By Dan Perin
I was experiencing a “funky” state of mind when one of my good friends, whom I can always count on to try and keep me honest and on track, wondered what insights led me to develop my Insight & Outsight blog, co-authored with Lloyd Agte. Below is my response, edited slightly for publication sake.
In response to your question as to what inspired my "project," here is my story. I'm still in funkitus, but want to respond now. I assume you are referring to the Insight & Outsight Blog.
I have been increasingly disturbed by the direction in which our so-called "society" is moving. Partly this is due to being retired with too much time on my hands and a slow, sometimes more quickly, decline in good judgment in terms of keeping my mouth shut (or in the case of the blog, my opinions to myself). I know I will have difficulty explaining this to you because I think I know what your reaction would be if you were counseling me. Never the less, I'll take stab at it and hope I don't come off entirely self-righteous.
It is almost inconceivable to me that people can be so angry that they become totally deaf, dumb and blind to ANY degree of common sense. Even accepting my inclination to believe my opinions are more clear-headed than many, I am left with a conclusion that people do not choose to investigate the roots of their discontent with government. Instead, they glom onto the faux policy portents of people like Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and the Republican Party in general, believing those policies to be the solution to all their problems. In fact, Republican policies historically have led to the primary reasons for economic decline of the middle class.
Those policies consist of more than a difference between basic philosophies (Republicans for big business, Democrats for the laborer), but that is a big part of the problem. That this continuing shift in policy goes almost entirely unabated is incredulous. I kept hoping that society would wake up, but those who are on the fringes of the debate, like many of the Tea Partiers, are actually carrying the water for those who end up making the decisions that affect all of us.
The other day I heard of a current poll that suggests the Republicans will gain enough Senate seats in 2012 to gain full control of Congress. What? Isn't anybody listening to what these jokers are suggesting? I am damn mad at what I consider to be misdirected anger at the economy that fails to see where the problems started--two wars that are unpaid for, tax breaks for the rich that are unpaid for, (primarily Republican policies), deference to big business because that is the money that buys politicians, etc., etc. The answer--take away programs that are working like Social Security, Medicare (except for the stupid drug program, also unpaid for), educational support programs, science research, and on and on!
I may be totally deranged by my anger. I may be wrong in my conclusions. My opinion may not count for squat, but expressing them is what I can do and will for now. I am, however, at a point where if the citizens of this country do indeed elect enough Republicans to control Congress at this most critical economic period since the Great Depression (at the end of which I was born and have first hand family experience), I will be severely tempted to give up the effort to make any difference at all by discontinuing my participation in the blog that I started in order to call attention to the defects in government and the democratic processes that I see.
So you can call me a quitter, a complainer who does nothing, or whatever. The fact is that I do care about this country and I can write about my feelings and opinions. That was the reason for the blog. Time will tell what the priorities of my fellow citizens turn out to be. Stay tuned.
Oh, by the way, if you are interested enough in the basis of the right-wing policies, you will find this page puts all in a convenient nutshell. (You don’t even have to read the whole article. As the author says, it will only take three minutes.)