14 years today, I decided that I wanted to go to Texas A&M above all others. 14 years ago I was so blown away by the Aggie Network that I knew I had to be a part of it. 14 years ago, as the news reports of Bonfire falling consumed evening news and morning headlines, I couldn’t believe that a school could rally amidst such a tragedy.
14 years ago I caught my first glimpse at what it meant to be an Aggie.
“From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.”
Remember when it was possible to not know something? A time not so long ago when over dinner, someone would ask a question or try and recall a fact and the entire table would discuss what their memory of the topic was and perhaps even a debate about who knew what would ensue. A time not so long ago that when everyone had shared their thoughts, the conversation would progress without a definitive conclusion and later, on the way home, “I was actually right” statements would be made and the conversation might progress again and new opinions might surface.
But, now with Google in our pocket, these conversations are much shorter. The debates don’t carry on, an answer can be presented and factually laid out by the fastest search engine connoisseur. Facts can be known in the blink of an eye, no one has to remember anything, and unstructured conversations last only moments longer than they statement, “someone google it.”
What kind of toll is that having on our ability to think outside of the box and beyond what is “known?” On the older end of the millennial generation, I still remember life before I got my first cell phone (2002) and Facebook (2004). I remember a time not too long ago when I used to be able to have a clever thought and not worry about whether it took more than 140 characters to say. In fact, this blog post it self only is now 243 words long because I couldn’t figure out how to say this thought in one tweet.
But what about kids that are in elementary school now that learned to type their names before they learned to write them? What about a generation whose attention span is now too short for Facebook but prefers images that disappear after 10 seconds?
In a world that moves this quickly and where not knowing isn’t a viable answer to a question, where does wonderment and naivety fit? Are we always to know everything and react accordingly? If we have an idea and think there is room to develop it into something bigger, are we brave enough to do so without checking to see if someone else already had the idea or bought the domain?
Pendulums swing even as the world moves forward. The question I am now asking myself is where does it swing back to from here.
What if Democrats and Republicans were two wings of the same bird of prey?
What if elections were actually useful tools of social control? What if they just provided the populace with meaningless participation in a process that validates an establishment that never meaningfully changes? What if that establishment doesn’t want and doesn’t have the consent of the governed? What if the two-party system was actually a mechanism used to limit so-called public opinion? What if there were more than two sides to every issue, but the two parties wanted to box you into a corner, one of their corners?
What if there’s no such thing as public opinion, because every thinking person has opinions that are uniquely his own?
What if what we call public opinion was just a manufactured narrative that makes it easier to convince people that if their views are different, then there’s something wrong with that or there’s something wrong with them?
What if the whole purpose of the Democratic and Republican parties was not to expand voters’ choices, but to limit them?
What if the widely perceived differences between the two parties was just an illusion?
What if the heart of the government policy remains the same, no matter who’s in the White House?
What if the heart of government policy remains the same, no matter what the people want?
What if those vaunted differences between Democrat and Republican were actually just minor disagreements?
What if both parties just want power and are willing to have young people fight meaningless wars in order to enhance that power? Source: LYBIO.net
What if both parties continue to fight the war on drugs just to give bureaucrats and cops bigger budgets and more jobs?
What if government policies didn’t change when government leaders did?
What if no matter who won an election, government stayed the same?
What if government was really a revolving door for political hacks, bent on exploiting the people once they’re in charge?
What if both parties supported welfare, war, debt, bailouts and big government?
What if the rhetoric that candidates displayed on the campaign trail was dumped after electoral victory?
What if Barack Obama campaigned as an antiwar, pro-civil liberties candidate, and then waged senseless wars while assaulting your rights; that the Constitution is supposed to protect?
What if George W. Bush campaigned on a platform of nonintervention and small government, and then waged a foreign policy of muscular military intervention and a domestic policy of vast government borrowing and growth?
What if Bill Clinton declared that the era of big government was over, but actually just convinced Republicans like Newt Gingrich that they can get what they want out of big government, too? What if the Republicans went along with it?
What if Ronald Reagan spent six years running for president, promising to shrink the government, but then the government grew while he was in the White office? What if, notwithstanding Reagan’s ideas and cheerfulness and libertarian rhetoric, there really was no Reagan Revolution at all?
What if all this is happening again? What if Rick Santorum is being embraced by voters who want small government even though Senator Santorum voted for the Patriot Act, for an expansion of Medicare and for raising the debt ceiling by trillions of dollars?
What if Mitt Romney is being embraced by voters who want anyone but Barack Obama, but they don’t realize that Mitt Romney might as well be Barack Obama on everything from warfare to welfare?
What if Ron Paul is being ignored by the media not because as it claims he’s unappealing or unelectable, but because he doesn’t fit into the pre-manufactured public-opinion mold used by the establishment to pigeonhole the electorate and create the so-called narrative that drives media coverage of elections?
What if the biggest difference between most candidates was not substance but style? What if those stylistic differences were packaged as substantive ones to reinforce the illusion of a difference between Democrats and Republicans?
What if Mitt Romney wins and ends up continuing most of the same policies the Barack Obama promoted? What if Barack Obama’s policies, too, are merely extensions of those from George W. Bush?
What if a government that manipulated us could be fired? What if a government that lacked the true and knowing consent of the governed could be dismissed? What if it were possible to have a real game-changer? What if we need a Ron Paul to preserve and protect our freedoms from the government?
What if we can make elections matter again? What if we could do something about this?
- Judge Napolitano (Feb 2012)Tweet