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Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Know Who's Involved

"I have heard things you just wouldn't believe."
"I know this person was telling the truth about the situation."
"Why would anyone lie about such a thing?"
"What my friend told me was true, and it would just make you sick."

Charge after charge after charge. To hear people talk, no one should trust any other individual these days. Rumors and tales and stories run rampant on the streets of this town. People think they can "connect" every public official and every civil service with every criminal in my small community. Their long memories are often short on specific detail and facts but that doesn't prevent them from talking and speculating and digging more dirt.

He's Politically Dirty.

Party politics play a huge part in this game of distrust. People are divided into political parties by rigid lines of allegiance. And, many do reason with "group think" mentality. These people accept without question every party view. Numbers give them an illusion of right in might. Party members often view the opposition as an enemy that spreads false, misleading information.

Merely belonging to the opposing party can be enough to get a person accused of misconduct. The Crats are out to get the Publicans and vice versa. And, the old cliche of "birds of a feather" reminds the populace of myriads of potentially sticky situations.

Folks cannot seem to fathom that individuals can and do break these party lines and operate as independent thinkers and doers.

He's Protecting His Family Members.

Of course, families strike strict codes of allegiance. Families tend to protect their members even when certain kin stray from the fold and get off the right track. The family unit can close ranks when necessary to prevent unwanted access and to restrict information. Or, it can conveniently dismiss the misdeeds of black sheep as something less nasty than others perceive. Enter cries of "Cover up!"

Often, when the public finds a member of a prominent family doing some very bad things, they demand complete visibility of all relations and their connections. In fact, many times witch hunts are launched to discover any little speck of dirty laundry worn by any member of a scorned family. Specks can become monstrous stains when viewed through the public eye.

He's A Part Of The Big Picture.

Locals connect dots and find associations that disturb them. They question why anyone in a position of power, justice, or influence would associate or conduct business with undesirables. Sometimes committing the error of assuming guilt by association, people postulate conspiracy theories. They run with loose facts and rumors while trying to grasp the enormity of a problem.

People love to believe conspiracies concerning any public official - the higher the position, the stronger the appeal to the masses. Some truth usually buttresses conspiracy theories. Unfortunately, most conjectures are a mishmash of "maybes."

Everybody Knows He's A Bad Man.

A mob can create enormous emotion. People prefer to believe what they hear instead of taking time to actively verify an accusation. This happens because verification takes quite a long time and can be exceedingly difficult. The quest for the truth requires hard work, and many people, by nature, are just plain too lazy to labor.

Also, these days, spin doctors and analysts spew more opinion than fact. The public is quick to accept the views of any reasonable, attractive, credible-looking talking head. Too often folks accept looks and emotion over matter. They rally to the bandwagon to ride with like thinkers.

Even when people have first-hand, honest information, they often refuse to submit the material because of fear or because they think the system is inherently evil.

Intimidation weighs heavy on potential victims' shoulders. This burden is real and dangerous.

Distrust of authority is usually based on some prior incident that has left a sour taste or on some group discussions affirming a mishandling of justice. Yet through this distrust, the same public demands that authority serve them well in times of personal need.

What Am I 'Spost To Do 'Bout It? 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone could take the reins of his/her own horse and travel Happy Trails that lead to truth and justice? We all would be responsible, intelligent individuals taking care of each other. Well, unfortunately Roy Rogers has left the building. (And, I heard Trigger was stuffed and on display somewhere.)

Here is what I want to say today. Quit bellyaching, get moving, and get an education about any issue that seriously affects your life. Don't expect any problem to disappear until you exhaust your own resources in your own efforts to make it go away. Always look and listen, but always be wary of speculation and rumor. As you discover the extent of the mess and get closer to the truth, take positive steps toward resolution.

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