Our Responsibility to the Truth

Over the years, we have heard about the many problems within our society. Outrage and anger over these issues has created division between political parties, friends, and even within ourselves. These issues open rifts that seem like they will never close.  Discussing these problems and searching for a solution is important and needs to continue to happen, but something we have neglected to talk about is responsibility.

We all have responsibilities. As college students, we are here to receive a degree. We have tests, papers, and projects that dominate our lives. We have friends and family that want our attention. The people in our lives count on us, and we want to be there for them. We all know that we need to keep up with it all, yet we still fall short at times. We feel terrible about our failures, letting ourselves down, and even worse, letting others down. But we are only human and failure happens.

There are responsibilities we have neglected to talk about. Ones that have fallen to the wayside in this turbulent time of social change. The most important responsibility we all have is to tell the truth.

Every day, we are exposed to ideas, whether it be in class, or in our own heads. There are some ideas that we support and some that we do not. It can be scary and difficult to speak against ideas that you disagree with, especially if you are the only one to disagree. Yet this is our responsibility. Sitting idly by and letting the slow creep of rose covered intellectual thorn bushes consume us is unacceptable. When ideas are presented that are false, they need to be met with criticism and judgment. Too often do bad ideas run amok without challenge.

As long as those criticisms are presented wholeheartedly and without malice, the truth will emerge. How often do we say things that are not true or make statements that are not our thoughts? Things other people have said and we parrot? When we present ideas that we do not believe, we are tearing down ourselves and our communities.

When these falsehoods are normal, we teach each other that it is acceptable to not tell the truth. These intellectual thorn bushes will eventually consume us. They will choke away our lives and our society.

Everyone has been in a situation where they said something they don’t believe and choked the foundation of their own self-respect. Those lies may have ruined friendships or damaged the way we think of ourselves. Ask yourself, have you said something that you are just repeating, or sat back and said nothing, because it was easy? Do you enjoy living with that?

The truth is not easy, it is the exact opposite. The truth is hard. Try telling your best friend that they’re wrong about something important to them. Try telling yourself that you are wrong, that you have wrapped yourself in thorn bushes. It might be the hardest thing you do, but are those the friends you want to have, is that the person you want to be?

The responsibility to the truth is a not social problem that can be solved with protest and group action. No one is going to know if the ideas you are presenting align with what you believe is true. You will know though. You will wake up and face the garden you have grown.

As a community, we have drifted from the ideas of responsibility, as well as the truth. Sometimes we obsess over our rights and what we deserve. The social eye should return inward, to responsibilities, to ourselves. We should look inward and ask ourselves if we believe what we are saying.

Is Jared Polis Right for Colorado?

Over the summer, Congressman Jared Polis announced his run for Governor of Colorado in the 2018 election. Polis will, without a doubt, be joining a crowded field of candidates from both sides of the isle. His run has sparked much conversation due to his aggressive policy platform and the fact that he would be the first openly gay Governor in Colorado history if elected.

Congressman Polis got his start as a student at Princeton University where he began creating tech companies which he later sold for millions of dollars. His ambition and work ethic allowed him to work his way up to becoming a member of the Colorado State Board of Education. In 2008, he won a bid for the Second Congressional District of Colorado, which today contains cities such as Fort Collins, Boulder, and Estes Park. When he announced his candidacy in early June of this year, I took a closer look to see where he stands on the issues.

One of Polis’s main proposals is to expand early childhood education by increasing access to Kindergarten and Preschool for children. While this plan sounds nice, it would have to come with a huge price tag. Different estimates suggest this could cost the state ten of millions of dollars per year, totaling up to $300 million in the long run.

He has stated that he plans to work with legislators to find ways to pay for this, but in reality that just means that he is unsure of where exactly all the money will come from. In a state that is $57 billion-dollars in debt, that would certainly be troublesome to voters who are concerned with fiscal responsibility.

Another proposal of Congressman Polis is to get the state to use strictly renewable energy by 2040.  He suggests that we incentivize the use of “green” energy through tax credits, subsidies, and increased taxes for oil and natural gas.

How Polis plans to accomplish this in Colorado, where we have seen huge economic improvement due to fracking and other drilling operations, is unclear. One thing that’s for certain, is that the fossil fuel companies will fight Polis hard on this issue, and most likely win.

Looking ahead to 2018, I see a Polis win as very unlikely due to his undeveloped, fantasy-land type policies. His ideas have a nice ring to them, but are neither affordable nor achievable. Instead, Colorado should search for a candidate who is more fiscally responsible, so we can reduce the massive state debt, continue to grow the economy, and be a state that stands up for our rights and liberties.

References:

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/06/11/jared-polis-colorado-governor-race/

https://www.the74million.org/article/u-s-rep-jared-polis-launches-ed-platform-in-crowded-colo-governor-race/

Country Music, the Media, and Guns

This year, country music and the USA was shaken by the deadliest mass shooting in US history. While we need to continue to support the victims and their families, the 24 hour news cycle has all but forgotten what happened at Route 91 Harvest festival.

With the “Trumped-up” Russia collusion, ignoring the real Clinton collusions with the DNC and Russia, the NYC Islamic terror attack, and daily SJW outrages, we have forgotten there are still people in hospital beds in Las Vegas. However, the media will soon have its chance to dredge up musings of gun control and continue to push politics into apolitical distractions we Americans need (here’s looking at you, NFL).

The CMA issued press guidelines to “please refrain from focusing your coverage… on Las Vegas, gun rights, and political affiliations” for its annual awards show. Of course, in our climate of believing everything is fascistic, people were outraged at this “gag-order on the press.” While I believe in a free press and the first amendment wholly, I also believe a private organization can (politely) ask that the media focus on celebrating music and artists more than half the USA enjoys and leave the political discussion for a later time.

In the end, the CMA rescinded the request and apologized (bowed down) to the media. We listen to country music for pleasure, remind us of good times, falling in and out of love, and coping with personal tragedies by driving a loved one’s truck. We don’t want or need to hear a singer tell us “the second amendment is for militias and muskets,” or that we need to close that darned “gun show loophole.” “Who really needs a ten bullet clip.”

We want to escape this constant political debate on every little topic that can divide us, but the media can’t have anything that might hurt their bottom line. The CMA was only attempting to provide their fans an escape from daily anger.

Honestly, this may end up backfiring on the media. If they want country artists speaking up, as one Washington Post columnist proposed, they might not like what they have to say. These people aren’t from Hollywood. They’re mainly backwoods, American patriots that happen to sing but also realize the importance of the 2nd amendment.

The media probably can’t relate to lyrics in country songs like Justin Moore’s: “As long as I’m breathing, you won’t take my guns,” or my favorite, Josh Thompson’s: “Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun, you might meet ‘em both if you show up here not welcome, son.” There’s even an NRA group, NRA Country, dedicated to country music and gun rights.

The media and the left should want the Country Music world to stay silent. So maybe country artists do need to speak up, louder, and drown out the garbage propaganda that comes from coastal elites. As of this writing, the CMA’s are a week away, and we will wait and see what is or isn’t said. Maybe, Country Music can speak up for the part of America that is so often forgotten.

References:

http://ew.com/music/2017/11/03/cma-awards-brad-paisley-media-guidelines/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/country-artists-have-the-ear-of-american-gun-culture-they-need-to-speak-up/2017/10/02/86e85dd4-a787-11e7-92d1-58c702d2d975_story.html

https://www.nracountry.com/