Updated: Oct 18, 2021.
Facebook Challenges. Every now and then, we have one or more issues on Brown County Matters that generate controversy, criticism, hard feelings, and false allegations. The recent posts on the Indiana election and the Governors non-support of the President’s Covid mandates reflect a Left vs Right political divide that is common throughout the country.
Brown County Matters is a private Facebook Group requiring members to live, work, or own property in the county. Posts are intended to be of local (county) interests. It has general rules of expected behavior and the respective rule (s) are cited when a post is removed. Individuals are also blocked from the site when their contributions tend to be more disingenuous than constructive.
My perspective on the differences derived from the posts on the Election and Covid policy topics are provided below.
From a “Left” perspective, the integrity of the 2020 Indiana and Presidential election should not be questioned and the Covid policy is not debatable or questionable. On Covid policy and vaccines, the conclusion from the Left is that “its settled science, shut up, get the shot (s), do what your told, and don’t question who we identify as the “experts.”
The First Amendment allows individuals to express their opinions. Any sources of information not approved by the government, local gatekeepers, or the “fact/bias” checkers (that claim to be non-partisan and independent) represents misinformation. It is interesting when the word “harmful” is associated with some information posted inferring adults are not capable of determining the quality of the information provided. And it begs the question: Who determines what information should be disseminated and how?
All original posts on BCM must align with the rules but replies to posts can include an alternative point of view regarding the message. Multiple sources of information are always helpful in validating information and identifying patterns. And, individuals do criticize the quality of a post to include posting counter information as to what they believe to be misinformation.
For example, in reply to the local school mask policy, I posted a video by Dr. Dan Stock to the Mt. Vernon school board advising against masks. This was considered “misinformation.” Other members posted criticisms by other doctors of Dr. Stocks position – all good. An online interview was then arranged by an independent party that allowed a discussion between Dr. Stock and one of his critics – very civil, professional, and informative. This type of discussion should be encourage – not suppressed. I would like to see follow-on discussions where viewers could ask questions and more detail can be discussed on the various aspects of the issue. For more info: Dr. Dan Stock addressed the Mt. Vernon School Board in Indiana.
Anyone (the messenger) questioning the Lefts narrative on many topics may be immediately attacked, cancelled, bullied, or labeled in a derogatory manner. The “message” that challenges the prevailing narrative is rarely discussed by the critics and would require a little more thought and analysis. It’s much easier to just attack the messenger, claim fake news or bias, question motives or just avoid the subject and debate. Critics are also subject to projection – projecting their own faults onto other people.
In addition to projection, another common attribute of the Left is “virtue signaling” defined as “the sharing of one’s point of view on a social or political issue, often on social media, in order to garner praise or acknowledgment of one’s righteousness from others who share that point of view, or to passively rebuke those who do not.”
On the integrity of the Indiana election issues, I included a link to an article that discussed similar issues on the national election – The big ‘known unknown’ of 2020 by J. E Dyer at Liberty Unyielding. The author is a retired Naval Intelligence officer and offers a unique, objective, and broad perspective on many issues. Liberty Unyielding and the author were labeled as representing the “right wing fringe.”
From what is being labeled as a “Right” perspective, our system of government enables citizens to work together to achieve a more perfect Union. This can be achieved by developing more perfect (better) policies. This requires an open forum and ground rules to discuss all relevant information and perspectives.
In the case of Covid, medical professionals locally as well as throughout the word have diverse and often opposing points of view regarding causes, prevention, treatments and policies. Another subject of disagreement is on natural and herd immunity.
Many medical professionals that question the approved narrative are “canceled” and/or censored and accused of providing misleading information. What has been missing is an open forum that addresses questions, acknowledges the differences, identifies area of agreement and disagreement, and then identifies the information needed to continually develop and improve upon the best solutions. This process builds trust, confidence in leadership, and leads to the better solutions.
When working towards a solution, leaders can opt for a process where everyone can benefit, or choose a win/lose (zero-sum) approach which unfortunately, is the more common approach.
The position regarding national polices is often inferred by the Left as “We won the election and we’re doing things our way , go along or else.” This approach leads to opposition and suboptimal outcomes.
Conservative positions on elections raise issues on the capability of the respective systems and processes to ensure citizen that elections are fair and all legal votes are counted. This has led to the demand for forensic audits and legislative changes with the intent to improve the system for future elections. The American Society of Quality (ASQ) – Government Division has recently proposing an improved management system supporting election authorities to enhance trust and confidence in U.S. elections
Brown County Leader Network
In America by law, We the People are top management and are responsible for expecting and supporting changes that result in outcomes where everyone benefits or at least are not any worse off in the long-term. Unfortunately, this knowledge may not be commonly acknowledged due to the influence of the two-party system, lack of knowledge of history and civic education in the schools.
Thankfully, Brown County Schools do support civic education and student teams have won national competitions on their knowledge of Constitutional issues. More info: We the People – Brown County Schools.
In contrast, the Board of the Brown County League of Women Voters (LoWV) endorsed a position from the National League that supports a position that leads to divisiveness and sustains racism:
- Whereas, the League acknowledges painfully that America is a nation founded on racism. We must end white privilege and the myth of white supremacy if we are to become the nation we pledge to be …
The 2020 platform of the Democrat candidates for office also supported the premise regarding the pervasiveness (systemic) of racism and inequality and admitted to having no evidence to support their theory:
- We call for the end to racism in all forms. We call for a review of all county laws, directives and initiatives of all kinds by any agency or segment of county government to determine if any such laws, directives or initiatives have or could result in racism or inequality in any form. We call for the expeditious remediation of any such instances so found.
“You want to know how to end racism in America?
Stop Talking about it” – Morgan Freeman
Jordan Peterson Debunks White Privilege
“There’s nothing more racist than targeting an entire ethnic group
with a collective crime regardless of the innocence or guilt of its individuals.”
On the banner image for Matters, there is a link to the Brown County Leader Network (BCLN). This site offers some principles, methods and tools in developing assessments and supporting improvements. In developing solutions that can lead to better outcomes, the stakeholder matrix is a useful tool. The matrix is used to identify everyone (stakeholders) effected by a change, the information or services they expect and the feedback they need and will use to assess results. This concept applied at a local or national level offers an alternative way of acknowledging differences and helping to develop support for solutions.
The BCLN site also provides an outline of a problem and decision-making process. This process aligns with the Justice system in helping to discover the truth and identify the best decisions. Facts and evidence are used to help identify a problem. The pros (prosecution), cons (defense) and risks are identified. Transparency along with the supporting documentation help develop support for the respective changes.
Regarding the ideologies of the Left and Right, Dennis Prager captures what he believes to be key attributes. “A Guide to Basic Differences Between Left and Right” Prager was also labeled as being part of the right wing fringe.
Context: Moral Authority – The Right Thing
An underlying basis for discussions is recognizing the moral authority that motivates ideology. What is the right thing, how is it determined, and by whom?
The secular design of the U.S. system of government was influenced by Judeo-Christian principles which accepts God as the moral authority. The Christian philosophy includes a belief that actions motivated by love lead to outcomes where everyone gains, or at least, are not any worse off in the long-term. The premise being that as more needs are met, there is less harm on people of needs that are not being met.
Governments also represents a “moral authority” in determining the right things where “Man” defines the moral code. For the U.S system of government, the intent of the founders was that the Power to identify the right things in working towards a more perfect Union, was to be managed on behalf of the citizens through a balance between the three branch of government, the federal government and the states. The length of the terms of office were staggered to help balance short term and long-term interests. Presidents are elected to 4 years, Senate 6, Congressman 2 and supreme court justices have lifetime appointments.
The Declaration of Independence identifies the commitment to the “self-evident truths” that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …
In contrast, political systems influenced by Marxist theory lead to a centralization of power inherent in socialist and communist based systems. Marx ‘s Communist Manifesto reinforced the strategy to divide people, exploit divisions and leverage their hate and rage to inspire revolutions that will lead to the Marx version of utopia – divide, conquer, terrorize, subjugate and control. Marx was raised in a Christian home but later abandoned God and associated with Satan. Marx declared: “I long to take vengeance on the One Who rules from above … We make war against all prevailing ideas of religion, of the state, of county, of patriotism.”
Another popular treatise of the Left for revolutionary change is Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer – the “original radical that gained his own kingdom” – Hell.
As the newly elected atheist chaplain of Harvard University put it in The New York Times:
“We don’t look to a god for answers. We are each other’s answers.” (1)
Mark Levin in his book American Marxism, makes the case that “the core elements of Marxist ideology are now pervasive in American society and culture” which includes critical race theory, and “escalation of repression and and censorship to silence opposing forces and enforce conformity.” Mathew Lohmeier, who recently resigned from the Air Force as a result of the fall-out from his book “Irresistible Revolutions – Marxism’s Goal of Conquest and the Unmaking of the American Military” also reinforces the threats from Marxist inspired ideology in the military and in American society.
The polarity between the left and the right is exacerbated by a lack of knowledge of history and civics. A counter to the belief that America’s founding started in 1619 vs 1776 is provided at the following: American Civics.
- The American republic rests upon the foundation of “E Pluribus Unum” — out of many, one. Although the Founders knew from their own experience that a vast diversity in outlooks and opinions would be present among the country’s citizens, they understood that such diversity must rest upon principles and practices we hold in common. It is up to each generation to make sure that this foundational unity remains intact. This project on American Civics seeks to contribute to that worthy cause.
- 1776 Unites Curriculum Highlights the American Character
In summary, within Brown County, we have the same Left vs Right political divide that is prevalent throughout the country. We can choose the better approaches while acknowledging competing ideologies and philosophies in a respectful and constructive manner.
A Way Ahead. Raise awareness on the threats to our Republic, apply non-violent strategies proven successful by Martin Luther King and Gandhi, and apply the quality improvement principles, methods, tools.
(1) The danger of bringing religious zeal to the political realm. In America today, many people treat politics, rather than religion, as the place to discover ultimate purpose and communion
Lower levels of religious observance among Democratic Party activists — who are more likely to be atheists, agnostics or “nones” compared with their Republican counterparts — means that they must find meaning elsewhere. As the newly elected atheist chaplain of Harvard University put it in The New York Times: “We don’t look to a god for answers. We are each other’s answers.”
There is a certain freedom in letting go of the need to win an argument or claim victory over one’s opponents. Our fellow citizens do not need to be converted, and the world does not need to be made anew. …. This, I believe, is a better way to live, even as I admit that it is not so easy to hold one’s tongue (or tweets) when matters get contentious. But we can at least start by resisting that very human urge to make enemies of those who might otherwise become our friends.
(2) Prager crushes grand lie of systemic racism: ‘So many obvious ways to prove how little racist this country is’ July 5, 2020