Thursday, November 12, 2020

"Making America Good Again?"

To be honest, the title of this piece feels as pretentious as the original MAGA moniker. The implication that there was some time when America was amazing or wholesome relative to today is corrupt at its core. If we are to be totally honest, the pursuit of goodness or greatness takes ongoing effort, and frankly such a pursuit by a single nation will always be lacking if we don't partner with the rest of the world.

Nevertheless, our nation has some particular challenges in front of us. Greatness of a nation is meaningless if we aren't pursuing goals that are good. Here is my shortlist of good things we as individuals, communities and civilization ought to be pursuing.

Information reliability. Sadly the idea that everyone has a right to ones (peacefully expressed) opinion has become equated with those opinions being equally valid. Religious, new age, and grand conspiracy magical thinking has degraded the reliability of information available on social media especially. Humankind depends on reliable information to inform our policy and decision making.  Scientific method, fact-checking algorithms, and individual questioning (with evidence to back it up) can begin us down a path of better information exchange.

Community and world service.  Market force driven motivation has corrupted the nature of pursuit in this world. The pursuit of money and power for the sake of said devices has turned much of our civilization into a system with a feedback loop that cares very little for final outcomes. Instead we should be driven more by end goals that include limiting human world population, preserving natural resources and reducing wildlife habitat destruction, as well as ensuring communities have access to services that improve quality of life for all.

Compassion and reason.  At the end of the day, traditions and old practices need to be examined. A two hundred year old constitution will have its flaws especially when interpreted by "originalists" who reinvent founding ideas to conform to their outcomes.  If we take a step back, and apply reason and compassion to our choices we can implement progressive policies that benefit all humans, the planet, and their future.  

Indeed, the months and years ahead of us will be challenging. If we can begin to put misinformation aside and realign our goals, while making an effort to be friendly with all involved, humankind can improve on the good in world. Not just for America, but for all nations, people and beings everywhere.

It begins with each of us reflecting on the good in ourselves and extending that goodness to others.

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