I continue to write a column for the Ann Arbor Chronicle. The latest one seeks to counteract a huge, manipulative ad campaign being run by a somewhat nefarious billionaire looking to fundamentally cripple our ability to functionally run Michigan.
Please Vote NO on Props 5 and 6; touch base with everyone you know in Michigan, and make sure they’re planning on voting *against* these shenanigans, too.
Larger than local politics, this billionaire’s efforts to hoodwink us really rely on our active connivance, by preying on our suspicions of the worst in each other. Even if you don’t live in Michigan–poor devils!–there’s something to be learned from what’s happening here:
The Ann Arbor Chronicle | In it for the Money: Kleptocracy
What [billionaire] Moroun is preying upon is our knee-jerk “common sense” conviction that government – which is the subset of ourselves that we charge with the job of keeping the house tidy so the rest of us can earn a living – is essentially incompetent. More so than mudslinging in political ads or lies during debates, it’s this core cynicism – a cynicism we each individually carry in our hearts and reproduce over and over again with pithily captioned pictures posted to Facebook, and re-shared links to spurious infographics, and caps-locked screeds – that’s poisoning us as a nation.
Listen, I love you, so I feel like can say this: Cynicism is the mechanical thing that dumb people do to seem wise. It’s a display of our most fundamental weakness: the ardent desire to be right.
Knee-jerk anti-governmentalism is the equivalent of thinking you’re precognizant because you can look at the succulent, exquisitely prepared dinner that’s been set before you, turn to your host and confidently claim: “In the next several hours, this luxurious banquet will be rendered into fecal matter by the action of our digestive systems.” That doesn’t make you a reliable forecaster of human events; it just makes you a boor. I don’t think any post-adolescent needs constant reminders of the basics: people lie, humans are fallible, puppies become stinky old dogs, and everyone dies. We do need to remind each other that we can and should live our lives, wash that dog, help each other recover from our failures, and correct the liars.
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The day this column went live I got a *really* nice email from the Consul General of Canada complimenting me on my efforts. Don’t let anyone speak ill of Canadians to you. That whole damn nation is one huge class act.