Election Ignorance and Disillusionment

The lack of basic election knowledge shown by so many people commenting today makes my head hurt.

Getting past all the anger and rude rhetoric which dominates the online conversations, it becomes evident that the bigger problem with the political and election system is the ignorance which creates confusion and threatens to disenfranchise the voter when the hype dies down and disillusionment sets in.

It seems understandable that many might be confused by the nature of the U.S. political process. It is not as if each state or each party follow the same procedures. Even the general election process seems simple compared to all the variations to be considered during the primary season. However with the internet just a click away, answers can be found for those who are confused. There are articles to read, charts and diagrams to consider, and plenty of video explanations for those who need a person to explain it all when the charts and articles fall short. Despite all the material designed to reduce the confusion, there are many who cannot seem to grasp the basic principles of primary elections. Maybe they get caught up in the national news and forget to seek out information on their own state. Maybe they simply do not realize that the primaries and caucuses are all about choosing a party candidate rather than pitting one party against the other. Whichever or whatever it is, the confusion is problematic. Only one person will win the general election, leaving many to wonder why their vote today did not seem to count when November rolls around.

 

Education and National Defense

I have been pondering the connection between national defense and support for education. In a war between ideological enemies, support for education seems to have been very important. Yet education seems to be losing public support even though past wars have shown that an educated populace makes for a stronger society and better military force.

The following are two Pithyhistory posts that resulted from my ponderings.

Home Production and National Defense

American Way of Life and Education during the Cold War

Life With Fibromyalgia: Finding a Reason to Smile

Living with a disability like fibromyalgia is a never ending lesson in adjusting and making the best out of a tough situation. Take this morning for example. I woke up feeling rather good, a bit of shoulder stiffness, but otherwise bright-eyed and chipper. I prepared for church and found that the fatigue that often hits just prior to leaving the house at 9:15 AM was absent. I was really quite pleased because last week the fatigue hit just as church was starting. I find hiding a bout of pain is relatively easy compared to hiding a bout of fatigue. While it may be acceptable for small children and old men to doze during the congregational meeting, it is usually frowned upon for middle-aged ladies to do the same. So by comparison, shoulder-joint pain was manageable and I was looking forward to enjoying the meeting.

Alas, to my great dismay, I found myself becoming queasy and lightheaded not more than 10 minutes into the meeting. Sure I had arrived 10 minutes early to get a good seat, but 20 minutes sitting in a pew should not have been enough to have cause discomfort-induced nausea, regardless of the fact that my shoulder pain had been joined by a stiff neck and sore back. By the time the sacrament had been passed and the bishop was thanking the deacons for their efforts, I knew that I had to leave. I asked my husband to carry my overly large purse as a precaution, and I proceeded to leave the chapel. Upon reaching the foyer, I discovered I was struggling to breath much like I was having an asthma attack, but upon stepping outside, my breathing began to ease. Oh and the gooey eyes that I had been doing my best to ignore, cleared almost immediately.

It would appear that I was having an allergy attack. Since I am not terribly susceptible to airborne allergies and perfumes usually only give me headaches, today’s strange reaction left me flustered and a bit frustrated. It is when the unusual, unanticipated, and odd physical symptoms hit that I find myself most severely struggling emotionally with my health issues. It during those moments that I want to weep. It is during those moments that I do my best to find a reason to smile. Today’s reason to smile – fresh baked cookies.

I am now sore and tired, but I am not frustrated or emotionally weary. If I do get weepy by the end of the day, at least I now can dry my eyes with one hand while I eat a cookie with the other.

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The Parable of the Old House

There was an old house that had once been beautiful and grand. It sat on a road with many other beautiful, grand homes, but over time it began to fall into disrepair until one day its windows were boarded up and it was abandoned. In order to hide its sad state from the others, the boards on the windows had been painted to look like windows; dark panes of painted wood trimmed in white had replaced the clear glass. To the many who drove past the old house barely sparing it a glance, the evidence of its downfall was easier to ignore once those painted boards had covered broken windows.

Eventually, the decay and disrepair reached a level that the city decided the house was an eyesore and a danger. It was decided that the once beautiful and grand house would need to go, to be torn down. Yet, just as all looked lost for the house, someone took a closer look and saw past the overgrown yard, the damaged roof, and the boarded up windows. With dedicated care and work the house was restored.

We are all in danger of becoming the house. Without maintenance and care, we can go from a place of beauty and love to a place where we board up our windows and fall into decay. The Lord’s mercy and love, His atonement for our sins can help save us. It is important that we remember this when we feel as if the storms of life are ripping at our exteriors and the wind and rain begins to seep into our souls.

The Lord admonishes us to learn of Him and to take His yoke upon us. He teaches us to be mindful of our brothers and sisters. He admonishes us to be mindful of those who have boarded up windows, those who may be falling into deep disrepair. We should be careful when driving through our communities to avoid condemning the houses we see that have been storm damaged or neglected.

by Jessie A. Hagen

The Parable of the Old House - sm

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Sanitizing the History of War

Not so pithy but I felt this was important to share on both blogs.

Pithy History

The study of history can be a wonderful method of instilling patriotism and civic pride into a nation. During the early years of the Cold War, the study of history was viewed as a vital way to instill the notion that the home nation was virtuous and grand, but opposition to a sanitized version of history was growing even as ultra-patriotism became a propaganda tool. Certainly, the sanitization of the history of war did not begin during the Cold War, but during that half century, the sanitized version of history was considered patriotic, and history critical of the homeland was seen by many  as being subversive. Therefore, the shock was profound when footage of war was televised for all to see during the Vietnam War. A generation reared on stories of the noble victories which had defeated tyranny, slavery, totalitarian abuse, and genocide found themselves faced with the horror of…

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Change, Marriage, Hope

Change is often tumultuous and disconcerting. Even long anticipated change can cause anxiety and stress. Underlying even the most anticipated change is the presence of fear – fear of the unknown. For change tends to lead to a ripple effect and to further change, often a less planned or predicted change. However anxiety, uncertainty, and fear are never good reasons to remain tethered to outdated notions of societal norm that directly hinder the liberty of large groups of individuals.

Just as one person’s religious tenants does not devalue the beliefs of another, the value of one couples marriage does not decrease the value of another’s simply because the two unions differ due to physical appearance.

There will always be those who wish to tear down the beliefs of others or to create anarchy, but we must not confuse them with those who simply wish for equality and liberty. Rather than fearing those who wish to tear down the pursuit of spirituality or those desiring to undermine the bonds of marriage, supporters of religious freedom and of the sanctity of marriage should celebrate a change in society which increases support for the institution of marriage. Whether a civil marriage or a marriage performed by a spiritual leader, marriage can now be celebrated, supported, and enjoyed by a greater proportion of the human race than ever before. Marriage can now be a bond which does not discriminate.

It is true that change of this magnitude will not arrive without a ripple effect of further change, and it would be foolish to believe that the ripple effect will necessarily be positive. Yet, fearing and predicting doom is a sure way of encouraging doom. In times of great change, it is much better to set anxiety aside and press forward with hope.

Rainbow2

 

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Saith Me… An Interesting Question

Does an overtaxing, productive day followed by a sluggish, unproductive day equate life balance?

Living with fibromyalgia… the never ending challenge of finding balance continues.

 

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FYI: I cannot view, nor do I endorse any of the ads that are shown on my blog.