April 24 2017
Sanity

Upright Citizens Brigade

My muscles are so sore as I stumble out of bed these days. It’s confounding, because I know I use my muscles all day long as I run around, right up until the moment I collapse in the evening.  But I’m getting older and my body does not act the way it did five years ago. The muscles that power my house of cards need to be exerted in a far more intentional way if I don’t want them to betray me too soon.

There are, of course, many kinds of muscles. And they all need to be exercised.

I always loved Mr. Money Mustache’s “frugality muscle” rant.  His idea is that once you prove to yourself that you can do things a more frugal way, you get bolder, and the muscle gets stronger.  Before you know it you’re raising a family on $18 a year in a beautiful house.  OK, not quite.  Kind of breaks down for me at that point, but the basic philosophy is sound.

Today I am thinking about a different muscle.  The one Annie Leonard of the Story of Stuff, has talked so much about: the citizen muscle.

I have been giving this muscle a minor workout.

Can we not agree that the more informed and engaged the citizens of this country are, the better off we all will be? If every person in this country was aware of how laws and regulations affect them, their family and the country as a whole, if they formed an opinion on that information and then made that opinion heard every day… is that not a better world?

This is pie in the sky idealism.  Destitute people who have suffered an indifferent upbringing, awful schools, depressed local economies and a drug addiction epidemic, are just not going to find a way to be informed, productive citizens. It is, tragically, nearly impossible.

But those who are so blessed as to be able to read a newspaper and follow important issues?  Those people need to check in.  All of them.

If the government is going to roll back internet privacy protections, at least let that be because the people are demanding it.  I don’t agree, but if that is what the country wants, well, I lose that argument.  But when the decision is made in a vacuum, totally divorced from the will of the people, it’s pretty effed up.

Knowledge is power.

I respect people who are informed and engaged, even if I disagree with their views.  I didn’t agree with most of the Tea Party platform, but I never once said, “how dare these people protest and make themselves heard?” No one who believes in progress, fairness and democracy ever could.

When I hear people complain about protesters, I am just aghast.  So many of our problems could be solved if more people paid attention and weighed in.  We need more of that, not less. If there is one thing that these movements show, it’s that when people make themselves heard, there is a ripple. Isn’t that wonderful? Doesn’t that restore your faith in government? We all need to flex our citizen muscles.

But not just on our hot button issues.

If citizens weighed in 1000 percent more on every issue, partisan political lines would fade away like magic.

Our political system distills the whole country into two nonsensical boxes, even though most people have a wide range of opinions that span both party’s platforms, and beyond.

This gross over-simplification makes things easy for politicians.  They would prefer you’re only aware of one or two issues, so they can easily push your buttons.

Don’t let them get away with this lazy manipulation.  We should be doing the goddamned manipulating, not those bribe-taking buffoons!

When you look at the positions the government has taken on so many issues — internet privacy, climate change, environmental regulations, healthcare, research funding, protections of national parks and endangered species — the majority of people disagree with all of them, regardless of party.

March for Science NYC
We’re here for the birds.

For the love of God, people were marching for science this week.  Not a controversial idea! Much to the consternation of the majority of Americans, the government seems intent on defunding medical research, silencing government scientists, and refusing to acknowledge the wide scientific consensus on climate change. We are not even allowed to study the public health implications of gun ownership.  Not allowed to gather information on how gun ownership could be made safer, in order to save lives.

Our duties do not end at the ballot box.

Voting is great, but unfortunately, politicians think that your vote absolves them of all the gross things they do.  The president says that because people voted for him, he does not owe the country information on his conflicts of interest.  Is that what a vote for him meant?  Not if you look at the opinion polls on the matter.

So the conversation cannot begin and end at the voting booth. Citizens need to make their opinions clear to those they did not vote for, and, perhaps even more so, to those they did.

If you vote strictly for democrats because of environmental concerns, you still need to call your guy when he does the bidding of Verizon, if you don’t like that.  If you vote strictly Republican because you’re pro-life, you still need to call your guy when he’s chopping up the Endangered Species act, if you care about that.

I am actively following many national advocacy groups whose missions I support, as well as local citizen groups. I am looking at every petition, signing those I agree with, contacting my elected officials constantly, and marching when I want to get loud.

Locals were sounding the alarm this week.

Zoning restrictions were in danger of being lifted so that tall buildings could be built on the periphery of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, casting an unwelcome shadow on our beloved urban sanctuary.  I, like several thousand others, wrote my City Council member to protest.  I received a quick reply that the idea was squashed for now.  I have no doubt the issue will re-emerge and I will be just as committed when it does.

Being engaged means staying engaged. I wouldn’t have known about this issue if I wasn’t paying attention. I wouldn’t have acted if I didn’t know.  If 4000 people like me didn’t do the same, the restrictions would have been quietly lifted.  Simple as that.  4000 people is a small number, but do you know how many people vote in a City Council primary?  Yeah, not a lot.  Small victory, big implications.

Please don’t look at activism as a negative, whether you support the cause or not.

Anytime a large group of citizens manage to influence their government, it is a net positive… a giant cortisone shot for the American experiment.  As Annie Leonard says, we flex our “consumer muscles” daily.  Those decisions can make a difference. Sometimes.  Sort of.  But we need to be citizens before consumers.  Those are the truly important muscles.

So don’t denigrate engaged citizens.  Disagree with them and complain that the people who agree with you are not taking to the streets and being heard. Informed, vocal, engaged citizens make the country stronger.  One day they may just be fighting for something you agree with. One day maybe the infrastructure atrocity is in your backyard.  When that happens, you’ll be glad to have them on your side.

If every citizen’s voice was heard, both on the right and the left, we would all be better for it.

 

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  • “If citizens weighed in 1000 percent more on every issue, partisan political lines would fade away like magic.”

    I think partisanship can sometimes have a place but the way it’s practiced here and now is no more beneficial to the health of our country and our fellow citizens than the way it was once practiced when the country was founded.

    If we all (who can) embraced the complexity of our issues, and the amazingly wide swath of issues, even, I agree that it would make it so much harder to sway people based on hitting the bias button on a few issues. But it is true that it’s hard to keep track of all that’s going on, on a daily basis, and it helps to have filters to organize that. I expect that’s partly why people tend to believe what they hear, because it takes time and effort to research every topic.

    • It’s true, at a certain point you are looking to support people who get as close to your worldview as possible and you need to be able to put some trust in them to do the right thing. No politician is ever going to please everybody. And we all have jobs and lives, we can’t spend every waking moment petitioning our government. And I get that. Realistically, I think the goal needs to be that we at least keep our eyes on the big stuff and weigh in. Especially at the local level. The internet privacy example is so glaring to me. NO ONE wants that, yet it happened. Politicians should have to answer for that.

  • I don’t mind protests and that sort of stuff, but it really angers me when protests get violent.
    For example some people started smashing windows in Washington on Trump’s inauguration. You might not like Trump, but why smash the window and loot stores? Those are innocent shop keepers.

  • I am sure you know that I am with you 100% on this 🙂

    “I respect people who are informed and engaged, even if I disagree with their views. I didn’t agree with most of the Tea Party platform, but I never once said, ‘how dare these people protest and make themselves heard?”'”

    This is a great point. It seems like a lot of people support protests, but only for causes they believe in. We need to be supporting engagement across the spectrum. If we disagree, we need to work to understand and find common ground (or educate and convince) rather than shutting down and shutting out.

  • I do agree that its a good thing when more people are involved. I even think protests are necessarily a good thing.
    My real issue is wrapped up in this sentence: “people were marching for science this week. Not a controversial idea! ”

    I think the problem is we culturally distill every concept down to a two word sentence when things are usually more nuanced. It turns people off. So take climate change, I won’t state my actual opinion on the topic. I will however point out that some much smarter people then me have legitimate reasons beyond being “against science” to believe we should not act on climate change. These could be cost benefit analysis on other actions, disagreements based on the science, disagreements on the scale based on the science, etc. However we distill peoples disagreement down to, your either for it or your against science. Kind of like our fiduciary duty discussion sometime back. I agree with you, no one should be against science or a fiduciary duty. But what does that mean in the context of the actual bill? How do those people whose views are marginalized by distilling their opinions down to “against science” feel about things?

    • I agree with you – things are complicated and consequences many. But this is a topic that really needs clarity of vision. I’m not a climate scientist. Nor a doctor, nor a plumber. So I have to decide who I am going to trust on things that I cannot do, or totally understand for myself. We have no choice when we cannot personally understand the complexities of a given issue. When I go to the doctor, I look for a diploma on the wall. Preferably a good one. How do I know if something I read in the newspaper is true? I don’t. So I need to take into account the reputation associated with a news organization. These are the ways that, as a society, we have evolved to be able to place our trust in various people and institutions. And blenders! And Broadway shows! We look for third party opinions, organizations with a longstanding history of fairness, results or good work, we place value in respected awards, etc. We care about the Nobel Prize. We honor achievement. We hope for our children to go to a good college.

      Here is NASA saying quote “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.” (link:https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/)

      NASA is one of those institutions that I trust. And I trust Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalism. Some people put their trust elsewhere and it is difficult for those two groups to agree to a set of facts. I don’t suppose I can do anything to bridge that gap. I have trust in the many respected institutions that are raising an urgent alarm, and I would like my government to be a part of finding a solution. That makes sense to me, in my heart, in my guts, in my soul, when I look at the faces of my children.

      I, so far, have not heard anyone make a specific compelling argument about the downside of lowering global carbon emissions. I understand that there are those who worry that taking action would harm the economy. But that is not a compelling argument to me, if the stakes are what so many scientists say they are. We do live in a world where too much is distilled down to a snappy slogan, without nuance – you are right. But people were marching for science last week and evidence-based policies and to say they don’t want to see that NASA page get deleted. They truly were and they had passion in their hearts about it, and that passion came from a very real place.

  • This won’t post as a nested reply but this is a reply to your comment: Absolutely – the internet privacy thing is totally a case of politicians doing things purely because they want to and they can and not because they are representing their constituents.

  • Again, not to take a position, but even this statement “that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: ” implies that 3 percent of actively publishing climate scientists don’t agree.

    The same goes for here: ” understand that there are those who worry that taking action would harm the economy”
    A panel of economists a few years ago got together and talked about the stakes and investments versus the stakes and investments of going after things like the AIDS virus. Remembering we cant go after everything that panel suggested climate would not be the right target.
    Again I take no formal opinion on this discussion except to point out that a very real argument exists against aspects of most 2 word policy statements, regardless of the slogans. When we present them as something less we marginalize the view point of those making nuanced arguments.

    • I would prefer it if you did take a position because your argument is going down a somewhat unclear path for me. I say this very respectfully, but don’t know how you argue the 3% is not the marginal, out of the mainstream point of view. The marginal gets marginalized. If you developed a rare cancer and 97% of doctors are recommending one treatment and 3%, another – who are you listening to? And you would probably prefer a doctor at Johns Hopkins or Sloan Kettering, rather than a medical collective whose research, interesting as it may be, is not supported by 97% of it peers. I want to find the middle ground because I respect your presenting your honest opinion, but just can’t find the nuance here.

  • One last comment I promise. Take the politics out of the question. Imagine your at work making an important decision. 97 percent of work agrees with a decision and three disagree. Do you listen to the three percents arguments. Then decide via whatever mechanism your organization has on a decision, commenting on why based on the weights and views of the organization on any nuanced arguments… Or do you call the three percent stupid to their face? Which is better culturally and organizationally to your companies future? I had a post a few weeks back about active listening the work place. This is a great example.

    • Absolutely, everyone deserves to be treated with respect, all arguments deserve to be heard and judged on their merits. At work and in life. Especially at work, sometimes you do have to coddle some egos, and patronize people and tell others that their bad idea is interesting in the name of fostering a general atmosphere of in-it-togetherness to make sure everyone is feeling good. (Not that anyone does that at my company!) I would definitely listen to the 3% arguments, but not indefinitely. I would hear them out and then make my judgement based on all the information and that would be the end of that. No business would succeed without eventually arriving at a final decision on consensus. An indefinite state of “all opinions have merit” would mean never choosing a path forward, and certain doom for any business.

  • I wholely agree. We do have a mechanism to close the door, that’s Congress and the president’s job. If they choose to go after green house gases so be it. If the majority doesn’t like their choices they protest and vote differently next time. Also good.

    My position here is just I’d rather them March for reduction in green house gas reduction then calling it a March for science. We culturally view STEM as a synonym for intelligence. So saying the opposition are against science is calling the oppostion stupid. The opposition objection to the protest I see as based on that last bit. Mind you I’m interpreting this as someone surrounded by people with that view point. Personally I could care less about the march. I care more about what actually happens. But I grew up with people that would be Trump supporters. They voted for him mainly because they feel like they’ve been demonized ignored, or treated as stupid by the establishment. Their driver is things like saying their position is against science.

    • Well, the March for Science had a different agenda from the Climate March. It existed to say that, as a society, we ought to agree on what scientific consensus is. For those marching, 97% vs. 3% is not a legitimate debate. We do equate science with intelligence and that this message might be seen as an insult to those who disagree is a terrible thing. I derive no joy from this. I appreciate that many on the left are seen as smug and condescending and that those who do not identify with their culture are left feeling ignored, or mocked (including, sort of ironically, some who would call me a snowflake). This dynamic has done great damage to our country and I reject it. If a person listens to their elected official, who says climate change is a hoax, why should they not believe them? I do not fault that person and do not wish to insult them or call them stupid. As I said, we all need to decide who to believe, where to put our trust. Government is one of those places. But those in government whose job it is to understand science, the EPA for example, I have no such qualms about calling those individuals unenlightened to put it as politely and mildly as I can. That was where the message of the march was aimed.

  • Right on, and well said!

    Among the related peeves: I am SO tired of people grutching that they don’t want to see any more posts that have anything to do with politics on Facebook & so would we please just post cute kittens. Please. Come back to America, Huck honey!

  • Beautifully put as always. And, as always, makes me think whether I’m really practicing the things I look at as being important.

    I’ve long held fairly strong political views and like most, they tend to bleed over lines in a way that no party captures me.

    Maybe that makes me a party of one. But hey, it’s a fun party 🙂

    I’ve signed online petitions before but have never gotten the energy up to go march and stand for something I believe in. This post has me thinking – maybe I need to think more deeply about which topics I feel strongly about that are worth marching for.

    • Thank you, Chris. I always believed what I believe passionately, but I never marched or took part in any activist activities before this year. But now that I have, I see how empowering it can be and how good it can feel to make myself heard and to put a little time and effort into a bigger cause. Even if I don’t get everything I want, I feel like it is time well spent.

    1. Chris @ Keep Thrifty 11:28pm 01 May - 2017 - Reply

      Beautifully put as always. And, as always, makes me think whether I’m really practicing the things I look at as being important.

      I’ve long held fairly strong political views and like most, they tend to bleed over lines in a way that no party captures me.

      Maybe that makes me a party of one. But hey, it’s a fun party 🙂

      I’ve signed online petitions before but have never gotten the energy up to go march and stand for something I believe in. This post has me thinking – maybe I need to think more deeply about which topics I feel strongly about that are worth marching for.

      • Brooklyn Bread 10:09am 03 May - 2017 - Reply

        Thank you, Chris. I always believed what I believe passionately, but I never marched or took part in any activist activities before this year. But now that I have, I see how empowering it can be and how good it can feel to make myself heard and to put a little time and effort into a bigger cause. Even if I don’t get everything I want, I feel like it is time well spent.

    2. […] Upright citizens brigade […]

    3. Funny about Money 12:24am 29 April - 2017 - Reply

      Right on, and well said!

      Among the related peeves: I am SO tired of people grutching that they don’t want to see any more posts that have anything to do with politics on Facebook & so would we please just post cute kittens. Please. Come back to America, Huck honey!

    4. FullTimeFinance 03:53pm 28 April - 2017 - Reply

      I wholely agree. We do have a mechanism to close the door, that’s Congress and the president’s job. If they choose to go after green house gases so be it. If the majority doesn’t like their choices they protest and vote differently next time. Also good.

      My position here is just I’d rather them March for reduction in green house gas reduction then calling it a March for science. We culturally view STEM as a synonym for intelligence. So saying the opposition are against science is calling the oppostion stupid. The opposition objection to the protest I see as based on that last bit. Mind you I’m interpreting this as someone surrounded by people with that view point. Personally I could care less about the march. I care more about what actually happens. But I grew up with people that would be Trump supporters. They voted for him mainly because they feel like they’ve been demonized ignored, or treated as stupid by the establishment. Their driver is things like saying their position is against science.

      • Brooklyn Bread 09:27pm 28 April - 2017 - Reply

        Well, the March for Science had a different agenda from the Climate March. It existed to say that, as a society, we ought to agree on what scientific consensus is. For those marching, 97% vs. 3% is not a legitimate debate. We do equate science with intelligence and that this message might be seen as an insult to those who disagree is a terrible thing. I derive no joy from this. I appreciate that many on the left are seen as smug and condescending and that those who do not identify with their culture are left feeling ignored, or mocked (including, sort of ironically, some who would call me a snowflake). This dynamic has done great damage to our country and I reject it. If a person listens to their elected official, who says climate change is a hoax, why should they not believe them? I do not fault that person and do not wish to insult them or call them stupid. As I said, we all need to decide who to believe, where to put our trust. Government is one of those places. But those in government whose job it is to understand science, the EPA for example, I have no such qualms about calling those individuals unenlightened to put it as politely and mildly as I can. That was where the message of the march was aimed.

    5. FullTimeFinance 05:29pm 27 April - 2017 - Reply

      One last comment I promise. Take the politics out of the question. Imagine your at work making an important decision. 97 percent of work agrees with a decision and three disagree. Do you listen to the three percents arguments. Then decide via whatever mechanism your organization has on a decision, commenting on why based on the weights and views of the organization on any nuanced arguments… Or do you call the three percent stupid to their face? Which is better culturally and organizationally to your companies future? I had a post a few weeks back about active listening the work place. This is a great example.

      • Brooklyn Bread 09:52am 28 April - 2017 - Reply

        Absolutely, everyone deserves to be treated with respect, all arguments deserve to be heard and judged on their merits. At work and in life. Especially at work, sometimes you do have to coddle some egos, and patronize people and tell others that their bad idea is interesting in the name of fostering a general atmosphere of in-it-togetherness to make sure everyone is feeling good. (Not that anyone does that at my company!) I would definitely listen to the 3% arguments, but not indefinitely. I would hear them out and then make my judgement based on all the information and that would be the end of that. No business would succeed without eventually arriving at a final decision on consensus. An indefinite state of “all opinions have merit” would mean never choosing a path forward, and certain doom for any business.

    6. Full Time Finance 04:00pm 27 April - 2017 - Reply

      Again, not to take a position, but even this statement “that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: ” implies that 3 percent of actively publishing climate scientists don’t agree.

      The same goes for here: ” understand that there are those who worry that taking action would harm the economy”
      A panel of economists a few years ago got together and talked about the stakes and investments versus the stakes and investments of going after things like the AIDS virus. Remembering we cant go after everything that panel suggested climate would not be the right target.
      Again I take no formal opinion on this discussion except to point out that a very real argument exists against aspects of most 2 word policy statements, regardless of the slogans. When we present them as something less we marginalize the view point of those making nuanced arguments.

      • Brooklyn Bread 09:45am 28 April - 2017 - Reply

        I would prefer it if you did take a position because your argument is going down a somewhat unclear path for me. I say this very respectfully, but don’t know how you argue the 3% is not the marginal, out of the mainstream point of view. The marginal gets marginalized. If you developed a rare cancer and 97% of doctors are recommending one treatment and 3%, another – who are you listening to? And you would probably prefer a doctor at Johns Hopkins or Sloan Kettering, rather than a medical collective whose research, interesting as it may be, is not supported by 97% of it peers. I want to find the middle ground because I respect your presenting your honest opinion, but just can’t find the nuance here.

    7. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life 12:59pm 27 April - 2017 - Reply

      This won’t post as a nested reply but this is a reply to your comment: Absolutely – the internet privacy thing is totally a case of politicians doing things purely because they want to and they can and not because they are representing their constituents.

    8. Full Time Finance 12:43pm 27 April - 2017 - Reply

      I do agree that its a good thing when more people are involved. I even think protests are necessarily a good thing.
      My real issue is wrapped up in this sentence: “people were marching for science this week. Not a controversial idea! ”

      I think the problem is we culturally distill every concept down to a two word sentence when things are usually more nuanced. It turns people off. So take climate change, I won’t state my actual opinion on the topic. I will however point out that some much smarter people then me have legitimate reasons beyond being “against science” to believe we should not act on climate change. These could be cost benefit analysis on other actions, disagreements based on the science, disagreements on the scale based on the science, etc. However we distill peoples disagreement down to, your either for it or your against science. Kind of like our fiduciary duty discussion sometime back. I agree with you, no one should be against science or a fiduciary duty. But what does that mean in the context of the actual bill? How do those people whose views are marginalized by distilling their opinions down to “against science” feel about things?

      • Brooklyn Bread 03:47pm 27 April - 2017 - Reply

        I agree with you – things are complicated and consequences many. But this is a topic that really needs clarity of vision. I’m not a climate scientist. Nor a doctor, nor a plumber. So I have to decide who I am going to trust on things that I cannot do, or totally understand for myself. We have no choice when we cannot personally understand the complexities of a given issue. When I go to the doctor, I look for a diploma on the wall. Preferably a good one. How do I know if something I read in the newspaper is true? I don’t. So I need to take into account the reputation associated with a news organization. These are the ways that, as a society, we have evolved to be able to place our trust in various people and institutions. And blenders! And Broadway shows! We look for third party opinions, organizations with a longstanding history of fairness, results or good work, we place value in respected awards, etc. We care about the Nobel Prize. We honor achievement. We hope for our children to go to a good college.

        Here is NASA saying quote “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.” (link:https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/)

        NASA is one of those institutions that I trust. And I trust Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalism. Some people put their trust elsewhere and it is difficult for those two groups to agree to a set of facts. I don’t suppose I can do anything to bridge that gap. I have trust in the many respected institutions that are raising an urgent alarm, and I would like my government to be a part of finding a solution. That makes sense to me, in my heart, in my guts, in my soul, when I look at the faces of my children.

        I, so far, have not heard anyone make a specific compelling argument about the downside of lowering global carbon emissions. I understand that there are those who worry that taking action would harm the economy. But that is not a compelling argument to me, if the stakes are what so many scientists say they are. We do live in a world where too much is distilled down to a snappy slogan, without nuance – you are right. But people were marching for science last week and evidence-based policies and to say they don’t want to see that NASA page get deleted. They truly were and they had passion in their hearts about it, and that passion came from a very real place.

    9. Matt @ Optimize Your Life 03:06pm 25 April - 2017 - Reply

      I am sure you know that I am with you 100% on this 🙂

      “I respect people who are informed and engaged, even if I disagree with their views. I didn’t agree with most of the Tea Party platform, but I never once said, ‘how dare these people protest and make themselves heard?”'”

      This is a great point. It seems like a lot of people support protests, but only for causes they believe in. We need to be supporting engagement across the spectrum. If we disagree, we need to work to understand and find common ground (or educate and convince) rather than shutting down and shutting out.

      • Brooklyn Bread 03:54pm 25 April - 2017 - Reply

        I know I am a completely nuts Pollyanna, but it just seems so simple, so obvious.

    10. Troy @ Market History 06:43pm 24 April - 2017 - Reply

      I don’t mind protests and that sort of stuff, but it really angers me when protests get violent.
      For example some people started smashing windows in Washington on Trump’s inauguration. You might not like Trump, but why smash the window and loot stores? Those are innocent shop keepers.

    11. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life 03:55pm 24 April - 2017 - Reply

      “If citizens weighed in 1000 percent more on every issue, partisan political lines would fade away like magic.”

      I think partisanship can sometimes have a place but the way it’s practiced here and now is no more beneficial to the health of our country and our fellow citizens than the way it was once practiced when the country was founded.

      If we all (who can) embraced the complexity of our issues, and the amazingly wide swath of issues, even, I agree that it would make it so much harder to sway people based on hitting the bias button on a few issues. But it is true that it’s hard to keep track of all that’s going on, on a daily basis, and it helps to have filters to organize that. I expect that’s partly why people tend to believe what they hear, because it takes time and effort to research every topic.

      • Brooklyn Bread 06:20pm 24 April - 2017 - Reply

        It’s true, at a certain point you are looking to support people who get as close to your worldview as possible and you need to be able to put some trust in them to do the right thing. No politician is ever going to please everybody. And we all have jobs and lives, we can’t spend every waking moment petitioning our government. And I get that. Realistically, I think the goal needs to be that we at least keep our eyes on the big stuff and weigh in. Especially at the local level. The internet privacy example is so glaring to me. NO ONE wants that, yet it happened. Politicians should have to answer for that.

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