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Sun Feb 8, 2015, 04:06 PM

Want a better country? Expand your community.

In these days of constant misinformation, scapegoating and mean-spirited politics from Fox and right-wing radio; plus infotainment and corporatism from most other media, it’s hard to make improvements to our culture. And we have been on an ever increasingly downward trajectory since the terror attacks of 2001. (Arguably for a generation before that, but at nowhere near this level of decline.)

More open and hostile racism, politicians brought into the same, ‘Free Market’ as our toys and clothes; Total Information Awareness, where everything one does, says, writes, buys, and all contacts are examined and everywhere one goes is tracked and stored; whistle-blowers are prosecuted at a never before seen rate; militarized and abusive police are the norm; theft of billions by a handful of people goes unpunished while debtor-prisons (at least people are being put in prison for debts) are making a comeback; the social safety net has more wholes poked in it every month; these things are just a small sample our pathological decline. But within the old rhetoric describing who we believe ourselves to be, is an answer to some of the problems we face.

Treason is looked upon as the worst of crimes for a reason. People are willing to spend almost anything on defense; and in the case of an actual threat to the nation, like World War II, we will pull together and sacrifice for the common good. Why? Because in situations like WWII, we all rise and fall together as a community. For many, that feeling of community only applies to war and national security.

The right likes to live partially in the past, in a world that never really existed. At least in a world where the sins of the past are white-washed or ignored. Where every town is a little like Mayberry and we all help each other in times of need. That past was never a reality throughout the entire country, but in pockets people did do the right thing by each other (and still do in Amish Country), because they felt they were in this together.

If we can take that feeling of camaraderie and expand it through ever increasingly large circles, we will have a better country for all. When we view through a patriotic lens the problems people face in poor areas, in a drug war that does little but destroy lives, homelessness, mental illness, discrimination, etc., we will all be the better for it.

If people start to expand their circle of empathy beyond their area, race, sexual orientation, religion and political affiliation, and apply the standards of country outside of war, we will come much closer to our promise and reverse an almost generation of decline.



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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Want a better country? Expand your community. (Original post)
20score Feb 2015 OP
NoJusticeNoPeace Feb 2015 #1
20score Feb 2015 #2
suede1 Feb 2015 #3
20score Feb 2015 #8
marym625 Feb 2015 #4
20score Feb 2015 #5
marym625 Feb 2015 #6
20score Feb 2015 #7
Tsiyu Feb 2015 #9
LWolf Feb 2015 #10
20score Feb 2015 #11
LWolf Feb 2015 #12
20score Feb 2015 #14
LWolf Feb 2015 #15
20score Feb 2015 #17
LWolf Feb 2015 #18
Trillo Feb 2015 #13
Bluenorthwest Feb 2015 #16
marym625 Feb 2015 #19

Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Feb 8, 2015, 04:20 PM

1. I like this a lot

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Response to NoJusticeNoPeace (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 8, 2015, 04:35 PM

2. Thank you!

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Feb 8, 2015, 05:25 PM

3. Hard to argue with that.

But I don't hold out much hope.

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Response to suede1 (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 9, 2015, 05:21 AM

8. But doing nothing is not an option.

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Feb 8, 2015, 06:14 PM

4. K&R!

Excellent post!

You always have excellent posts. I don't know if it's your title or when you post but you do not get enough attention. This should have a ton of recs.

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Response to marym625 (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 8, 2015, 06:28 PM

5. Thank you! A title makes a difference on this site. I know because I've submitted the

same article under two different titles, and had one drop like a stone and the other on the main page. (Years ago.) I like to see the essays do well, obviously, but for the most part I stopped caring about that years ago. If it does well, cool. If not, at least I liked it and got a thought off my chest.

But, thanks again.

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Response to 20score (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 8, 2015, 06:42 PM

6. I prefer essays do well than copying and pasting an article

Maybe there should be two different types of recs. Obviously, the articles should be seen. But I like individual thought by DUers.

Timing matters too, I think.

Glad you are OK with it. I still wish this were seen by more.

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Sun Feb 8, 2015, 09:07 PM

7. Thanks to the cool, rockin' person who gave me a Valentine's heart!

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Mon Feb 9, 2015, 07:36 AM

9. K & R


"we all rise and fall together as a community."




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Response to 20score (Original post)

Mon Feb 9, 2015, 10:10 AM

10. Okay.

I agree that expanding our circle of empathy beyond myself and those like me is good for the country, as well as the rest of the planet.

I'll refrain from doing it from a "patriotic" lens, though. Patriotism, to me, is code for nationalism and patriarchy; both of which I abhor. I'll view human problems through a humanistic lens, and do better for it.



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Response to LWolf (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 9, 2015, 10:16 AM

11. Fine. But you missed the point.

It wasn't about semantics.

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Response to 20score (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 9, 2015, 10:25 AM

12. I didn't miss the point.

I live the point.

I also value words, and the power they hold.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 9, 2015, 10:32 AM

14. So do I. You did miss the point.

It was about the feeling of community.

Words have different meanings in different contexts. But feel free to condescend.

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Response to 20score (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 9, 2015, 11:12 AM

15. Again,

I got the point. I got that point several decades ago, which is why I said I live the point. Case in point: I took a local Republican friend to dinner Friday night, and we discussed, among other things:

1. Getting health care to two local families in need
2. The support the gay/straight alliance at our local high school is getting, and what we can do to help;
3. Recent time spent with the local food bank
4. Our personal lives
5. Some other community events, and how to get our isolated, rural families involved.

It's patriotism and patriarchy that are condescending, and your context didn't change that. I'm sorry that you don't understand.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 9, 2015, 11:44 AM

17. It's people like you who kind of ruin DU.

You take the most innocuous, well meaning posts and pick it apart. Maybe to make yourself look good, don't know. But it certainly isn't done in good faith or to debate ideas.

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Response to 20score (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 9, 2015, 11:53 AM

18. You fail at

reading my mind...which is what you are attempting when you try to claim my reasons for doing something. I didn't take down your point; I agreed with it. I didn't analyze your supposed motivations. I simply pointed out a word that I find to be off-putting and misused, that I thought detracted from the message.

I haven't cared about making myself "look good" in many decades. I'm fine with myself, and don't really need the approval of others to feel comfortable in my skin. Life's experiences and hard lessons have made me that way. Agree or disagree...I'm fine with either. Whether or not someone on an anonymous message board thinks I "look good" is as irrelevant as it gets.

I already told you my reasons for objecting to "patriotism," which was not an objection to your point; just to the use of that word.

I'm sorry that you can't "get" this. If I'm the worst you encounter on DU, count yourself fortunate, indeed.

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Mon Feb 9, 2015, 10:32 AM

13. How the kids are treated becomes highly important to your hypothesis.

When kids are mistreated, why would they as adults want to expand their circles? The accumulation of the few super elites does not represent an expansion of circles, but rather an isolation. Such isolation is what Capitalism idolizes.

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Response to 20score (Original post)

Mon Feb 9, 2015, 11:29 AM

16. I don't agree that 'longing for a fictional past' is just a right wing concept, I read on DU every

 

day that things were much, much better in the past. Yesterday I read a thread that was all about how more and more things are becoming illegal. I pointed out that it was recently illegal to be gay, illegal to get an abortion or to provide one and I was told that was just 'the carrot' in a carrot and stick scenario.
Also yesterday there was an OP 'we forgot how to be happy over the last 100 years'. So we used to know how to be happy, and that involved racism, gay people in jail, lynchings, women in the kitchen and of course pregnant. 'We forgot because of advertising and policy wonks'. The author pined for a past in which minorities were without any protections at all. 'We knew how to be happy then!!!'

If you straight white folks want to expand community, you have to stop claiming things were better back in the days of Jim Crow and the love that dare not speak its name.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 10, 2015, 08:47 PM

19. I am not sure why you went after 20score

Last edited Tue Feb 10, 2015, 10:28 PM - Edit history (1)

Especially for stuff he didn't write.

This is a nice post that doesn't say the past was all peaches and cream. It calls for camaraderie. It calls for community. It talks about current decline. It doesn't pretend that the reality of the past didn't exist.

I don't think that hitting things that are calling for good accomplishes anything.

You and I usually agree. I am surprised to see this from you

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