(Originally posted on my FB Site May 24, 2009)
** As you all know, I am currently writing a Book. (Title yet to be determined but I do have about 4 I am mulling over.) Many have asked me what it is about and it has been a challenge to come up with a brief synopsis of an explanation because it is not a typical book. Any brief explanation is incomplete. So, following is a rough draft (only the published version will be the clean draft) excerpt from the first chapter. Hopefully, this will explain a little bit. :)
Chapter 1: Politics and Government for Dummies… Like Me!
I am just like you. I am one of you. I am just a regular person swimming in the ocean of “We the People” of the amazing United States of America. I work hard, pay my taxes, relish my friends, cherish my family, worship God, contribute to the good of society, try in all ways to be the best “me” that I was created to be, and I vote in our elections. Like many regular folk, when it comes to voting, I have often found myself frustrated over the “issues,” trying to decipher a nugget of truth from the array of jargon and rhetoric with which we are bombarded. I am a relatively smart cookie but even a good education, a high IQ, and a happy upbringing doesn’t lend assist to this effort, an effort for which is additionally hindered by the “busy-ness” of life and all it takes to just BE one of us regular “We the People.” Every year I have done my best to become better informed, often seeking out the wisdom and experience of others who seem to know better than I, and “doing my part” accordingly. Even so, I have grown increasingly aware of how I can no longer afford this fast-food style of contribution; the more I know the more I realize that I don’t know and NEED to know. Not good.
For a few solid months during the 2008 Election Season, I found myself in a unique position of being among the unemployed; unfortunate for me. For the first time in my life, all I had was time. Quickly, I found myself paying explicit attention to everything going on during the election; fortunate for me. What I learned during this time frame went far beyond just gathering enough information to feel good enough about voting effectively and responsibly. In very short order, it was as if someone turned on the lights and I had absolute clarity once believed impossible to achieve. I could see it because I was afforded a window of time to actually take a good, hard look, and look I did – thoroughly.
Like me, so many just do not have the luxury of time or the desire to get involved, to investigate let alone digest the huge meals of politics which we are offered, and to realize that understanding how politics and government work is not so above our ability to quickly grasp. Professional Politicians already know this. Mainstream Media already know this. As a result, they use these very deficiencies against us, offering us a meal of delectable appetizers that appeal to our needs and perpetuate the myths that keep us in this deceptive cycle where they win and we lose. If our votes are intended to bring into Office the Public Servants who will truly serve, we need to be the ones who win.
I am not an expert but I know the ones who are and will appropriately direct you to them for more in depth studies on the issues I will address. These are the ones from whom I have been able to learn as I further investigated my discoveries. They either validated or debunked what I had believed. They are the ones who have done the extensive research, have earned the degrees, and have more than earned the credibility and prestige for the respective areas which they have mastered.
I am a self-educated person; self-educated because early on in my career and education, I had to walk away from it to care for my family and ailing mother. Not knowing then that I would have only 6 more years left with her, I made a choice that was the right choice, one that I do not regret. Still, it cost me everything at the time having to turn down promising opportunities and quit college to work full time and help keep my family afloat. But I never stopped hungering to learn and consistently took advantage of every alternate opportunity to learn and educate myself from that point until now. This many years later I have the sum education equivalent to a couple of degrees but I do not have the degrees to show for it. I know a lot of people with degrees who don’t have much else to show for it. I would rather have the substance without the degree than the degree without the substance. Even so, I am hoping to pursue completing the youthful goal of a degree in the years to come, but regardless, I will never stop self educating. There is much to be said for self education and anyone, regardless of degrees or the lack thereof, can do it. It takes one major qualification: you need to have the ears to hear. To the degree that you want to hear (and know) is to the degree that you WILL hear (and know).
Ever since I can remember (and I can remember as far back as about 20 months, believe it or not!), there has always been this thing inside of me hungering for truth. I don’t know why I have it, only that it has always been with me. It is the quality that won’t let me put down a great mystery novel long after I should have gone to bed. It is the quality that makes me a terrible liar and resulted in my share of appropriate punishment as a child when ever I tried to do it. It is the quality that has stabilized an otherwise rocky life for me as I have had to face many painful things about myself in order to better my character, my relationships, and my world as a whole. We have all heard the famous Bible passage that tells us that “the truth will set you free.” I have found this to be so right on! Like Dr. Phil always says, “You cannot change what you cannot first acknowledge.” The first step of any 12 Step Program is admitting to yourself and others the truth about yourself. You cannot step any further to conquer your shortcomings until you do. Truth is the path to freedom. I was fortunate to learn this very early on in life. Yet, even this, I am not an expert. I continue to pursue greater truth as I have had the humbling realization that the better I become, the further I actually have to go. Truth is a very humbling experience, a path for which our prideful human nature so easily resists. Even with this hunger for it, it is still by choice that I go there, as much of the time, truth is a large and bitter pill to swallow. It is a higher and more difficult path. At the most difficult of times, the God-given, gracious, temporary escape route of denial is an easy one, even if for a short respite of regaining strength and renewed momentum before choosing yet again to return to climb the path of truth. We all do it, but some break camp and remain there in the Land of Denial. Not an option for me. If you want truth, it cannot be an option for you either. To the degree that you have the ears to hear, you will.
While I do speak in colorful metaphors and analogies, otherwise known as relatable word stories, which are designed to help you more easily grasp a given point, I do not parse words. I say what I mean and mean what I say, a skill I learned on the path of truth. By the end of this book, in the spirit of truth and full disclosure, you will have no doubt where I stand and why, as I will share how I arrived there. Even so, the intent of this is not to convince you to agree with me. I am not trying to influence anyone in any particular direction. It is merely to help you make educated choices versus uneducated guesses. I would rather have you disagree with me but at least fully understand why you do, than to have you mindlessly agree with me. Too often we are like sheep led to the slaughter and this sickens my heart. We should never be part of the flock of “sheeple” led to anyone’s slaughter. I merely want to translate the language of modern day Government and Politics into a simple form we regular folk can intelligently utilize. I want to equip you with the basic tools to help you discern the truth you need, abstract the gold from the garbage, and help you gain the gloriously liberating ability to quickly think for yourself. That is the whole point. You should KNOW what you believe and why. It should be based on facts. You must be equipped to find those facts. I am here to help you quickly cut through the bull to find it all.
Having said that, I am sure many of you will not agree with my stances. Much of what I will share may very well pleasantly surprise you; much might not so pleasantly surprise you. Again, this is not the point. I offer you tools to help you find your own way whether or not you agree with me in my political conclusions. The tools do not have a partisan nature. Anyone can buy a rake and use it exactly the same way someone else does even if that other person disagrees with the type of trees that should be grown in the yard. What I offer is no different. All I offer here, you are free to do with it what you want. It is here to serve you.
This book is not like all of the other political books out there. This one is tailor-made for the regular voting people like you and me. I will share the things that seem to never get said, the things that leave many of us shouting at no one while we shout at our TV’s wishing SOMEONE would finally HEAR us – hear US! WE are the voters; WE are the voices that matter. It is a book that no one has written until now. I saw the desperate need for it and realized, if it is going to be it is up to me. I write this book to offer you the benefit of my experience as I know all too well how much it is needed. I know because I am just like you. I am one of you.
** Other enticing Chapters to include:
- Red or Blue, Which One Are You?
- The Bridge to "Somewhere" (Thank God There Really Is One!)
- The Jesus I Know
- Poltically Correct? Screw That, It Offends Me!
- The Second Coming of The Emperor and His New Clothes
- Two Nations Within Your Womb... (My personal encounter with a former terrorist and the Biblical trail to our current Holy War.)