[Mb-civic] Good political advice, from a political master
lindahassler at sbcglobal.net
Sun Sep 18 14:51:35 PDT 2005
This was written in August, 2005, by an author and lecturer I admire,
Paul Von Ward.
BEYOND THE ATTACK MODE
by Paul Von Ward
Have you noticed that in 21st-century America people believe the attack
mode wins elections? Political strategists devote more energy and more
campaign dollars impugning the character and past decisions of their
opponents than setting forth their own objectives and commitments. The
short-term results suggest voters give them reason to do so. But how
about the long-term results?
The attackers have little positive to offer voters. They care less for
real results than the destruction of opponents. Winning is a means to
serve one's private agenda instead of the common good. The rest of us
lose with such "winners".
The media have become a showcase for "political attack dogs" instead of
a "market place of alternative ideas". Special interest groups spend
more time and more dollars attacking their opponents than putting forth
their own ideas. No money is spent seeking face-to-face discussion or
serious analysis of issues.
Where has dialogue gone?
Religious leaders attack the dogma of other religious leaders instead
of placing the historical basis for their own beliefs on the table for
public scrutiny. Are they afraid that what they call Truth will not
stand up to public examination? Do they divert attention from the
weakness of their own ideas by personal smear tactics?
If we refuse to discuss flaws in our own beliefs, how can we expect
Scientists refuse to discuss their evidence with people who hold other
theories. Everyone stays in their own little compound of peers, fearing
that revelations of gaps in their own knowledge will weaken their
status? So they attack others.
The attack mode pervades every major area of human endeavor. We have a
war on terrorism, a war on cancer, a war on drugs, a war on poverty, a
war on hate crimes, a war against those who would destroy the
environment, a campaign (another military term) against illiteracy, a
fight (military term) to take back the streets, and global marches
(like military operations) for peace.
And there are many other examples of such an aggressive approach to any
perceived human problem. Add your own to the list. What's going on
As long as we attack others, we avoid exposing our own failings and
mistakes. Making the attacks personal, we avoid dealing with the
substance of our issues.
These behaviors, I believe, come from the dumbing down of America to
the point that people no longer know how to critically analyze
preposterous claims, how to rationally debate the pros and cons of any
issue, and how to test out their assumptions against real-world
experience. We have lost the ability to reason from postulates that
involve cause-and-effect relationships.
With 60-plus years observing people's reactions to me and the
organizations I've been part of, I've learned to model what I want
rather than fight what I don't want. I can't change the way everyone
else acts, but I can choose for myself the way I interact with them.
So, I've decided that I will no longer "fight" (in whatever way) every
"enemy" (whatever it is at the moment) or "attack" every "opponent".
I have come to believe that my best chance of seeing a world without
war is not to be warlike. The best way to avoid terror is not to
terrorize. The best way to have peace and love is to be loving and
peaceful. To have freedom of choice is to permit it in others. To save
the environment is not to harm it by the way I live. To protect my
rights is to give them to others. My actions mean more than words.
Paul Von Ward - P.O. Box 55, Monteagle, TN 37356 - Tel: 931/924-3684
Gods, Genes, & Consciousness and Our Solarian Legacy discount prices at
Hampton Roads Publishing. Order books, see my schedule at:
Books are also available at on-line and neighborhood bookstores.
See my website at http://www.vonward.com
More information about the Mb-civic