#583 – Dick Bernard: Election 2012 #25. Half-thinking (or not thinking at all)

Earlier this week I was sitting in my Caribou Coffee “office” and a friend I see from time to time wandered in and joined me for a few minutes.
Talk quickly got around to the political world and the upcoming election. He told me he’s filed for one of those important but seldom noticed positions that are on the second page of ballots, don’t have full page ads or lawn signs, and are very often passed over by voters (“who’s he, what’s this office?”).
“George” got around to talking about a younger friend of his who makes over $250,000 a year and thinks there isn’t enough poverty in this country. Yes, this guy said, there should be more poverty, not less.
The reasoning was simple: desperate people will work harder at more disagreeable jobs.
This might make sense, if you rely on half-thinking.
I wondered aloud how greater poverty would improve this six-figure guys bottom line. After all, it takes people with resources to buy the stuff that makes rich people rich. But, no matter. This young well-to-do half-thinker doesn’t need to be bothered with any other side of the story.
I kept thinking of an arrest of “illegal aliens” in North Dakota a couple of years ago. They had been hired by a farmer to plant onions. The farmer couldn’t find any locals who were willing to do that hard and menial work. “The rubber hit the road” out in North Dakota…. Send those Mexicans back where they came from.
I’ve begun to assert, seriously, that the crown jewel of unfettered capitalism might well be desperately poor Haiti. There are doubtless billionaires in Haiti, or who’ve made much of their money off Haiti, and they aren’t bothered by unions, or regulations or such.
They are in a perfect environment for ‘job creators’….
Half-thinking doesn’t stop at the borders of the well-off.
A friend, a retired teacher who lives in Wisconsin, said that 40% of union members there voted against the recall of avowedly anti-union Gov. Walker in the June 5 election.
Now, there might be many reasons why one person voted to retain the Governor, but protecting their self interest was irrelevant to the 40%, apparently.
I thought of an e-mail I got from a distant cousin in Iowa about a year ago.
He was forwarding something about a supposedly corrupt Wisconsin teacher union that was driving the school district into bankruptcy. The forward turned out to be so misleading as to be false, as almost all such documents are. Such documents only need allegations. Facts really don’t matter. All that matters is the story.
I didn’t know anything about my relatives background, so I asked him. He knew my background was as a union rep.
Here is his e-mail, verbatim (bold-face emphasis added): CAVEAT. I don’t agree at all with any of his blanket indictments – the evidence if given didn’t support the indictment. But no matter. In his mind, he’s right. End of story.
August 2, 2011: “My wife taught school for 40 years and in the NEA [National Education Association] that long and in the __EA for over 30 years. I was in the meatcutters union for 23 years. The union publications and meetings always slanted toward the left. One union rep told us that as members work for years and become financially solid they vote republican because of all the taxes that come out of their check. We have all heard for years countless examples of welfare fraud, where people collect benefits and food stamps without deserving them. Its the democrats that cannot spend enough tax money to create dependents to get their votes. This has worked well for the dems for 60 years, but the country is in a different mood now, demanding accountability and responsibility. The debt ceiling vote was nothing more that politicians wanting to hold on to their power. Look what socialism has done to the European countries, they are going bankrupt. They are running out of other peoples money to spend, and that is exactly what Obama wants for this country. The best definition of a liberal I have ever heard is “someone who would love to give you the shirt off of someone else’s back”. That is so true. There are a lot of republicans who also need to be retired.
Look at the _____ WI school figures–from a $400,000 deficit to a $1,500,000 surplus because of the union shackles being shed [this is a union guy talking]. That is tax money that will go into benefiting kids instead of democratic politicians. That’s why they protested so long and loud and even ran away and hid for so long. There is a city in Rhode Island that recently declared bankruptcy because of all the lavish public union pension and healthcare benefits they were forced to pay but cannot afford [no evidence provided] Look at Detroit [an always example] – a run down slum-like mess, and run for 60 years by democrats. California and New York (liberal havens) are billions in the hole. When I was young and naive I was a democrat but as I became aware of politics I sided more with republicans but now I would consider myself as an independent. Show me a conservative democrat and I would vote for him. I am sick and tired of our federal government being run like a giant Santa Claus operation, with a Robin Hood attitude that spouts class warfare all the time. Socialism has its roots in jealousy, envy, and greed and promotes robbery through taxation and produces dependency. I don’t care to continue writing about politics.
I know I have my thoughts and you have yours and neither of us will change our mind so lets leave it like that
.
Is my relative half-thinking? Of course. Not even half-thinking. And then not even being willing to talk about it.
I haven’t heard from him since. He must’ve sent me 20 of those ‘forwards’, similar fictions, till he faded into the woodwork last summer.
This litany could go on and on. Over and over and over and over again I hear/see examples of half-thinking, from all sides.
And like my relative, their mind is made up. Don’t bother with any alternative realities.
What a country!
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