From all of us regarding GRAND and politics….
What do we want most for our grandkids? Does it change over time? Do Swedes want different things than do Nigerians? How about those Canadians?
Maybe that wish list varies in the details, but we believe people share fundamental aspirations which have shaped the arc of human evolution. Loosely, in no order:
- Prosperity – however defined, it’s the opposite of poverty
- Peace – a society free of war, oppression or the threat of either
- Freedom – to love, dream, work, create, acquire, express
- Equality – of opportunity and before the law
- Security – a safe environment, in all way
These aspirations don’t just happen. They are made real by the actions of individuals, and as we are seeing, individuals can make them disappear.
Not My Job…? – What, then, is our role as a resource for grandparents? If these goals are the ideal for our grandchildren, and we see that ideal degrading before our eyes, should we turn a blind eye, for fear of straying into the controversial world of politics? Is there a rule somewhere that grandparents can’t hold and voice opinions about the future? At GRAND, we don’t think so.
However, we are positive in nature and seek a conversation that informs all of us. We do not intend to criticize individuals for holding different opinions. If we go over that line, we sincerely apologize. Nobody is educated or elevated by being belittled. But we can have plain talk, and encourage readers to talk back, too!
First, we must have a few words about the pursuit of Truth, the foundation of all rational thought. What has happened to that?
The Truth, and Other Opinions – We believe the gravest threat to the society of our grandchildren (and there are several), is the widespread acceptance of lies and propaganda – fake news. Defined here as ‘a story that is substantially untrue and that was created to sway public opinion’. It is the preferred tool of tyrants. Vladimir Putin has spoken of how it is preferable to rule by manipulating information than by brute force.
A perfect example of this was the lie that Barak Obama ‘may’ have been born in Kenya. This lie was circulated endlessly by Donald Trump, Fox News, talk shows and others for the sole purpose of damaging the President. To be effective, propaganda need not ‘prove’ a falsehood, which is, of course, impossible. The goal is to sow the seeds of doubt. To tarnish a reputation, to brand someone as ‘other’. ‘Not one of us’. To create a permanent state of uncertainty.
The tobacco industry used this ‘permanent state of uncertainty’ technique to protect their profits at the cost of millions of lives. For decades they repeated the lie that ‘the science isn’t settled’ about cigarettes causing cancer, which gave smokers and legislators all the cover they needed to ignore the huge public health threat.
Our Only Home Is In Trouble – Now, an infinitely larger threat, the rapid heating of the planet through the sudden release of carbon and other greenhouse gases by humans, is getting the same treatment. Some of the same people are now protecting the profits of energy companies with the same strategy, and even the same wording: ‘the data is not conclusive, the science isn’t settled’ etc. when those same companies have known for decades that this process was underway.
Stunningly, the new head of the EPA is opposed to its mission, rejects climate science, and has worked tirelessly to protect the profits of energy companies at the expense of our grandchildren’s future. He fits well into what is easily the wealthiest Cabinet in our history.
We will talk more in the future about how we can fight for our grandkids. We invite your comments and suggestions and hope you agree, the future deserves nothing less than our best efforts.
The Editorial Team
WE’D LOVE TO HEAR BACK FROM YOU. JUST SHOOT US AN EMAIL TO EDITOR@GRANDMAGAZINE.COM – THANKS!