By Edith Morgan
From the time we are born, we rely on the testimony of our senses: we can see, hear, smell, touch and taste the world around us. Then our brain receives the information from all those senses, processes it – interprets what came in, and goes into action. At least that is, in a very simplified way, what is supposed to happen.
But in the last four years, too many of our fellow citizens have been exhorted to disregard the evidence of their eyes and ears, and to listen to the words of their all knowing (by his definition only) leader and simply blindly follow Trump’s lead. That should have been enough warning that something was amiss: in a democracy, no functioning adult citizen should ever relinquish the responsibility to see things for him/herself and always to “question authority.”
All elected officials should always undergo constant scrutiny by their constituents and should hear from the folks back home, if they do not appear to remember that they are the “servants of the people” – and we pay them to work for us. Somehow, for too many of us, that idea has gotten lost. Getting re-elected and paying for the incessant campaigning take up much of the two-year terms of local candidates, and six years for Senators, four years for President.
Surely, two or three months should be enough to find out whether the candidate in question has the background, track record as a decent human being, and the skills to perform the job in question.
That would leave plenty of time to actually perform the job for which they are running – and would relieve us, the voters, of the incessant campaigning.
Meanwhile, the media, enhanced by our ubiquitous cell phones equipped with fairly good cameras, can supply us with sight and sound of happenings wherever we happen to be. We do not have to rely on anyone else’s perceptions to know what is true: our own eyes and ears are there.
I rely on my own senses for most decisions I make: I sniff or examine groceries (vegetables, juices, milk, fruits, etc.. to see if they are still edible. I can tell by their color, smell, feel, maybe even taste, whether I can still use them.) Why not apply similar tests to those who want our vote and who want to make decisions for us? Often we have a “gut feeling” that something is not right, someone is not trustworthy – that is a sixth sense that many of us have learned to heed, when it is difficult to separate fact from fiction, especially now when we have been lied to for so long, and so often, and about so much.
Trust your own senses, your own brain, even your own gut – you will never be 100% sure or right, but you will come a lot closer than if you rely on someone else or on some money-making machine that merely exists to pick your pocket.
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” should be the motto of every one of us, if our democracy is to survive.