Political Nightmare!

My eyes opened, it was morning. I couldn’t move, it was sleep paralysis affecting me. I remembered the dream I had during my fitful sleep. I also remembered that I had a bad day the day before.

Some faceless person said to me:

“People don’t look at the Big Picture of life today! We are all going to die. Homo Sapiens will go extinct. The Sun will burn out and the Universe will collapse. Existence is temporary and pointless. We are all doomed!”

“I can see why people don’t want to look at the Big Picture,” I said.

Mr. Faceless said:

“Well, at least, it puts a bad day in perspective!”

So true, I thought.

Well, back to my dream. By the way I was still in paralysis!

I dreamt that an election was going on somewhere and when they opened the boxes, all the ballots were BLANK! Modern politics had become meaningless to the people.

There was a faceless person in my dream also. He said:

“Politics has descended into a struggle for power among a few unrepresentative elites. They ignore the views of the ordinary people who elected them.”

Mr. Faceless seemed to know what he was talking about.

“Why are politicians hell bent on getting us involved in foreign wars?” I said.

“Because they are seduced by the glamour of international statesmanship. It’s an ego thing,” said Faceless.

He continued:

“Domestic politics is too narrow in scope for the politicians. The problems of the electorate are not glamorous!”

Faceless kept talking:

“Another nightmare is Political Correctness.”

“What is that exactly?” I asked, to see if Faceless had a good definition.

“Well, it is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies and behavior aimed at minimizing offense and discrimination against supposedly disadvantaged people.”

“Sounds like a controlling and censoring strategy to me.”

“That’s right. The PC People are holding all the political parties down. None of them dare to put forth any policy that is not politically correct. So, we have all the big parties occupying the Center Ground.” Faceless was getting angry now. I knew because his voice was getting higher pitched.

“So, it’s pointless to bother to vote!” I said.

“You’ve got it in one.”

It was slightly disconcerting talking to someone who I couldn’t see any facial expressions.

“It’s the “Career Politicians” that are ruining our government.”

“How’s that?”

“They’re a self-seeking bunch that aren’t in the real world. They went to college then got a job helping a politician, and then they figured they could do the job themselves. They never held down a proper job, they have no business skills, hold no real political views, and they survive by being politically correct and sitting on the fence.”

“Well, from what you’ve told me, political correctness has thrown common sense out the window!”

Mr. Faceless was on a roll now:

“Political correctness is an attack on critical thinking, free speech and discussion. God help you if you offend anyone!”

“From what you’ve said, it sounds like PC could be the death of democracy!”

“That’s right.” He frowned.

“The dreaded PC has even killed our comedy! I’ve got a joke for you,” said Faceless, “I’ll tell you later!”

I got out of bed, my paralysis was gone!

Too Many Rights, Not Enough Responsibilities!

I was sitting on my favorite green padded stool in “Dave’s Corner” at my favorite watering hole. Up popped a guy on the next stool. I studied him in the mirror behind the bar.

He was tall, tanned and muscular. I guessed in his mid 60’s. His long grey hair was combed back in a sort of duck-tail. His greying beard was immaculately trimmed. His piecing dark eyes noticed me watching him. He had a serious, determined look on his face.

After he ordered a beer, he spoke to me without prompting.

“The country is going to the dogs! Too many people demanding their rights, but nobody wants to talk about their responsibilities!”

“I totally agree with you. It’s a coincidence, I was just telling the bartender here that I counted over 50 rights people demand, but only 10 responsibilities came to mind. Five rights to one responsibility!”

Just then a drunk at the bar said:

“Hey, the service in this joint stinks,” he shouted.

“I will have to cut you off and tell you to leave,” said the bartender.

“Hey, hold on a minute, I have the right to freedom of speech!”

“Sorry, buddy, you have no rights when you bother other people and don’t take responsibility for your outbursts.”

The drunk left in a huff, mumbling he would take it up with his congressman.

I smiled and said: “We tend to divide rights into two categories, our rights, and their responsibilities. We need to start talking about Human Responsibilities!”

My stool partner spoke up: “The other night when I came home from work, my wife started laying into me about how she wanted to go out, she was going stir crazy!”

I shouted back: “I have the right to some peace and quiet when I come home from a hard day at the office!”

And she shouted: “I have a right to tell you how I feel!”

I smiled.

“That’s what is happening in the world now, conflicting rights. The idea that all humans have basic rights that exist simply because we belong to the human race. There  was a time when codified rights didn’t exist!”

Just then the drunk came back and said:

“My congressman told me, I have the right to say what I feel. Also, I have the right to expect respect from you. I have the right to be angry with you. And finally, I have the right not to be responsible for your problems! I have the right to act the way I want!”

On and on he babbled, even after they threw him out the door!

“That guy has more rights than human beings,” I laughed.

Everyone in the tavern roared with laughter.

“It’s all a matter of balancing my rights with your rights and taking responsibility to live with that balance.”

My drinking companion seemed to be a knowledgeable fellow.

“But can we change to accept out responsibilities? It’s easy to TALK about accepting responsibilities, but much harder to implement!”

“What do you think are the most important responsibilities?” I asked my bearded friend.

“Well, first, let me say that I believe you don’t have rights, which are entitlements or givens, without responsibilities, which are the obligations that go along with rights.”

“My sentiments exactly,” I chimed in.

“Now, some responsibilities people don’t usually think about are:

You are responsible for your decisions and their consequences.

You are responsible to contribute to society and adhere to the law.

And I will add, here, that criminals should have no rights or respect.

You have a responsibility to SPEAK and express yourself thoughtfully, truthfully and in a manner that builds a community, NOT to tear it down.”

“Well, that’s some real food for thought. Maybe people will change and accept these responsibilities, but change takes time and it will take more time if people don’t do it.”

My learned friend had a very serious expression on his face when he said:

“Many leaders in the world don’t accept their responsibilities. When we hand them the reigns of power, they must be held accountable for how they use that power. This is one of the failures of modern democracies.”

We ordered two more beers and started a lighter conversation.

Then the drunk stuck his head in the door and said:

“I’ve seen the light! My congressman has just told me that for every right I have, I also have a responsibility! I DON’T THINK I WILL VOTE FOR HIM AGAIN!”