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Political Insanity

By Ken Poland
Opinion | July 17, 2012

COLBY, Kan. - Diane Wahto wrote, "I don't know how we end this insanity, but end it we must."

We end it with visions and dreams. Most all mechanical inventions are the result of someone's vision or dream. Just someone saying we need this or that doesn't build it. Observing that we need something better (ideology) doesn't produce something better. The psychology of positive thinking has its place, but reality says it take initiative and action to make things happen, or prevent things from happening.

It takes observation of where we are and what we have now. It helps if we know what was before us and how it worked or met the immediate needs of that time. It takes the ability to rationalize our abilities and resources to advance to better methods or tools. It takes determination and fortitude to get up and try again if at first we fall.

How many times did Edison have to mold another light bulb before he successfully produced a practical one that worked? How many improvements have others made on Edison's first successful bulb? How many times did the Wright brothers crude contraptions falter and fail before they finally got off the ground, but then for only a few feet? They had accomplished what no one before them was able to do. Do you suppose they may have researched and studied their predecessors failures and near successes? How many models of gravity defying self propelled machines did we see before we got to the space crafts and satellites we have today?

We, as human beings, may never be able to establish the religious vision of heaven here on earth. And, incidentally that vision is not universally the same for all people.
But, is there any doubt in anyone's mind that we can do better than we have? We have a few obstacles in our way. The biggest obstacle is the greed and lust for power of human nature. Self worth and self esteem carried to egotistic extremes create monsters that destroy civilization (co-existence of all, regardless of where they stand in the structure of society). Cabals of religious or political men and women take advantage of the meek and lowly. Today's political world? It isn't limited to any one political party or religious organization.

In a democratic republic (our supposed form of government) all people have a responsibility to be involved, with their dreams and visions of what kind of society they want to live in. We all have equal responsibility to demand a voice in the affairs of society. We all have a responsibility to protect one another from one another. Civilization is dependent upon us being 'our brothers keepers'. We all have to negotiate and sometimes compromise. We can't all be 'king of the mountain ' or 'team captain'. And even the king or the captain have to realize they are members of the team. The one with the most intelligence or charisma isn't always the one who has all the answers or common sense to dictate the rules.

Neither radical conservatism nor extreme liberalism will give us the mythical heaven on earth, we long for. Rational and pragmatic debate and discussion of all the issues and avenues of pursuit will get us a little closer. But then only, if we can get beyond our own selfish demands and look at the equity of all.

We are not in heaven! We are mortal men confined to this earth. Some folks think God is in absolute control of man. And, some folks think man is in control of nature and the hereafter and that there is no God. But, neither Biblical nor secular history really backs either of those theories up. The Bible simply tells us that God created the universe and all that is in it. He created man in His own image, whatever that means. Note: Image is not the real thing. Man is free to make his own choices, right or wrong, those choices are his. Man enjoys the rewards if his choices are good and suffers the consequences if they are wrong. The Christian believes God's grace or judgment determines the hereafter beyond our earthly existence. All Christians don't agree on the details, but I believe that God can and has intervened at limited times in nature and man's relationships. But, we best not depend on that happening to rescue us from our poor choices and decisions.

The Bible chronicles man's relationship with God and man's relationship with man. For those of us who believe, God reveals to man what He desires. But, man sometimes misinterprets what God says and sometime man just simply ignores what God says. History tells us that man made some very poor choices, and still does at different times.


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