Blinders 11/14/22

Thoughts with Richard Bleil

The human on my back wants me to run faster than all of the other horses and I’m doing it I’m in front I’m winning I’m winning I’m going to oh look that guy is eating an apple!  Wonder if he’ll share?

Okay, honestly, I don’t know that this has ever happened in a horse race, but the truth is that the riders and owners do not want the horse to be distracted.  This is why they put blinders on the horse, so they can stay focused on the race.  But it’s not just horses.

Now that the midterm elections are over and done with and all that remains are the tears and analyses, it’s a good opportunity to look back.  Whether our own preferred candidates won or lost, all of them have one thing in common.  They want you to wear blinders.  They want you to see all of the problems with the other candidate (typically) or all of the good things that this candidate has done (or will do).  Focus on that.  Just that.  Only that.  Listen, just look at how bad the other guy is, but not me.  And the other guy can’t do anything good but look what I will do.  Just this.  Look.

The reality is that any politician has advantages and disadvantages.  I really don’t like Trump.  I’m sure this shocks you.  But, in reality, he did do some good things.  And he did some terrible things.  He gave tax breaks to his wealthy friends that he kept permanent, but the breaks that were supposed to be for the rest of us were temporary and a parlor trick as most of our taxes went up anyway.  I certainly didn’t like this.  But he did give a deadline for getting out of Afghanistan, and although it went very poorly under the Biden administration, the ball was set in motion by Trump.  I do like this.  Frankly, we never belonged there in the first place. 

Most people will disagree with me.  The people who love Trump really love him and see him as being unable to do wrong.  They see him as the best thing that ever happened who tackled the immigration problem like no other.  Those of us who hate Trump tend to see him as incapable of doing any good.  His heartless approach to separating parents and children at the border is certainly not who we want to be as a nation and he should be held accountable. 

Yes, I’m picking on Trump, but only as an example.  You can pick any president (or party if you want to expand the argument) and many of us see the issues in black and white.  There is no gray scale.  How can there be for those bastards in that party over there.  They can never do any good.  Or can they?  Aren’t we wearing blinders?  In the final analysis, it should never come down to party.  It should be which candidate has done more for us than less?  Who holds most of our values up, and stands up against what we oppose the most?  Isn’t it time to remove the blinders and see the bigger picture?

Thanks to Mitch McConnel and the old guard currently running the Republican party, I cannot support the party.  And yet, there are Republican politicians that I do like, those few who have the courage to stand opposed to some of the more egregious stances of the party, the heroes who are willing to suffer the punishment of voting their heart over their party.  The Democrats are no better.  In the end, most Democrats just vote party instead of heart.  It makes me wonder just how few people are truly running this country?  Surely far less than those in Congress since the vast majority of them are acting like mindless drones for their parties.

It’s not just politics, though.  Managers and bosses are the same way.  A good employee is a hero and can be forgiven for any mistake they might make, but once you slip onto the bad side of your boss, usually it’s impossible to do anything right at all and it’s only a matter of time until you’re let go.  I’ve been on both sides of that equation and, as a supervisor, kept that in mind as I tried to sing the praises of all of my people, including those actively working to discredit me and (successfully) trying to get rid of me.  But those blinders are strong, and even as I was aware of the dangers, I found it difficult to overcome my own personal biases and blinders.  But those who can truly see the bigger picture are the fortunate ones. 


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