Everyone in the political/public policy arena has an agenda and the agenda usually centers on getting themselves paid and staying paid. Hey, income is a fundamental part of life. A problem grows from regular people not developing an eye for detecting agendas and functioning based on that information. Cloaking agendas is a talent for some and others are just brazen with their goals.
Why was the world surprised when an Atlanta megachurch pastor asked 200,000 followers for $300 apiece to buy a $65 million jet? He would have put the jet to good use but we should detect his extravagant agenda. In education, the teachers’ union has an agenda of defending teachers when fingers are pointed regarding low student performance—Johnny can’t read and he is 17 years old. Is that Johnny’s fault; what about his parents? Then, attorneys with a “getting paid” agenda get the bright idea of suing the school system for promoting Johnny for years when he couldn’t read. Johnny should have had a personal agenda as a kid that focused more on learning and grow and less on hip hop gear and X Box.
A classic agenda analysis in Washington could be had about peanuts. We love those goober peas in Georgia and our agenda in south Georgia is to get rich ending world hunger by growing and selling that edible nut. Check this, non-farm people in Georgia sometimes grumble about the constant local news coverage of peanuts when peanut farmers are a small segment of the population. When Johnny goes to school, the school is funded in part by property taxes on that peanut farm land.
Johnny’s parents have the agenda of cutting their food bill and cheaper peanut butter would be helpful. But, the peanut lobby wants the selling price to be higher for their growers of course. One of the biggest enemies of the peanut lobby is based in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Oh yea, your agenda detector is in the red line zone because those candy bar makers want tons and tons of good peanuts at a lower price point. Again, everyone in the arena has an agenda and hopefully they will arrive at a conclusion that is mutual beneficial and transparent to all involved parties.
Activists: Citizens should keep a watchful eye on the agendas of activists because hot drama keeps them paid. The mission of most activists starts off with sincerity but somewhere during the process they realize they can get crazy paid if 20 people in every town in America send them 20 bucks. For sake of full disclosure, that formula is the dream of bloggers like me also but it hasn’t happen….yet…keep hope alive.
Governing peacefully is the job of elected officials while activists thrive on conflict. The National Rifle Association and Handgun Control both benefit from fear of new legislation or regulations. Since the lines have become so confused, citizens need to constantly examine the agendas and motivations of actors in the theater of operation.
The press of old simply reported the news but the current media sources create news that drives drama and ratings. Also, media sources are often thinly veiled marketing/promotion departments for big money interests and political party bosses…Fox News for the far right and MSNBC for the far left.
Right Wing Media and Hip Hop Culture: In a wild theory, these two forces are unleashing massive amounts of negative energy on certain communities as part of their opportunistic agendas. This situation brings to mind Psalm 1:1 Bless is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly. Psalm 1:6 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous but the way of the ungodly shall perish. I actually like the version where “ungodly” is replaced with “wicked” because those who will say anything to get money must be wicked.
The Right wing media agenda is a classic example of the tail wagging the dog. The media drives the political party and controls the elected officials. Most of the people in the American heartland are decent, trusting folks; they believe what’s on the radio and television. So, the Right wing segment of the conservative movement is a vocal minority that loves getting people tickled off. They have absolutely zero good to say about anyone who isn’t a sworn member of their group. Conflict and demonization drives ratings and donationsbut it doesn’t improve our nation.
An end to hostilities would cost them millions. Most of the far right presidential candidates from the last few cycles knew they wouldn’t win the nomination. They were in the race to push an agenda that would build their brand… a lucrative multi-media, multi-revenue stream brand. Ultimately, the climate they created cost the GOP nominee the White House because the political center was put off by their shenanigans.
Another section of this project detailed the agendas of the hip hop industry. Yes, they are worse than the Klan because these young males and females (I refuse to type ladies and gentlemen or brothers and sistas) will say or do things detrimental to our community to get money. The silly aspect of this wicked agenda is that the so-called artists and stars are getting a fraction of the money that music executives are receiving and those corporate types only care about wealth. Kids killing each other over $200 sneakers isn’t their concern. Little girls won’t do their homework because learning isn’t need to be a shake dancer, video vixen or reality show star. Oh, those girls will learn the hard way that easy money in the club culture isn’t usual part of a healthy personal agenda.
Role of government/unhealthy liberal agenda: Yea, Blacks and Indians had a horrible time during most of American history. Blacks caught hell here long before America was America. It was the federal government that eventually and reluctantly protected us on some level so Blacks will always cringe during discussion of state rights and a weaker federal government. History can repeat itself.
FDR and LBJ were presidents that used the power of the Oval Office to help struggling families however, people can grow to expect assistance. It’s called entitlements. Some Blacks quietly content that anything received free from the federal, state or local government is a form of reparations for our force labor in this nation. Really?
The agenda of the civil rights movement was to give every American a fair opportunity to live and strive without regard to race, creed, gender and national origins. As quiet as it is kept, many successful members of the Black middle class feel that the liberal agenda of giving assistance to poor people actually limits those people’s drive to do for self. Also, the liberals from the two coasts (NY to BOS and LA to SEA) have agenda modifications that cause pause for Southern Blacks who are much more conservative. Hell, Atlanta Blacks might be more like New Yorkers than people in the rest of Georgia.
Every voice should be heard at the table in the public policy process. Ivy leaguers on the far right and far left are currently creating the agenda in D.C. and sending the talking points out to the rank and file. Okay, that needs to end because America isn’t improving, the do-nothing Congress is in gridlock and my high school classmates are stockpiling weapons in preparation for civil war…Jesus take the wheel.
I want to add that the most important Georgian we hear from infrequently is perhaps the key…Justice Clarence Thomas. As Chuck D from Public Enemy sang about Minister Farrakhan “Don’t tell me that you understand until you hear the man.” I read Justice Thomas’ book about life according to his grandfather Myer Anderson and that hardworking old gentleman should set the personal agenda for every southerner. Mr. Anderson didn’t like his family member receiving government assistance because he did want to explain what happens in his house to some other person. I never knew Justice Thomas was a “power to the people” soul brother in college but he a radical because black self-reliance was a fundamental part of Mr. Anderson’s agenda. If you think about it, Black Panther Party of the 1960s and 70s had an agenda that would be ultra-conservative today.
In summary, everyone has an agenda and every group has one as well. We must develop agenda detection capabilities then determine how others’ agendas compare and contrast with ours. And, we need to remember that leaders of movements, groups, political parties and everything else have the sub-agenda of getting and staying paid. It’s all about measurable results and how to get to them.