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Educating the public is the only way to move America forward

laugh & learn
laugh & learn
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Spike TV

It doesn't get any easier trying to make Americans see the proverbial light when it comes to moving America forward.Even in the internet age when information is so much easier to access, people can still be led astray-easily. It's not not like ignorance is something new in America: we have a legacy of being fools which -in turn-makes life miserable for the masses.

Take the 1950's, a decade in someways I've always considered the last normal one we had. Yes, I realize that our black friends might disagree with me on that, but their family unit was actually tighter back then, and it would never be the same in the decades to come. Coming out of the World War II, our main fight was with the communists, mainly the Soviet Union. That fear fanned by politicians and the media alike, swarmed into a wild fire with the likes of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who used the fear of the "commie" onslaught to promote his career. He maintained that our government was swarming with communists although he could never provide proof. That phony crusade scared many and ruined the lives of many more, some even committing suicide.

Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon would also use that same fear to get the typical American behind the fight in Vietnam. Nixon, using his "southern strategy" used fear to scare the white man about blacks. The trouble with the fear of communism is that it drove us into Vietnam. As we learned later, communism was never a monolithic conspiracy controlled by the Soviet Union or China. In fact, had we worked with Ho Chi Minh when he reached out for our help in the earlier decades of the 20th century, we could have avoided Vietnam and maybe taken a progressive move forward against all things seemingly communistic. We overthrew countries like Iran and Guatemala because they appeared "too left" - because they were in favor of "commie" type ideas like land reform. That Iranian overthrow would come back to haunt us many years after we toppled their democratically elected leader in 1953.

Let's face it, a substantial number of American people are simply stupid and ignorant of the facts, and all relevant knowledge as it pertains to much of foreign policy, history and economics. Too many Americans are simply too lazy to do legitimate research when it comes to the complicated ways of life and current events. After 9/11, when the Bush/Cheney crowd wanted to invade Iraq, they managed to make at least 50% of the people actually believe that Iraq had something to do with 9/11. They too used fear to get the people to support a major mistake in foreign policy that still haunts us to this day- the melt down and civil war in Iraq. It was always such a coincidence that terror alerts were always high whenever election time came around back then. If you think that many Democrats and our intelligence community also believed that Iraq has WMD's, you would be right, but making such a critical decision as going to war while we were still fighting in Afghanistan, was a ghastly mistake. JFK also had the military among others pressuring him to invade Cuba during the missile crisis in 1962. We knew then there were missiles in Cuba and that they were probably armed with nuclear warheads. Talk about pressure! He still had the balanced judgement NOT to invade, using a blockade instead. We later learned had we invaded, those missiles would have been launched.

During the Reagan era, that president did raise taxes (11 times) and yes, he compromised with Democrats. He raised the payroll tax to save social security, and raising the debt ceiling back then was not a cliff-hanging event that almost shutdown the government. Right-wingers simply erase these facts from what's left of their memory because it doesn't suit their preordained agenda. These people want no taxes or regulations. They refuse to work with President Obama, and they think they're right. Despite what's going on around this insane world, our economy is bouncing back, and the unemployment rate is now close to 6%. Our exports are 46% higher today than in 2009. President Obama deports more people than any other president in history.Job creation has been over 200,000 a month lately, and home sales are shooting up. These facts don't matter to the extreme right because they just don't want to allow any success to the Democrats or Obama.The fact they can demean success and derive his poll ratings down, only makes clear how easy it is to manipulate what people think.It doesn't reflect in all polling as congress's approval rating is around 9% and Obama's is somewhere around 43%.

Luckily, no matter what happens in the next few years, the newer generations aren't buying the radical right's fears of gay marriage, of abortion rights or women's rights for that matter. Using fear to scare people that President Obama will take away your guns simply never panned out, so gun control is a useless tool anymore..but that fear did work for years. Speaker Boehner wants to sue the President because he is using too many executive decisions instead of working with congress, but congress won't work with him. It's all smoke and mirrors and the idea is to fool the people into believing the president is getting nothing done. Thank God for the media. TV shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, actually use humor in convincing millions that the Republicans are an absurd bunch who have no ideas, but so much to complain about. Bill Maher also successfully debates the issues with people representing both the left and the right, and humor usually points out the sheer absurdity of the extreme right. The media will help shine a light on the hogwash of the fear tactics and foolish policies of the past which got us in so much trouble: trickle-down economics does not create jobs; Iraq was never involved in 9/11; environmental policies like the Clean Air Act helped reduce pollution and acid rain. These are facts. Sometimes tax hikes help like when Reagan hiked the payroll tax in the 1980's to salvage social security. These are the facts. Don't be scared to realize what Rush Limbaugh and his ilk are laying on you is simply rubbish-designed not to inform, but to enrich him and others like Roger Ailes. The right-wing owns talk radio, and owns their audience who like the news to be simple, just like the solutions lathered on like pancake syrup. It's not hard to swallow because the recipe is easy to eat.

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