Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Enraging vs Engaging

As a wise man I know named Uncle Buck commented in a comment elsewhere in this corner of the Blogosphere, we get the president we deserve. This seems one of those terse statements that people hear and then move on. Not a lot of thought is expended. It's too short a statement. Our oddly short attention spans seem to need a minimal stimulus to even react long enough to get bored of something. Otherwise it is ignored.

We get the president we deserve.

We as in The Nation. A collective if you will. A collective that allows its life to be run by less than half of itself. As in the percentage of eligible voters that actually vote.

We get the president we deserve.

Voter apathy has driven the various political pundits to forgo the non-rewarding (as in non-interest generating) aspect of engaging the voter in favor of enraging the voter. But, like pumping a system full of steroids, there are unintended side effects, and ultimately system failure.

It seems to work better than having restrained honest debate, doesn't it. People like James Carvelle seem to understand the target audience, and he tailors the message for maximum impact. Eventually though, overstimulated neurons simply stop firing, and the rage transforms into lethargy. And it takes something like 9/11 to get anyone's attention again. For a little while.

This circle of enrage and collapse has to stop. The mental fortitude to look beyond the shiny things of this world must be cultivated. We need farmer mentalities. They think in terms of months and of seasons. They have faith in hard work and keep tilling the field and weeding and watering even if the seeds don't sprout before their very eyes. There is a calm and a reserve and a quiet resolve to see things through. And if the bugs come and eat the crop, they start all over.

Because the alternative is to starve to death.

They are engaged in their farms and their crops. You will seldom see a true farmer enraged. They recognize wastes of energy. They recognize non-productive use of their and other people's time. Raging accomplishes very little in their world.

Their world is our world. We must engage our country. We must reinstill long term views and patience and resolve. We must listen to that which truly matters, and not gum up the works with nonsensical provocation. We have a country that needs weeding and watering. And protection from the elements. And care. And faith.

We get the president we deserve. Engage your fellow Americans.

1 comment:

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