The Fairness Doctrine had prevailed for many years to keep some fairness and sanity in the media, in political campaigns, etc.  Ronald Reagan fought to get rid of it when he became president, and he succeeded.  Since then the media and elections have spiraled out of control, impacted by the influence of money, extreme perspectives, elections purchased, civility disappearing from public discourse, etc.  We now stand amidst the hateful debris left from that action in 1987.  We are no longer a united nation, we have become alienated from each other, and our ideas and perspectives have been swindled away by the biggest bidder and the loudest louts.  The fairness that was not always fair, was now completely gone.  In a certain sense we hate each other.  And I am not guiltless in this morass.

We are now splintered, a scattered people reaching out for some semblance of identity with disappearing ideals, and the passing of the "American Dream."  The hope for a piece of this Dream no longer exists for many.  We see our viewpoint as holding the only "facts" and therefore we feel we can try in any way possible to destroy anyone or any group different than us.  We don't have enough wars elsewhere, we now start wars against ourselves.  It is not enough to have the biggest guns, we have to carry them secretly.  It is as though we are on a crazy drive to find weapons that will give us a physical extension of our sex organ.  I do not disagree with you, I want to destroy you.  And the media is accommodating our hateful "taste."  The new "intellect" is wrapped up in "I've got mine, too bad about you."

Things are turned upside down.  We are manipulated like puppets.  Blue blood George W. Bush is seen as a regular guy, a guy one would feel comfortable with in a "regular"setting.  On the other hand, men from an Arkansas trailer and fatherless home [Bill Clinton and Barack Obama] are portrayed as educated elites who make some of us feel uncomfortable with their Rhodes Scholar tag and Harvard Law School leadership.  Up is down, black is white, education is alien.

We don't listen to the "other side."  I am correct, period.  My facts are the only ones that count, yours are unAmerican or dangerous.  Allow me to quote from James Dimitri Topitzes, as assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Helen Bader Scholl of Social Welfare, in an interview with Lisa Kaiser in a recent issue of the Shepherd Express...

"There is a disagreement about the facts, but it's almost as if each side would say, 'I'm focusing on the facts.   This is factual.'  But the problem is that there's the amplification of what we want to be true at the expense of what is also true.  We start to narrow our view and focus on this one aspect of reality that our particular camp is highlighting as true at the expense of these other nunaces and truisms.  That can create this percepton from both camps that, 'We have a purchase on reality.  We have THE purchase on reality."

"There's a good deal of research on adult development.  Adult development includes an ability to take someone else's perspective, to put the perspective that I hold to the side for a moment so that I can understand this other person's way of thinking.  It  includes being able to hold a number of perspectives within my thought processes at the same time.  It includes an understanding that the answers are usually provisional.  There's not just one answer.  Sometimes many different approaches or answers can be valid for any one particular issue.  It also incorporates this idea that answers can change over time, that what might be right today might not be perfectly appropriate tomorrow.  It's not an absolute way of thinking."

Do I think that there is "adult development" evolving in he U.S. today?  No!  Quite the opposite.  An insightful professor evaluates the problem accurately, but he already has two strikes against him because he "sounds educated" and that makes him suspicious to us because we have been so programmed.

Since 1987 our future in America has gotten dimmer and dimmer for most of us, and more bountiful for a small number of us.  That few can purchase whatever the want in America, including your thought process.

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