This is not a political article! I am not here to argue about health care, clean air, taxes, or anything else that might boost your ego and make you feel morally superior to the other half of the country. But the information in this article can be used for both parties to help keep them humble and always searching for the truth.
Even more so, this article is about life lessons that we can take away from many of the failure of politics. I am a firm believer that if you want to grow in life and become a better person you need to learn from not only the successes in one field, but from the failures as well.
Here are some of the things politics fails to do and the things you can do to not fall into the same traps in your own life.
1. Listen to Others
In the world of politics you have two sides each following their own beliefs and biases. In many cases an argument between a Republican and a Democrat does not actually accomplish anything.
Neither side is really going to convert the other side or really listen to what the other side has to say. Instead one party will make a point and the other party will twist it around to fit their own personal biases.
“Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening … when you’d have preferred to talk.” D.J. Kaufman
It is so easy to dismiss another group of people because they do not have the same basic beliefs as you do. Yet the only way to grow is to approach something without a bias and to listen to others and have them listen to you.
In nearly every political debate there are no true winners because neither side listens to the other and tries to find a happy solution.
2. Look At The Nuts And Bolts
You wouldn’t try to fix a car without understanding how an engine works would you? Yet we have politicians trying to make decisions about things they do not understand. Things like science, business, and art can only be understood by doing it and not from some misguiding data you found somewhere. You need to understand how they work before you start regulating them and throwing your own unfounded beliefs into the equation.
A common argument in the political world is that so and so company does not pay enough taxes compared to the average person and that can be a good argument. But before you make it you have to understand why the company doesn’t pay as many taxes.
If your answer is “because of those stupid loopholes” that is not good enough! You are still generalizing and not looking at the nuts and bolts of the situation.
If the loopholes happened because of some unfair law then that is what you have to bring up in the argument. On the other hand if they didn’t pay taxes because the company reinvested into itself to create more jobs and to pay its current employees and because of that they simply didn’t make a profit, then why should they have to pay taxes?
Should the company be forced to stop creating more jobs or stop paying its employees just so it can pay Uncle Sam?
Often times both sides will bring up arguments just because they sound good on the surface and they seem to prove their point, but without going any further and looking at the nuts and bolts of the situation they really aren’t saying anything.
Anyone can bring up the point “the earth is flat because I see it as flat” and for thousands of years that was a good argument. But is it really flat? Or is there something else going on which makes it appear to be flat?
3. Don’t Believe Everything You Hear
The irony of politics is that one party will accuse the other party of getting their information from propaganda sources yet at the same time get their own information from their own propaganda sources.
There is a lot of information that is skewed to one side or the other just to prove a point. Some of the information out there is simply not true, 68% of statistics are made up. Other statistics are looked at from such an extremely bias point of view that it loses all its value.
“Politics” is made up of two words, “poli,” which is Greek for “many,” and “tics,” which are blood-sucking insects.”Gore Vidal
It is sad to say that skewed information is NOT limited to the political world. Anytime you have 2 or more sides that want to prove their own point of view you are going to run into data that is simply not accurate and not useful in any way shape of form, except for proving a misguided point.
The moral of the story here is to take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Try to look for the unbiased data before you make a decision. You’ll be surprised how much stuff can differ between two sources.
4. Information Should Come Before A Belief
Part of the reason information is skewed is because both parties put their beliefs before the information. They believe one thing and then they go out and look for information to prove their beliefs.
I think this is the wrong way of approaching a problem. You can prove almost anything if you make enough assumptions. You can prove that the “Bible codes” do predict the events that happen in the world if you ignore that you can find the same types of codes in other long books such as “Moby Dick” or “War and Peace”.
If you want to find the truth about something you have to take a step back and approach it from an unbiased standpoint. Putting your beliefs ahead of the data is really like putting the cart before the horse and it doesn’t help you find out anything useful.
To be truly scientific about it you need to be unbiased when creating and looking for information. You need to look for the most unbiased data out there and approach a topic without trying to prove one thing or the other.
Set aside your ego for a second and discover something useful, even if (god forbid) it means having to admit you were wrong about something
5. A House Divided Cannot Stand
In 415 BC Athens decided to invade Sicily with 50,000 men. This was a large army at the time and as such the Athenians believed that the war would be over shortly. However there was no clear game plan on how to go about it.
The generals argued over what they should do, each with their own opinions and beliefs. This constant arguing and lack of one path made them easy prey for the Sicilians who did have a plan and preyed upon the Athenian’s weakness. The Athenians sent in 50,000 troops a large and well equipped army for the time. Yet history only knows of 1 man out of those 50,000 who made it back to Athens alive.
It wasn’t because they where outmatched. If they were united and didn’t waste their time bickering at each other then they had a very good shoot of winning the war. But since they could not set aside their differences and take one course of action the entire army was destroyed.
I see that happening in the politics of the modern world. One party wants to go one way and the other party wants to go the other way. This leads to the government either doing nothing or trying to do too much and falling into debt because of it.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand” Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln once said, “a house divided cannot stand.” There is a lot of truth in that statement. If you are at a stalemate with someone else you need to learn to compromise. You must try to understand each other otherwise nothing will get done, the stalemate will go on forever or until one of you dies.
Politics is one of the greatest failures of the modern world. It is that failure which has caused the richest country on the planet to fall into massive debt. The reasons to unite despite our differences and learn to understand each other are all around us. If we don’t, we end up getting nowhere, we end up making matters worse and causing more problem then we fix.