Illicit pressure

I’m essentially OK with the generic, feel good pass this along stuff that comes by on Facebook. What I’m not OK with is the unwarranted pressure.

Look at these two examples, the first arriving from someone I know and love and who has sincere and deep feelings about the effects of cancer on others we both know and love.

May I ask a personal favor…. only some of you will do it, and I know who you are, if you know someone who fought cancer and passed away, or someone who is still fighting… please add this to your status for 1 hour as a mark of respect and remembrance, I hope I was right about the people who will.

Here’s a rewrite lacking the onerous pressure to perform or else “I know who you are!”

May I ask a personal favor? If you know someone who fought cancer and passed away, or someone who is still fighting, please add this to your status for 1 hour as a mark of remembrance and respect.

Unfortunately, neither led to anyplace that would do any good, other than perhaps a moment of satisfaction in thinking a good thought about cancer victims. So, here’s a link where you can put your money where your smug is.

(The link is the obvious pick. Of course, many other worthy organizations would benefit from your largesse.)

Thinking about the thin state of democracy. Here’s what Paul Weyrich* told a meeting of the religious right in Dallas in 1980 about the power of suppressin­­g voter turnouts:

Many of our Christians have what I call the Goo Goo Syndrome: Good Government­­. They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been, from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections goes up as the voting populace goes down.

*Weyrich founded the Heritage Foundation and ALEC, where Republican legislator­s learn to write laws to benefit their corporate benefactor­s like the private prison industry.

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.” (That was President Eisenhower, writing to his brother Edgar in 1954.)

A single quote from Mike Lofgren’s article at TruthOut. Recommended reading from a long-time Republican congressional staffer on the state of politics today.