By: Wayne Brown
There is an adage which implies that at some point in time “perception becomes fact”. Some may not want to believe this but it is in actuality more true in many cases than not. The reason is because it is so much a part of our human nature to embrace those things which seem to make sense to us.
I guess one could say this is part of the conditioning of our environment as human beings that we grab quickly at those things that tend to support our belief structure and lash out at those which go against the grain. This human condition has served the political forces of our world quite well over time in that it has allowed time and again the creation of “perceptions” which are offered as truths to those who would seem to be the beneficiaries of it.
Look at the recent and on-going debate over healthcare in this country. The perception which has been offered as a rationale for creating a government run healthcare is “the American people are demanding it.” Add more gasoline to that fire by simply pointing that 30+ million in America are currently without healthcare coverage. You might also conveniently leave out that 15 million of those may be illegal immigrants residing in this country. The talk tends to leave a number of perceptions: 1. It’s a dilemma 2. We must do something. 3. People have no medical help. 4. America wants the government to fix it. Once those perceptions are firmly rooted, then it is a simple process for those in Washington to step forth and issue the type of legislation we have seen passed on this subject in the last year.
Too often, once an action is taken, it becomes apparent that the outcome was really not what the majority of Americans desired. It was simply offered up and suggestively perceived in that manner. Suddenly, the government was the purveyor of all that was medical in this country. The industry basically became socialized almost overnight with the passing of legislation amounting to almost 2,000 pages of laws, regulations, and guidelines. Most of this information seemed to be unknown to those who promoted it but again the “perception” was offered up that we had no choices, we had to act, and we must go forward to see the real benefit of this action.
So the question finally surfaces, “Are we participating in a democracy or are we herding sheep?” It would appear that the latter may more likely be the case. The perceptions have been planted that we have no other alternatives or choices yet America is about alternative and choice and should remain as such. As Americans, we have no ability to opt out. We are being told that we must be willing participants though unwilling or we will be fined a tidy sum for our reluctance. Thus another perception is slid into place by those who herd the sheep.
We are seeing “perceptions” offered up with regard to the situation on our southern border of Mexico. Those perceptions are offered up on the basis that the southern border is as secure as it ever has been and thus should not be the focus of an America looking toward the future. The perceptions offered call for us to concentrate on the real problems at hand which is described as “what can we do for these poor innocent souls who have come to this land illegally only seeking refuge and warmth? We must hurry, something must be done! We must quickly make them all citizens so the problem of their illegality will simply go away and they will be bathed in the warmth of citizenship and human kindness and we can all feel good about what we have done.” Wow, that makes you feel good just thinking about it. Unfortunately, the perception offered does not solve the problem, it only mask it behind the veil of amnesty. It only motivates those who have yet to come here illegally to hurry up and execute their plan so they too can reap the milk and honey of amnesty and citizenship. It does nothing to stem the flow at the border nor does it address the larger issues of drug trafficking, gangland violence, and potential national security issues. The perception invites one to think that if we focus on those currently here illegally and fix their problems, we fix the overall situation. What a sham and what a grievous act of political ambition to capture yet another voting block in America.
We are offered up the perceptions that America creates over 20% of all the trash in the world yet one must wonder whether or not the refuse filling the ditches, rivers, and streams of countries throughout Asia is even considered under that definition of “garbage”. We are told that we are the “polluters” of the world with our overly large carbon foot print which so unfairly infringes on the clean air needed by other citizens of the world who are far more environmentally conscious than us Americans. No one seems to want to discuss the fact that China currently produces 80% of its electrical energy with coal-fired plants and possess little alternative or will to significantly change that direction in the years to come. No one mentions that the laws proposed to cure this dilemma in our country under Cap & Trade legislations calls for the establishment of defined carbon footprints and the buying of carbon credits to offset them. These credits will then be bought and sold on the open market like pork bellies and make a few among us excessive rich in the process. No one wants to spoil that utopian vision of environmental purity by discussing such greed and avarice.
Americans are continually told by our own people what an all consuming and uncaring people we are. That perception of the ugly American is permanently hung over our fireplace in this country by our politicians. In reality, we give more than anyone else on earth and are usually the first ones on the scene of a disaster and the last ones to leave. But that is not the perception which is offered because that image in America has no productive end when there is a need to herd the sheep.
We are told that we must study and embrace diversity. We are told that Americans have no ethnic appreciation, no cultural appreciation, and no regard for the others who populate this world. We are told that Americans must become more politically correct in their approach. We are told that even though those of Middle Eastern origin can return again and again to attack our lands and kill our people that we are mistaken in our suspicions of such people. We are told that it is much more politically correct to bend over a little old 90-year old grandmother from Kansas and give her a public rectal exam than it is to be so rude as to ask an Egyptian man traveling on a one way ticket and wearing funny looking shoes to submit to examination which he claims violate his religious beliefs…oh, lets not go there! Bend over granny! In the process of avoiding the step of profiling, nearly 3,000 of our people were killed. But, we must get past that and move on in a manner that promotes harmony and global togetherness in the world. This is the perception which we are offered.
America is currently operating under the yoke of a depressed and stagnant economy. Business fears abound, investments are made very cautiously. Consumers have little faith in the marketplace and manufacturers feel the fears. As a result, we see double-digit unemployment figures. The perception which is offered is that government needs to fix the problem by “creating” more jobs in the private sector. One might conclude that the private sector is the domain of business and that business in turn is the entity which will create jobs based on the direction of the market. That perception does not fit the government’s agenda to interject itself into our everyday activity; therefore it is not one that is offered. There is a dilemma, something must be done, it must be done now, and the government will do it…that is the best perception.
America has its roots in a fierce independence. Those who initially came here came with little in terms of assets and less in terms of any guarantees that what they were coming to was any better than what they had left. All they knew is that they could not continue on where they were living under the thumb of authoritarian rule. In coming together in this vast land, there were those who believed and held the “perception” that we could create a republic which allowed all its inhabitants to be free and independent of tyranny. America grabbed on to those beliefs and created one of the greatest nations upon this earth. Along the way, we fought our battles, resolved issues of slavery, staved off those bent on destroying the world, and shared much of our good fortunes with other people around the globe. This is our heritage. This is truly who we are and the fabric from which we are cut. When perceptions are offered that say otherwise, we, as a public, must rise up and question those statements and never allow them to become truths in our lives.
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