Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wake County, School Board, Tea Party, Conservatives

Wake County Returns to Progressive Roots
By Mildred Robertson

We did it. The people of Wake County stood up to the Tea Party Conservatives that infiltrated our school board and tried to turn the clock back 50 years. It was just 1 year ago when the regressive coalition used a stealth campaign to sneak into power during an off election.

Who knew?  It is an unfortunate tradition that folks just don’t get motivated to go to the polls unless there is a presidential election, or other highly contested campaign.

While we were sleeping, folk who fail to understand that Wake County cannot be competitive unless we develop and utilize all our resources took over and trashed our award-winning public school system. They did not seem to understand that kids in Southeast Raleigh are a valuable resource. As a community, we can determine whether that resource becomes an asset or a liability by the way we choose to cultivate it.

 Raleigh is a destination for people from throughout the country seeking a better quality of life.  Our outstanding school system is no small part of that attraction. With the election of Kevin Hill, we now have four years to get the Wake County School Board out of politics and back to the business of nurturing our schools and creating future leaders.

Whether the conservative minority knows it or not, their destiny is intertwined with that of the young men and women in Southeast Raleigh who will now have the opportunity that only a good education can provide.

But this episode may have been a good one for those of us who consider ourselves Progressives. Perhaps we have learned that constant vigilance is essential to freedom.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Star Trek, Borg, Collective Consciousness, American Independence

Collective Consciousness: The Demise of American Independence

As Americans, we pride ourselves on our independence. We see ourselves as individualistic, self-motivating and self-sustaining.

Don’t believe the hype.

In reality, we are more like the “Star Trek” character whose group consciousness swallowed up everything it encountered. American values grew from a stubborn individuality, but we have devolved into “the Borg”; a hive-minded collection of drones who internalize and regurgitate predetermined directives for which we will fight, kill or die, no matter how absurd or bereft of fact.  

Case in point—the right-wing attack on the president’s citizenship. This baseless, futile exercise consumed countless news, radio, TV, webcasts, tabloid and magazine pages. While most thinking people dismissed this controversy as the distraction it was, “the hive” internalized and replicated it, wasting valuable time that could have been used to discuss meaningful government reform.

This mindless dash toward the next political, social or economic issue is facilitated by the media. Once heralded as the fourth leg of government and the people’s watchdog, the media now stumble over each other to be the first to report rather than the first to research and inform. Like reality TV, they hunt for the highest ratings with little regard for the public’s need for unbiased facts to make informed decisions.

Whether we label ourselves liberal or conservative, we have allowed ourselves to be subject to the constant guidance of self-proclaimed spokespersons who determine what is right and wrong, not just on an individual basis, but for an entire nation.

We tune into “Morning Joe”, the “Ed Show”, “Fox News” or Rush Limbaugh to receive our cues. We find out whom to hate, who to trust, for whom to vote, who to oppose. The “hive” lets us know whether we are doing well, or whether we are struggling. It tells us whether to buy stock or divest. It lets us know whether we will be supporting President Obama, or whether the Republicans will overtake him. They tell us who will win an election before a single vote is cast.

The “collective consciousness” not only facilitates the sharing of thoughts, but also the ability to adapt with great speed to defensive tactics for any supposed danger. And then it tells us how to respond to these perceived threats.

During this election cycle, we find our mailboxes, email and phone lines inundated with propaganda from the party of our choosing if we are Republican or Democrat, and from both if we are Independent. Our opponents are painted as scoundrels and thieves; our candidates are pictured as compassionate and impassioned.
It is time we disconnect from the hive and question the source of our information. We must demand less rhetoric and more fact and discern fact from fiction—truth from lies. Only by disconnecting from the group-think that has overtaken our nation can we recapture the true American spirit of independence.
The “Borg” would say ‘resistance is futile.’ But resistance is the only sane thing to do. Only by resisting this hive mentality can we be worthy of self governance.
Mildred Robertson
Independent Public Relations Consultant