Communication is important, and speedy communication often saves lives and is critical to lifestyle in the 21st century. However, inciteful communication includes a level of intimacy and emotion not possible in e-mails, texts, or social media. Today there are generations of Americans who will never know the joy of receiving a letter in the mail. To me, a 76-year-old man who ran to the mailbox, hoping an expected letter had arrived, this is very sad.
The greatest invention in history is probably the cellular phone. However, it is also the worst. The ability to reach any person in the world almost instantly continues to amaze me. However, over time they have eliminated interpersonal relationships, and dependence on phones lowers intelligence and often eliminates basic life experiences.
My generation, original baby boomers, was raised in an environment of extreme patriotism, then came the war in Vietnam in my final year of high school. We began to question our government. This led to questioning everything about what we thought we knew. Our childhood was far different than we imagined. Many things had been hidden from us, and the more we learned, the more we doubted the intentions of everyone in authority.
Education is a dangerous tool. It teaches us that our beliefs are frequently based on misinformation. Education eliminates most hero worship. Many of the things society expected us to believe were fabricated. This is ‘progress,’ and it is sometimes disturbing and confusing. Our government has adopted the tools of the most successful marketing agencies with the sole purpose of hiding the truth from the American people. I no longer believe in secrecy for “reasons of national security.
I am a progressive, although I prefer the label ‘liberal.’ I believe that I grew as America grew after WWII. No other generation was forced to adapt to the extreme changes over a lifetime as my own. As a young man, television began arriving in every home. Although we had to wait for the availability of a line into our home, sometimes for weeks, phones were standard in every household.
The changes I experienced in my younger days confirmed two things: I would always be an Independent in my political beliefs, and I would remain progressive in my personal convictions.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, being a progressive has been difficult. I learned new things about my government, upsetting things, which resulted in a level of distrust growing inside of me I had never anticipated.
I had already been a political junkie for more than 40 years in 2000 when dirty politics convinced uninformed Republican voters to allow the nomination of an unqualified candidate, George W. Bush. If the primaries had been a fair contest, the nomination would have gone to a highly qualified Senator, John McCain. Bush went on to become our nation’s worst president. However, eight years later, he lost that title.
Bush was given the presidency by a biased Supreme Court, although Al Gore won the popular vote. During that year, I was so worried about the election of the man known as “W” that I registered as a Democrat, which allowed me to vote in the primaries here in Nevada. Little did I know that during the 21st century, I would find it impossible to vote for any “Republican.”
As my education in the world of politics continued, I discovered that nearly every politician in Washington was corrupt. My trust and faith in my government began to fade.
I quickly learned that ‘progressive’ and ‘educated’ were virtual synonyms. Progressive Independents make an effort to learn what is happening inside and outside our government. We vote for the best candidate, the woman or man who is most closely aligned with our own needs, wishes, and principles. This brings me to the reason I am unable to vote for any Republican.
Those who call themselves “Republicans” today are not. They lack principles and the willingness to serve all 331 million Americans. Contrary to what Trump and his fascist, MAGA Republicans tell you, liberals are not evil; they simply care about the lives of others, not only about themselves.
By James Turnage, Novelist
Elcano Royal Institute: The US in the early 21st century: decline or renewal? By Abraham F. Lowenthal
Bookings: American Racial and Ethnic Politics in the 21st Century: A cautious look ahead; by Jennifer L. Hochschild