“The leaders spoke in warped, vicious hatred that disregarded the truth almost completely, while the majority of the ‘common folks’ who agreed spoke out of ignorance warped by the ravings of their leaders”. -W. Eugene Smith.
The action of the movement residents of San Clemente are currently witnessing is positive. The empowerment of the constituency really is the motivation behind the composition of our constitution. The intentions fueling the energy behind the popular political positions we’ve faced these last six months have been innocent, powerful, yet directed. Directed and manipulated by the leaders of each of these seperate conspiratorial factions. There was a pact, an alliance born out of a desire to win. A need to win above all else. Above truth, above fair-play, above common-sense, above everything. Vicious charges? Maybe. A team of volunteers on one side of an issue scour the city and illegally remove the legally placed signs of the opposition. “Merely playing the game” is a response I’m given. Although that game could result in negative legal repercussions. Words disquised as informational material are strung together to emphasize perspective, instead of educate. Opinion is counted as fact, and defended. I don’t believe our founding fathers intended decisions to be made by one insulated, independent head supported by a recruited band of ignorants, or the mal-informed, but they most likely suspected something of the sort would occur. And it has. We are so busy with our busy lives that we don’t read the too far past the headline. And we’re so weak, that if all our friends have been converted, we follow along to remain part of the group. Regardless of how we feel on the issue, regardless of how it effects the community as a whole. That’s not true of everyone, but you know someone where that applies. So what do we do? Just give up like the Game 6 Lakers? No, we move on. As a community we will benefit from the participation and engagement of our citizenry in the operation and direction of our city, but it is a double-edged sword. If there is a passion to involve oneself in a cause, nurture the passion with knowledge. Don’t turn a blind eye or dismiss the ill behavior of those with authority in your group, because you are then an accessory. We can build a path together, where honest debate and respectful disagreement can actually enormously enhance our returns, or we can follow the herd right off the edge of the cliff. Questioning authority is not contemptuous. But taking action without understanding is.