If I make resolutions at all, they are small ones that seem relatively easy to keep. For example, MY ONE resolution for 2013 is to make an entry in my personal journal every day instead of leaving several days blank as I have done in previous years. The entry can be only one sentence. Just as long as I do it. And if for some reason I fail to be perfect, which is likely, than I will take the fall back position of making the resolution a general goal….to get into the habit of making an entry almost every day of 2013. And then aim to do better in 2014.
In other words I will let the entry making evolve. The same as I did with this blog. I began working on it a year ago, uncertain that I would actually wind up doing it. The “it” being to examine our leaking political economy in hopes of separating the real issues we face from the politicized versions so that we might actually have useful dialogues about how to patch the holes.
At times I felt totally intimidated. The issues I wanted to sort out seemed too complex requiring too much time to get any kind of handle on them. Who did I think I was? (*1). I calmed down when reminding myself that most Americans concerned with the future of our country must have similar feelings. The difference between me and most of my fellow citizens is that I am inclined to put more time and energy into researching these issues, and to write something about my limited understanding of them.
Still, I did not fully commit to writing the blog until I realized, after I had already decided on the title, that April 14th was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. That seemed an amazing coincidence to me, an omen which dispelled doubts and firmed up my commitment (*2).
My ongoing goal is not to come up with solutions but to better illuminate the nature of our real problems, so we might better understand our disagreements. That’s what I hope makes this blog worthwhile reading, despite my shortcomings.
Because misinformation abounds, most of my posts have either revolved around that issue or been tangential to it. Most of the political chatter over months and months of electioneering was tangential at best when it comes to discussing our real political/economic problems and how we might combat them. So, I tried to point out lies, distortions, facts out of context that prompted false conclusions, etc. One reader kindly thanked me for guiding her through the election. I try to be a trustworthy guide, while admitting I often get lost in the labyrinth of political spin, a house of horrors for someone struggling to understand.
While understanding the problems of our complex political economy is hard in itself, our loss of a common base of respected knowledge makes understanding border on the mind boggling, while often refused a visa. As conservative Democratic Senator Michael Bennett recently described the problem, in Washington “there are all kinds of people whose job it is to obfusgate the facts.” That’s just for starters. The internet allows us all to make our versions of the truth go viral, no matter how ungrounded they are.
Along with “sifting and winnowing” in search of truth, much of what I have written has been about the presidential election, even though it often struck me as largely a huge waste of money, energy and time just to decide whether Barack Obama would remain Captain of our Titanic or be replaced by someone else. Except for an economy that remains on an upward slope (but still largely a jobless recovery), our fiscal problems and our politicians inability to work together on addressing them, have not improved, as if that is news to anyone.
Regular readers know I am glad Barack Obama was reelected. I spent a lot of space defending him from Republican talking points, which for the most part were lies or reasonable facsimiles of such.
Now that he has been reelected I can spend more time on examining how he does. And how the Congress does in actually tackling our political/economic problems. The recent fiscal deal was not a great start, but it was a start, reminding me of that ancient Chinese proverb… “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
(1*) For those who do not know, I am 67 with a varied work back ground, though most of it has been related to education or horse racing, at times the two being combined. My credentials regarding politics and economics are largely having observed the two in action over several decades. That and my knowledge of history, being a history major in college and a history buff ever since.
(2*) While a skeptic I have long thought there is something valid in what the psychologist Carl Jung called “synchronicity.” Wikopedia provides a useful definition: ” Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner.”
So, I do think that some coincidences mean something, even though I’m always guessing at what they might mean.