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The Illegitimate Child

January 6, 2017

The Illegitimate Child

A middle-aged woman is told by her neighbor that her husband has been cheating on her.  She has proof that she shares with her.  Considering the facts, the woman makes a bad choice and has an affair with a charismatic ner-do-well who tells her what she wants to hear in order to seduce her.  He promises her a new life and that he’ll protect her.  Unfortunately, all the union produces is an illegitimate child. It’s a real child, just wrongly conceived.  The child is here to stay.

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We live in a democracy where every four years the adult citizens can participate in electing a president to manage the affairs of the country by setting policy and commanding the military.  Anyone who qualifies can vote.  The qualifications are very low, pretty much you just have to be old enough.  However, in recent times we have witnessed many games played in several states to delegitimize minority voters by the application of voter registration rules towards discriminatory ends. This has been well reported and documented.  It handed the GOP the election in Florida in 2000 that shoe-horned Bush into the Whitehouse and continues to this day.  It is nothing short of bare-knuckles, hands-on election hacking, but within the accepted tone of election mudslinging, insults and lies, it is acceptable practice and has yet to be held responsible for wrongly electing a winner.  Perhaps that is because we do not elect the candidate with the best ideas, policies and ethics.  No, we elect winners.  It really doesn’t matter how they win, they just have to win.

In theory American voters make an informed choice.  Their information comes from media sources who must play the “fair and balanced game” by reporting news that includes both sides of a political argument, all the spin, much disinformation, false promises, deflection, outright lies and smiling denials.  To that end, voters are left to make a decision based on their opinion which is formed by the information they choose to access.  Unfortunately most people choose the channels of access that support their existing beliefs and no new knowledge is attained.  They make an emotional decision rather than an informed one.  The system allows for that.  The “system” preys on that.  If the winner can falsify information to achieve success, they are still, nonetheless, the winner.  We do not question their legitimacy.  That’s the way it works.

So the question I ask today is this.  What difference does it really make where the lies come from?  A lie is a lie.  If we accept that we can elect our leaders on lies, then why should we delegitimize a winner who gains an advantage through truthful leaks from a foreign player, simply because the foreign player wants to influence the outcome.

Let’s be real here.  We need to understand that every nation, every foreign leader, not just every US citizen, has a stake in the outcome of our elections.  Foreign corporations and wealthy individuals donate massive sums of money in every legally-loopholed way to influence our elections and garner influence in future administrations.  No problem, right?  They do it out in the open and we just stand by and watch.  Should we be surprised that Russia has a preferred outcome in our elections, or that they seek to influence that outcome.  I think not.  Is there anything wrong with that?  What they have done is distribute factual data.  That data was assimilated by news sources and put before the American public.  It became one of several factors that affected the results of the election.  It was the facts and not the method that affected the results. Since when have truthful facts delegitimized an election?  Foreign leaders are not bound by our honor code, yet it sticks in our craw that we have been manipulated to make a choice that favors an enemy. God forbid it calls our own values into question.

There are no illegitimate children-only illegitimate parents. We are those parents.

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