Candles Always Cry

And Other Stories

Category: Sharable

Fact Is

Yes you can argue with facts. In fact, the only thing you can argue with are facts.

What else do you intend to argue about? Whether Obama did or did not pass the healthcare bill? No.

You’re going to argue about the healthcare bill itself.
Will it make our country go bankrupt?
Does it prove that Obama is a socialist with evil communist aspirations?
Was there a different way to solve the problems in the healthcare industry?

When you’re in a discussion about a fact, you support your position with facts.

If the facts are questionable, or you bring reason to doubt the other side’s facts, then once again you’re arguing over facts (hopefully by invoking other facts).

So a list of facts without context doesn’t prove anything.
When you use statements like ‘these are facts’ as the clincher for your case, you’re just shutting down the argument. What you’re really saying is, “I think that my opinion is the only possible interpretation of these facts so I’m not gonna bother supporting my position or listening to yours. Because I’ve got the facts. So what you gonna say to that?”

It’s about the interpretation of the facts.
And that’s why the truth is so malleable.

Inspired by this article and by years of reading the news.


Be the change Obama promised

This Tuesday, Election Day, there will be no winners.

If the campaigns of our candidates are to be believed, Romney is a greedy liar whose policies will hurt the middle class, and Obama is an incompetent anti-capitalist who is undermining America with increased government dependence.

I believe both of them.

Neither candidate seems capable of reinvigorating the economy, reducing inequality, closing the deficit, paying for an entire generation to retire, improving America’s dismal education system; all while dealing with China, Russia, the Middle East and Europe’s continuing recession.

More importantly, neither Romney nor Obama will be able to bridge the partisan chasm that exists right now. Listen to any political pundit, newspaper, blogger, TV anchor – hell, listen to the candidates themselves. The way they, and we, talk about each other, talk about how the future of America belongs to one party or the other, meaning to one or the other half of Americans – this isn’t the United States we’re dealing with anymore. This is North and South. Yankees and Greybacks.

I love this country and wish that I believed that voting for one man or another, or for this or that policy would make a difference. But I don’t. I’ve tried to be a good citizen, to listen to the debates, be informed, follow the issues – but I can’t. It makes me sick. It makes me sad. It makes me feel like a little kid whose parents are yelling in the next room and the only thing they can do to make it stop is hide under the blanket and cover their ears.

Which I don’t intend to do. I will go out to the polls on Tuesday and wear a sticker that says ‘I voted’ and play my part in this democracy.

However, I do believe there is another way.

There is a much more important role that we individuals play, and it’s unrelated to who is president or which party is in power. A presidential election encourages us to discuss and evaluate what it means to be a citizen, an American, and a human being – but we don’t need politicians to implement those values for us. Once we’ve defined our values – hard work, social justice, entrepreneurship, patriotism, civil rights, or whatever else they may be – we can implement them ourselves, in our own lives.

Get educated, start at a non-profit, start a business, pray, donate, volunteer, promote ideas you support, think, create, share. Be the change Obama promised us.

This Tuesday, elect yourself.

Written for but unpublished on my school newspaper, hence the imperative tone.