Want to just riff a bit on A's excellent How, Exactly Would We Know This? post from yesterday, as well as some of the comments, because I believe it's a critical conversation, central to our very own little First Draft neighborhood and the larger community, our shared net-rooty identity, to the extent we have just one.
Here's the deal. We are all, every one of us, the Idiots of America. This idea that we on the left, and the people we elect to represent us, are in the position to serve as some kind of missionaries to the beknighted knuckledraggers out there, that we could do that, not even that we should do it, well that's a lot of crap.
Don't get me wrong, I know what team I want to be on, and I like US and the things we tend to believe in, better than THEM and the things they tend to believe in. But as pointed out yesterday, it's a struggle to know everything we need to just get by these days, not to mention weighing the relevancies and prioritizing our goals. It's a fucking uphill climb to do that as individuals, not to mention as communities. Sifting and winnowing is hard, y'all. And it's not like we can stop the game clock, evolve as individuals, as a society, fix all the broken crap, and then start the game over and play better for the rest of the quarter. We have to do it all on the run, in real time, fixing and breaking and fixing as we go. It's a struggle for all of us, we are all equally vulnerable to the overwhelm, we all make flawed choices with respect to what and how we filter and amplify, or who we choose to depend on to do it for us.
The obligatory digression:
Let's talk about water, H2O, agua, something sort of important to, you know, carbon-based lifeforms. So, where does yours come from? Is it surface water or ground water? How does it get to you? Does it come from the watershed you live in, or from someone else's? What are the major pollution threats? Point source or non-point source? Starting with your town/region/county and ending with the EPA, who and what regulates your water, protects it, decides or recommends how much can be used and in what ways? Are these decider/recommenders elected or appointed? If elected, when was the last election? Did you vote in it? If appointed, who appoints them? Are meetings and other processes that bear on your water made available to the public? Do you attend and participate? Are there any volunteer organizations involved in water issues around you? Are you a member? What are the desired future conditions for your water region and how were they developed? When were they last reviewed and updated?
Okay, I'll stop. If you knew most of the answers without googling, good for you. If you didn't, you're in the biggest of big tents. Most Americans, no matter their political party, religion, or education, don't know shit about their water supply, their watershed, or much of anything past their faucets and garden hoses. So, no shame if you are one of them but I will ask you one last question. Let's take the top three issues you DO know about, you DO involve yourself with. Of those three, which are more important to your survival, your kids and grandkids' futures, to all carbon-based life, than water?
See where I'm going with this? Regarding lots of really important stuff, we are all, every one of us, "low-information" voters, non-participatory citizens shirking our responsibilities.
So, back what A said. "AMERICA IS REALLY FUCKED." All of it. All of us. With respect to framing, how about let's start from right there instead of "THEY are WAY More Fucked than WE are and WE need to Help THEM Be More like US."