Get Smart. I've often wondered why poor people vote with the Republicans. Tradition? It seems against their self interest. Sometimes I conclude it's not that they are poor, but maybe they are easily distracted. Like a child with a shiny object. The GOP has been masterful at taking issues like guns, abortion and gay marriage and putting them center stage when framing an election voice. While those may all be important issues, are they really strong enough to vote against your own self-financial interest? Do they realize they are voting against their personal financial interest? Do they understand that they're doing the bidding of the mega rich and preserving their ability to remain mega wealthy.
This feels like a bit of political hocus pocus that many readily consume. Why? I suspect that it has less to do with the passion behind the issues and more to do with the lack of understanding that they may be getting the wool pulled over their eyes. By all objective measures, we are rich. The math says so. And that said I don't feel rich. Certainly not mega rich. The top 1% of America (not a member) represent the country's richest 3M people and on average they have a net worth of $8M per capita while the median American holds about $100K or slightly better than 1%. These are the people that control our government policy to protect their wealth. And how do they protect it? By keeping it away from government and other redistribution mechanisms. Money is the problem.
The GOP is playing this same card this time around with messaging around "Your job is more important than your health," or "maybe the health of grandma or grandpa." I have no data for my conclusions other than the highly unscientific view of news interviews, but the rationale I hear for risk behavior seems to be consistent. It's some form of "I want what's best for me now" with no thought to the good of society and little thought about the long-term impact. The quote when questioned about poor virus behavior is "I feel fine so I don't need to wear a mask" or "I'm willing to risk it." Both are silly conclusions according to the CDC. You aren't risking your life, you are risking mine and it doesn't really matter how you feel fine right now.
But here comes the president to a rally and later a convention. The president wants to show people without masks because that says "normalcy" and that allows our economy to recover and that keeps everyone's pockets filled. The truth is that the owners of the company are in "safe" jobs while most of the rest are now required to take both personal and societal risks in order to help the business owners. Las Vegas is open and only "staff" wears a mask. How stupid is that? What idiot is going to participate in that? Why do the workers put up with that lopsided risk profile? Everyone looks so stupid.
Sure we want the economy back but just wearing a fucking mask, stay away from people and stop doing high risk activities. The GOP is suppressing the education of common people because it's not in their best financial interest. It's time to get smart. How can we raise the education level? The only answer I can think of is that Hollywood is going to have to do it. Hollywood can define how we live our lives and that definition is likely to directly impact this year's presidential election.
Election day, November 3, is Day 240 in blog days.
Flag Day. Rethinking what that means exactly.
It doesn't count. If your mask doesn't cover your nose, it doesn't count. I personally shopped in Home Depot and Lucky today and saw the mask wearing at 100%. Also discovered that contacts are way easier for mask wearing than glasses!
Selfish. I can't remember if I've written about this topic yet or not but the world both needs selfishness but not too much. With no selfishness it's likely that no one would be motivated to do too much of anything. Maybe that's not the case on a proverbial desert island, but our economy is built on the foundation that the harder you work, the more you get. And don't we all want for ourselves? We want to feel better, we want more stuff, we want to be happier, we want to work less hard, we want more leisure...
It's that incentive that has driven the US economy and it's something that's a little different than many other countries that don't exhibit that same entrepreneurial spirit. But too much selfishness especially when it comes at the expense of others is the bad kind of selfishness. If your version of leisure, for example is hunting wild animals that other people want to watch, photograph and enjoy (alive) then there is conflict. Who gets there way? Who wins? You would think it would be the majority, but it's often the person with the most money.
When someone decides they don't need a mask and that they feel safe and they are not sick and on and on and on, what I hear is, "I really don't like wearing a mask and I'm going to do what's good for me even if that's bad for you because I can, because I come first and I don't care how it impacts you.
The difference between be selfish enough to be "motivated" but not so selfish that you are "immoral" and that is the balance we don't seem to have found yet.
Personal Care. I'm wearing a collared shirt today and contact lenses for the second day in a row. I realize that I've cycled through my 50 or so t-shirts every day and haven't ironed a thing in three months. I look at my nice shirts that were part of my daily routine. I have some in the closet with a nice sharp crease waiting to be worn. Maybe my personal tide is turning. The combination of a shaved face, contact lenses and a collared shirt suggest I'm wearing my Sunday finest. Well not exactly true, but this certainly says something about my demeanor.
Next Blog Entry
© Greg Harris, 2020
All Rights Reserved