are contributing to it.  Similarly to focusing on the arts. There is a place for it. You want to advocate for those things you do that.

Our future, our kids, are the most important thing to me, therefore, I invest my time, money and effort towards them. I volunteer with different organizations to make sure I am not only giving to the kiddos, but also to kiddos that look like me, whether it’s young girls/women of all shapes, colors and sizes or children of color of different ethnicities. I am not here to say everyone should do the same, but whatever “community” you care about, you need to give some time to it. I see many of my counterparts investing in the justice system. I see my counterparts investing in the health and wellness of others. I also see counterparts investing in themselves professionally for a time to make a better place for themselves in order to do better and give back.

We are all at different places in our life, but if you are doing nothing more than waking up and breathing for your own good…You are not doing enough.

The bible says “Judge not, lest you be judged”, so I am not here to be judge-y…. But if all the time and effort you have is at the polls and vote, and you don’t work 2 or 3 different jobs, struggling to survive than you are really missing the mark. And it’s sad. This is one of reasons people don’t have a global view of the world or people continue to live with biases.

Do you think the world will just shape itself and doesn’t need any help?

The reality is if you are doing nothing you might be a little more scared about Hilary or Trump more than others. Yes, I know I sound condescending, but it’s the truth.

What you don’t do, is just as important as what you do.

Making money is important. Being happy is important.

But just voting is not enough.

M/P

 

Media, Do Your Damn Job

tumblr_obs3yhsbqw1tgdhtio1_500

“Education is our only political safety. ” – Horace Mann

The first presidential debate happened.

I went to bed uninspired, and woke up with a burning fire in my chest.

I sort of want to rail on Trump and say how I was actually impressed with Hillary, but I am going to say that I am really mad at the media. (I can’t help it ya’ll.) They really do have the capacity shape and change minds and do it in a non-partisan way, but they refuse to just spit facts.

I think that even if people think the media tends to lean to the LEFT (with the exception of Fox News and a few others) the reality is at the end of the day, ALL media just simply cares about making its viewers happy.

When the debate was over, there was no commentator on the channel that I was watching that made any clear references to the errors and blatant misquotes by Donald Trump.

Tom Brokaw at least pointed out that both candidates avoided giving solid answers during the race discussion, but we didn’t expect much from an old white man and woman about race. I did however expect someone to be like, did you hear some of the errors he said in his talking points?  Instead, we got a lot of “he kept his base tonight” or “Trump is held to a different standard”. Well, no shit Sherlock, because you all are holding him to a different standard too and refusing to be more critical in the job that you all have been foolishly given.

The reality is the general public, who probably didn’t pay attention in history class or go to law school, may not understand how big of a deal that not only was Trump promoting a practice, “Stop and Frisk”, that is discriminatory, but it really is not THE REASON violence and crime went down in New York City.

Not to mention throughout the debate there were clear instances in which he did not articulate an identified plan and seemed ill informed about topics. Not an exaggeration or a bias. I know that I have had more in-depth conversations about trade than his one broken record about our “jobs cannot leave”. We get it. That resonates with everyone, especially those of us, who know people who lost jobs in America for their industry moving overseas.

I was sitting at home in complete shock. But more frustrated at how the media really didn’t harp on his clear errors as soon as the debate was over. Maybe people would’ve just turned their TV off and that’s okay. It’s better than not critically analyzing the debate in it’s entirety.

Although there might have been a ton of people tuning in for the debate, everyone is still competing for first place for viewership, and to me it shows.There needs to be real discussion that Hillary was informed about topics, and her being informed makes her seem like a politician which apparently is what everyone wants to avoid.This is why Trump won the Republican primary, because he didn’t sound like a politician. But SOMEONE needs to remind people that there comes a point where you need to be polished, have solid points and share them. Being President is not about sound bites and one liners that sound good.

I am glad that Hillary made it clear that the world and their leaders are watching and I am sure that they are laughing at us. There are people who don’t understand how important our relationships around the world matter with TRADE and the ECONOMY. All they really care about is stopping “those people” from coming into our county.

Although, I am not a fan of Hillary, I really wish I had the opportunity to choose between Kasich or Rubio (maybe even Cruz, I know scary) AND Hillary, their knowledge and experience hurt them on the campaign trail and it is scary that it could factor into whether Hillary will win or not. Because sounding like a politician, i.e. having real answers, is apparently a bad thing.

People, other than those on Hillary’s campaign, need to remind people that if they want to “make this country great again”, you actually have to know how to run the country. But who is holding Trump’s feet to the fire besides Hillary supporters?

Everyone who has a pen and pad, laptop or a voice, needs to speak up.

If you cannot prepare for a Presidential debate, which he clearly didn’t, then how are you going to prepare for meetings for our country?

I hate meetings with a passion, but when I am in charge of one, I prepare for the meeting, draft my talking points, and I can speak off the hip just as good, if not better than most, but that’s not the point.

Trump is a second-rate boyfriend getting first-rate attention. He ain’t even trying to win our heart, and he just knows we’re not paying attention to see his errors and you are going to love him anyway even when you shouldn’t.

And for those who actually care and like political debate, I am happy Hillary had to run against Bernie Sanders. She is more polished than when she debated Bernie, but it is unfortunate that we will not have more policy discussions in this presidential race unless we get a moderator with some major kahunas. Hillary will not be able to fully express her vision and it be questioned intelligently as any good politician should have to do.

I am sure many forget that Mitt Romney kind of won the first debate in 2012, because Barack Obama phoned in that day and sounded like a law school professor with his long-winded answers. Many Americans felt that he was acting like he had the next election in the bag. It was debate two that America was reminded of who Obama was. Mitt forced him to come with his A game after a good showing in the first debate. Hillary’s policy and standings will not be challenged and that worries me too. Her responses on race weren’t good enough to me, but they sounded better than Trump trying to promote Stop and Frisk.

Media, it is our responsibility to do our job. Ask questions, educate, commentate and question some more. The WSJ published an excellent article about what debate used to be, check it out here. It kind of makes me think about the role of media used to play.

I don’t want a biased view. I want a job well done.

Do your damn job. (oh, and everybody Vote)

M/P

This is America

America

Every time I fly out of Austin, I park my car in the extended lot, it’s not too expensive (yet). Parking at this spot requires me to ride on a shuttle to and from the airport. Now, I travel enough to notice, that unless I sit next to someone or a person of color sits next to me, a white person never sits next to me on the bus ride back. I have noticed this for 3 years. On the way into the airport, I may have had a handful sit next to me, but on the flight home and shuttle bus back to my car, a white person never sits next to me. Every single time they take every other seat available, even by some questionable people, before they dare sit next to me. But I have had enough experiences to let this roll off my back until a trip back from Kentucky after my favorite Uncle’s funeral just two months ago. It was late, and I was tired, and dealing with my uncle’s funeral was draining emotionally. As I got on the shuttle, I sat in my usual seat, and it began to fill in. All but one seat was available, that seat was next to me or so we thought. The driver was about to close the door when another person jumped on the bus, a middle aged white man, got on and put his stuff up. I told myself, he’s going to stand. The only clear seat available was next to me. The bus driver pointed in my direction, and told him that he had to have a seat. And the next thing that happened was completely unexpected.

An older, white-haired man was covering two seats and it was hardly noticeable, but this man found it. He made the older gentleman quite uncomfortable and sat next to him and another lady, and was squeezed very tightly. Then I felt a number of people’s eyes on me. Especially, the old white man who was completely uncomfortable. I couldn’t tell if his eyes were supposed to comfort me, if he was ashamed, or if he had the same thoughts as the man who refused to sit next to me, that he wouldn’t come sit next to me either. I like to think that his look was of regret that he didn’t choose to come sit next to me in the first place. I luckily was the first stop and got off the bus quickly, and I walked to my car, threw my luggage inside, and I began to weep.

That even when I am tired, I mean I was really tired, and sad, and all of the things I was going through with family members and the bullshit at work that at that very moment, I had to be reminded that I am black and there are people who think less of me, who are afraid of me, who’d rather be uncomfortable than sit next to me. This is my life as a black person in America. This is my life as a black person in one of the most “liberal” places in America. No matter if it’s a good day or a bad day, these experiences happen regularly for no good reason. I know that life isn’t fair, but if we can talk about struggles with our weight and body issues or other insecurities that to some extent we might have control over, but I can’t talk about this. Then we might as well be living in 1776.

I wish that the white people who are in power, who are at the table and have the money to make decisions that affect my black life can be like the white people I know and love, like my best friend, and the best two roommates I have ever had, my favorite teacher, my favorite mentor besides my mother and my Aunts. I wonder why can’t all white people look through their lens, and see me as a human being.

I am sure there will be someone reading this and think maybe he sat there, because it was closer. That it couldn’t be about race. You have been conditioned, as have I, by the ills of this country that I cannot talk about my race too much. Even though, because I live in America, I am often forced to think about it almost every day. But you know what…. I have decided to not feel sorry about it. I’ve been wanting to share this story even though it makes me angry, and it would make me even angrier that people might not understand or misinterpret my purpose and meaning. I’ve decided that I do not care.

Because I will remind you, this happens, every single time I ride this bus. It is not a one time deal. It isn’t a coincidence. This my friends is America.

Wake up and realize it.

Unfortunately, the only person who has is running for President of America.

M/P

Let’s Talk About Politics and Data

My Faithful readers,

Please check out my new blog post over on Silicon Jungle’s Website here.

It’s a good one!

Voting2

Being Unapologetic: How America Transferred this Privilege from the Presidency to the Candidacy

sns

“Never apologize, mister, it’s a sign of weakness.”  ― John Wayne

So have you heard about this thing… its called being “unapologetic” … it’s a new trend, a new hashtag… In 2015, it was considered the Top Beauty Trend… “ be Unapologetically you” …*rolls eyes*  and it’s definitely bled into 2016, and everyone is basically saying “be unapologetically [enter any word]”. So yeah, it’s definitely a thing. But it’s not really a new trend.

Despite the recent focus on it, being “unapologetically” anything is probably one of the hardest things to do. There are a few things that I do unapologetically, and because too much of anything can always turn into a negative.

One area I consider myself unapologetic is that I wear my heart on my sleeve and my passion on my chest.  At times, people find my openness disingenuous, and there always comes a time when someone thinks I am lying or not being “real” , that I’m just saying it when in fact they learn, oh, no, she’s serious, that’s how I really feel, and I am telling the truth. That’s just who I am.

And that’s what I want to talk about today.

When you’re living unapologetically sometimes people really never believe you. But if you prove that you are unapologetic, and your yes is yes, and your no is no, people are mesmerized. Because most people can’t do it.

We all know that as humans we are imperfect, so of course, we will make a mistakes at some point, and go off our path, and we will be remorseful and apologize. Although I think I am unapologetically open almost 100% of the time that would probably be a lie, realistically, I am probably at 95%, but I am okay with that.

But as I mentioned earlier, too much of one thing, brings about a negative. With this trend of being unapologetic all the time, another camp has also arisen, and in mainstream media, not to mention with the help of social media, the policing of ideals has happened. So you have:

  1. People who apologize for every action that isn’t socially acceptable
  2. People who stand behind their actions no matter what

I mean let’s take a step back and give a shout out to Ted Cruz who unapologetically got up on the GOP Convention stage, and did not endorse Trump. People thought he would cave in. And most people, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, enjoyed every moment of it. And to be honest, I don’t think Trump would’ve had it any other way. Do you think Trump would’ve endorsed anyone else if he hadn’t won the nomination?

No one likes the person always apologizing and caving into external pressure. (Ironic though that Hillary doesn’t cave in and people don’t like that, but I will give you one guess why it’s different for her – read more here) . It’s pretty clear, we don’t want an apologizer for President, but do we want that quality in our candidates? Before they take on the hardest job in America?

In this new state of Politics, we see Trump accept the Republican nomination being one of the most unapologetic persons running for a political office and people are eating it up.

In a Vox.com article called, “How Donald Trump Won” , the writers outline perfectly how the blunders of the Republican establishment have really contributed to the success of Donald Trump. If you look at their first reason in which Trump was able to open the door to his current candidacy it is the emergence of being unafraid to say whatever, no matter the facts.

Donald Trump was unapologetically focused on the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate. Despite all of the subsequent evidence and information that was revealed because of the stink Trump made, he never retreated, asked or forgiveness, nothing… he was truly unapologetic. Fast-forward 5 years and very few things have changed. Trump has to go back on very little such as not using anyone’s money for his campaign as he enters into the main election. But that’s understandable, right? Why use your own money, when you could use someone else’s? Makes sense to me. Except he’s been talking about self-funding as a main pillar in his speeches and that he can’t be controlled. But he unapologetically created a reason for the change:

“I mean, do I want to sell a couple of buildings and self-fund? I don’t know that I want to do that necessarily, but I really won’t be asking for money for myself, I’ll be asking money for the party.” (source) 

And his supporters are okay with it according to an Associated Press poll that determined “Trump Supporters Unfazed by Reversal on Self-Funding”.

Hook. Line. and Sinker.

Although, it would be unfair if I left out that it was released, that he did in fact self-fund his primary campaign. (source).  But he still changed his tune, but he didn’t miss a beat. For the most part, he continues to not ask for forgiveness even when he has contradicted himself, and he continues to speak from his mind and heart.

The reality is that we like this idea of being unapologetic. Even though it’s an unattainable goal, we, the American people, are slightly in awe, good or bad, with the notion of saying what you mean, feel, and sticking to it even if it’s changing along the way. I say this because I am learning that I know a lot more people who are Trump supporters than I would’ve ever imagined, and I am truly amazed by the people who are truly glossing over his racist and xenophobic remarks, as if you can separate those comments from who he is.

He’s unapologetic.

If you think about it, The President of the United States, in the past, didn’t publicly apologize. It’s almost Presidential to be unapologetic, it’s not a new trend for that role. However, our generation has seen President Obama and President George W. Bush admit mistakes and missteps sooner than any Presidents ever before, because our technology and media holds them to a different fire or standard, and I think that America has pushed back unconsciously to the point we yearn for candidates and politicians who are unapologetic.

With the exception of LBJ, who had to grapple with the realities of the Vietnam War in such a public way, Presidents have never been apologetic for their actions, they have to make tough decisions during terms of office, and none of us really envy that responsibility. Being seen as weak is not really a good look.

So I guess I wrote this piece to add a little blame across the country, Heavy is the head who wears the crown. But it continues to get heavier and heavier. I recently enjoyed discussing the secrecy that JFK was able to operate under with the Cuban Missile Crisis or the Bay of Pigs. That could never happen in this day and age it feels like.

To further this point, I personally never liked how everyone was mad at President Bush for continuing to read a book to kids when Hurricane Katrina hit just as much as people are STILL debating the true events surrounding the death of Osama Bin Laden. The insinuation that Obama waited until election time to allow it to happen is so interesting to me. I hope he never apologizes or admits to that, because we will have someone much worse than Trump making his way to the nomination.

Being unapologetic for tough decisions is something that Presidents must do when faced with a difficult decision for the nation, but it’s not cool to be unapologetic just for the heck of it. Presidential candidates should be concerned as they run for office about the hearts and minds of the entire country. There will come a day for each President to make a tough decision and be unapologetic, but it’s a privilege that shouldn’t be given too soon or to the wrong person.

Moving the Needle

tumblr_m76ulw9cHg1rqfhi2o1_250

“If you don’t like what you’re doing, you can always pick up your needle and move to another groove.” – Timothy Leary 

Today I was determined to get a blog post done.

I feel like a caged bird, and I haven’t had a chance to sing, so I am going to write a few paragraphs about what’s been going on in my head since I’ve been missing in action. Beyonce’s Formationmade headlines, a few (or quite a few) Republican candidates finally dropped out, there’s been a mass millennial revolt against Hillary, and I can’t help but notice the story that hits me to the core… my favorite player, Peyton Manning, may or may not be a good guy… who knows? (Kanye and Kendrick get honorable mentions for doing what they do best, Kanye made headlines for being crazy and Kendrick for a compelling performance at the Grammys) … Of course, I do not have time to write about all of these things, and there are plenty of other issues brewing, such as Trump’s unwavering support. He attacked the Pope ya’ll.

However, as I thought about these headlines and our continued infatuation with celebrity, I couldn’t help but think of the term, “moving the needle”.  The literal definition is referring to the needle on a measurement instrument such as a scale, compass, speedometer, etc. On a scale, your weight makes a significant difference and moves the needle, or like your foot on a gas pedal. Now, the expression, “moving the needle” for the purpose of this post refers to our internal compass, and how does the needle move, what makes a significant difference in its movement? Where do we stand morally, personally, spiritually, or even professionally? We each have one that dictates the decisions that we make, the people we befriend, and even where we spend our money. We inform our compass through experiences, information, and things that we see through our eyes. In my mind, our compass should not be quickly moved based on external factors.

BUT….

At this point in our society, with the Twitterverse, THE Facebook, snapchat, and the other million ways, we have several touch points for our minds with images, words and videos that inform our mindset, our decisions and most of all, our internal compass. Once upon a time, people had more time to hear something, read something and have time to PROCESS information at a slower pace. At this ancient time, people were slower to move the needle to their moral compass, right? Public and personal opinion was not quickly altered based on 140 characters. Mistakes essentially can’t be made, because we have zero tolerance, moving the needle is easy. It’s as if a significant difference can be based on something so small.

But why?  It’s more than instant gratification. Well, unless making decisions or forming opinions instantaneously brings you some form of pleasure, it is more than that. The definition of a decision is “a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration”. But we are failing to take time to think and have the “after consideration” part. We decide and think later, and sometimes maybe never. And by the time, one person makes a hasty decision, there are flocks of “robots” ready to follow.

But how did we get here? Because we have always been there. GOTCHA! I know right, when I started doing research into ancient democracies, I find that each generation, maybe in a different form have struggled with the thoughts of a few dictated the moves of the masses. Democracy doesn’t discriminate against who the people listen to, it’s just tradition that the smartest, loudest, and sometimes most well-spoken and richest grab the attention of the masses… as it did in ancient Greece:

“Of this group, perhaps as few as 100 citizens – the wealthiest, most influential, and the best speakers – dominated the political arena both in front of the assembly and behind the scenes in private conspiratorial political meetings (xynomosiai) and groups (hetaireiai). Critics of democracy, such as Thucydides and Aristophanes, also pointed out that the dēmos could be too easily swayed by a good orator or popular leaders (the demagogues) and get carried away with their emotions. Perhaps the most famous bad decision from the Athenian democracy was the death sentence given to the philosopher Socrates in 399 BCE.” – (source )

So we have always been here. In democracy, the wealthiest, most influential, and the best speakers are heard. So this is why Donald Trump is here. Bernie is here. And even Beyoncé. The world was in a frenzy with Queen Bey, because often black stars and athletes aren’t able to use their platforms in the same capacity. Because we (America) are not used to listening despite having wealth and influence. Case and point: Oprah. If we look at Oprah’s effect on Barack Obama’s campaign in 2007, her influence was huge (source), yet she rarely wields her expertise in this area. Although it is old news, I remember her being heavily criticized for coming out and supporting Obama, yet she had a heavy influence on so many other areas of American life. Just google Oprah and her influence and see what you find. So why not in the political arena? Not that I personally want her there (not a fan), but if the Koch Brothers can do it, why not her? I digress.

Another example, 8 months before the Supreme Court decided to legalize gay marriage, the most powerful man in the Tech world, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, wrote a piece in the Bloomberg Business Week called, spelling out that he was gay. (source). Now it’s easy to say, Barack wouldn’t have won without Oprah’s influence, and the Supreme Court was likely going to pass the legislation regardless of any outside force as they are supposed to do. But I think we would be naïve to believe that our leaders, in any industry, affect policy, because the reality is that they do, and it is important for us to understand, believe, and hold our leaders accountable for speaking for us.

I definitely have come around to this notion (read my old blog posts), because I personally want to believe that people should be of their own mind, and not be influenced by others, but history would tell us this is a lie. There is a responsibility for the populous, for us to be informed, so that we can make smarter decisions about who we choose to follow, but people with money, power and influence must be responsible with their actions. We need our leaders to move the needle. But intentionally and deliberately. I cannot not write enough posts about how we need to be paying attention to this upcoming election, Republicans and Democrats, and we should drive the issues that matter to us. I think Donald Trump is a baboon, but the people he’s speaking for are out there screaming and supporting him. Bernie and Hillary are talking about black lives, because of the Black Lives Matter. So yeah… let’s get with it, and move the needle.

I’m Back, move the needle with me.

M/P