The Rule of Standing


I’ll start with Standing, which should serve as a kind of a filter I intend to apply to my longer posts here (not the News Reposts, where I get my fun hits like I used to off of facebook). I have a long history of wrestling with the below-discussed concept that can be perused on my facebook account.  Facebook extensively reveals the kneejerk megaphoning of my understanding of the Greater Good for All.

The catalyst for the megaphone has always been: some external public event (a mass shooting, for example) becoming a major news item.  This evolves over the course of the week into analytical punditry (first from journalists, then from this new peripheral class of political pundits trying to score plaudits via pandering, then to celebrities and people who have no business weighing in on the topic).  The next step is a series of obligatory comments on facebook (by me AND my friends and associates) that demonstrates we (a) witnessed the event; (b) labored to achieve a fair understanding of it; and (c) rattled off a quippy crystallization of how we have decided to perceive the event and define it.

The Rule of Standing should constrain my public commentary to those issues or events that personally impact me.*

02/10/17 – This Rule can be further narrowed to permit advocacy for the reasonable enlargement of individual rights under the Social Contract even if those rights do not directly benefit me.  The Rule does not permit advocacy for the reduction of those rights.

Of course, I concede that the above statement is somewhat ambiguous. The Rule of Standing is my first filter for all of the words and images flowing from the myriad digital displays in front of my face all day. Without the Rule of Standing, I am at the mercy of so much information, and the effort to absorb even a percentage of it fashions me into a kind of weed growing on the floor of the ocean, subject to the currents flowing all around me. In modern times with all this stimulus, that weed is whipping about like crazy and, at best, maybe food for some fish. I devote a lot of thought to the things I write about, and so I’d like to avoid the legacy of being a quick hit of junk food (some bites admittedly more nutritious than others) to some random passerby.

The issue for consideration is: how can I limit myself from the kind of writing that irritates me about others? I provide examples of this peeve on the other side of the fold.

The PEEVE examples are:

  • The Rick Santelli diatribe that created the Tea Party.  This one is in the same theme as the above, but it was one guy’s rant and then everybody else jumped on it.  The essence of it was – why should tax payers shoulder the burden for those home owners who knowingly obtained loans/mortgages without the means to pay and make good on them.  This one is my favorite peeve/example because it was later demonstrated that mortgages and loans were dealt out by criminal banks conspiring to get the fees from such instruments, and the brokers completely disregarded or lied about borrowers’ ability to pay in order to meet crazy quotas.
  • When straight people complain that marriage equality has any effect on them at all.  It really ought to be indisputable that there is literally no negative effect on the health of a straight marriage if gays are likewise permitted to marry.  This is probably the best example (although not my favorite because it is personally unfathomable to me how this is even up for debate).
  • That time people on facebook promoted the perspective that it was inappropriate for minimum wage earning people to actively seek a $15 minimum wage law.

What is wrong, to me, about the above examples is that marriage equality opponents, Santelli and the fb friends were upset about something that does not directly affect them.  Just seriously, marriage equality opponents.  The tax increase (if any – maybe I need more info on this) attributable to the mortgage “losers” was likely insignificant and we now know the banks intentionally did this and worse, and then passed the fiscal consequences of those crimes to us.

If I invert the analysis, and try to come up with three examples where, even if the topic does not directly affect me, I must speak because it revulsively clashes with my personal beliefs.  The Santelli and minimum wage examples then can be vaguely lumped under the Protestant Work Ethic and marriage equality under (mainly) the Catholic Christian religion.  But there are probably many examples of instances in which I felt the need to speak out about things I felt clashed with my personal (liberal) beliefs.  [Basically, you can refer to all of my 20’s by looking through archives.org snapshots for examples -I will not be providing a link, lol.]

I do not want to foreclose my obligations to Rule No. 5.  I also want to respect my favorite paraphrase of the Golden Rule: Be kind, for everybody is fighting a hard struggle.

Therefore, my current solution for * the implementation of the Rule of Standing is 90% compliance.

Let me know if this is a cop out.  But only if you can propose a workaround.

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