Silence is not an option
I tend to be centrist. I tend to avoid pointing fingers. I tend to seek compromise. And, I tend to remain objective. American guns are the proverbial drop that made that glass overflow (feather and camel’s back works too).
We meet too many negative aspects of our society with a shrug of the shoulders. We are resigned to inaction due to our perception of helplessness. We are convinced that we are too small to matter. And so, we put up with evil upon evil, fraud upon fraud and deception upon deception. We sit around like sheep because we realize that we are powerless against the mega machines that are special interest groups.
So for now we just scream our discontent. That is not enough. We need to fuel change. I argue that we have yet to invent the proper mechanism to do so. We are not far, but not there yet. A century ago, people would take to the streets. This no longer works. It is ineffective and inefficient both. Revolution looks good in a movie, but in real life it is less than ideal. Remember the “write to your congressman” approach? I’m rather confident that it would take upwards of a million letters to even get noticed by politicians shielded from such unpleasantries. I said we were almost there… it’s called the Internet and social media. The ability to make lots of noise in a short period of time is upon us. We are able to mobilize outrage, spur the media into coverage and otherwise bring attention to an issue. But this is still insufficient.
The problem is that we are unable to guarantee impact. Our voices, still today, rarely translate into policy. The vulgar line we learnt in school was that “money talks and BS walks.” This remains true. Occasionally we can bring down an empire of corrupt wealth, but more often than not, we fail. Friends, we need to think about the best way to peacefully, pragmatically and promptly cause change. We need to figure out what kind of strategy will get the gun lobby to seek to reduce and control arms rather than arm every man, woman and, I suspect soon if they had it their way, every child. How do we, the sane majority, get us to sustainable energy faster? How do we engage our government in a discussion to both reduce spending and raise revenue? How do we bring back analysis to decision-making that has been hijacked by dogma?
I do not have the answer. I wish I did. For now I just hope that loud voices can make a difference where a difference is needed (read: our children’s lives). But I also hope that some genius will someday figure out a way to gain the necessary leverage, again through peaceful means, to accelerate the passage from outrage to legislation and enforcement.
Silence is clearly not the answer; unfortunately, I don’t have another one either.