I often hear people discuss governing concerns as though they are the extended interests of specific ideas dominant in one school of politics or the other. As though there are only two ways to look at it.

Key Words
social merit

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Social Merit

We are the Forest.

We can choose cold corrections and harsh reality or a lullaby of self-delusion and the endless hum of overhead florescent lighting.

One side argues for an affordable, focused education system that doesn't pull punches because it should encourage hard work and test the true mettle of the individual. There are no concerns for home life or personal issues of any kind. There is only failure and success.

One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them. - Thomas Sowell

This is how one prepares for the harsh realities of life in the wild. Countries rise and fall as do markets and economies. That which helps you today may in fact harm you tomorrow. Sooner or later everything that crawls gets hungry, and sooner or later we are all going to crawl. The argument is we are fooling ourselves if we think we ever get to leave the jungle.

However, the other side sees the education system as the perfect opportunity to meaningfully impact the lives of what they deem to be "troubled" families and communities. They say we are years beyond natural concerns like precise personal accountability; not all of us start from a position of fairness. Group power overcomes the inequities of the individual or the burden their parents may have left them. There is a lot of blame to go around. We are all in this together and everyone needs to do their part.

Everyone loves a picnic. So colourful and everyone is enjoying the food.

They claim there is no intentional support of the broader narratives and typecasting of certain communities some argue continues only because of the budgeted expectation already set. We've simply built a society to absorb the negative consequences of poor choices as a bi-product of government acting for issues of greater interest to that very society. We can't be blamed if some people take advantage of that. After all, the alternative of letting people suffer in the streets, is too much to bear, don't you agree?

Both see an ideal result. The one a society of well educated, self made people running businesses and inventing new technologies under the cloak of a balanced budget and reliable market conditions that won't chance with the political wind. The other sees smiling kids leaving their depressed neighbourhoods for college and a different kind of life. The best illustration of the social good. Everyone loves a picnic. So colourful and everyone is enjoying the food.

They both see the combined power of government force tackling the big problems as only government can. I only wish we could all agree on what the big problems are. While I'm busy trying to figure that out, someone else is feeling special and using the government's interest in a way I may not appreciate. Demanding results without foresight; expecting success without precision. Perhaps, there are good ideas on all sides if only their "organizations" were a little less organized.

Maybe it's time we do a rewrite of political expectations. Is it not possible that the old lines that divide the left and right are as artificial as the cultural barriers we've almost entirely eradicated the world over. Think about it. I bet there is a candidate you would support in a different party if you really took the time to "wonk" it. If the election is local enough then your support might actually impact a specific issue you care about and that is real social merit.

Crystal Vase
Crystal comes from an island no-one can find on a map. She writes primarily about politics.

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