mermaidcamp

mermaidcamp

Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water

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Rhetoric in the Political Jungle

January 29, 2016 1 Comment

rhetorical triangle

rhetorical triangle

The role of rhetoric in politics is to convince  voters to take action.  Politicians make speeches and conduct public meetings in order to share their views and opinions for the voters’ consideration.  There is a difference between absolute empirical truth and rhetorical “truth”.  Words meant to sway opinions are crafted carefully to leave impressions on the reader or listener.  Theory rather than fact is the realm of rhetoric.  Theoretic situations and projections onto the future can not be measured.  They are emotional and unpredictable in their very nature.  When a candidate tells us what will be happening when he becomes president he is using rhetoric to stimulate our imagination.

Cultural beliefs can’t be proven, but are held by a group to be factual.  Prejudice is one of the many forms of cultural belief.  Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are another kind of cultural belief. Now in American politics there are at least two camps with firm and opposing views about the Constitution.  When a lawyer goes to court his arguments are built on rhetorical truths, but his emotional appeal to a judge or jury is often aimed at changing cultural beliefs.  Tribal or group dynamics are hard to predict.  Our two party system is going through a test in this election cycle.  I wonder which way the cookie will crumble in November.  I urge the gentle readers to vote and consider carefully all the facts while making a decision.  This election is already a game changer.  Your vote matters more than it did in the past.  Please register to vote, and show up to make your voice heard.

Listen with Compassion

August 23, 2015 3 Comments

politics as usual

politics as usual

One skill that is central to peace of mind and well being is listening. We hear sounds all the time. People talk to us with varying degrees of sincerity and interest. Our job is to distinguish and sort the grain from the chaff. By paying attention it is possible to harvest harmony from the symphony of sounds and sentences we hear. To listen with compassion is a difficult task. Defending our own position rather than truly comprehending other points of view is one of the most common substitutes for listening. Understanding others is not a sign of weakness but a sign of maturity. We can’t agree with everyone, but we can look for ways to increase loving kindness in our lives.  To love thy neighbor as thyself involves a degree of allowing that neighbor to express himself.  As we in the United States fall deeper into the political season each day I expect some wild rhetoric.  To remain happy, detached and centered is my goal.  I am setting guidelines for myself ignored to keep my cool and enjoy life while those around me might loose it.

  • No need to respond to political statements made by anyone on line
  • When hearing news reports, suspend judgement and consider the facts
  • Keep my own negative feelings about candidates to myself
  • Attempt to understand the logic behind all points of view presented
  • Realize that many factors contribute to elections, most of which have not yet happened.  A wait and see attitude will serve me well as time passes.

By conscious meditative contemplation I will not only survive but will find my center during the presidential election hoo-ha.  I can admit that the last two elections disturbed and distracted me.  I became enraged at the robo calls and the parties making them.  Now I know that this too shall pass.  I am gearing up to listen with compassion and a distinct sense of humor during the political crazy season.  I wish you a sane election season, gentle reader.  Best of luck.

party

party

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