Special Interest Editorial Article
by Jim Lantern, Lantern Timeglass Journal
Tuesday 2 August 2016
I’d rather have an Honest Enemy than a Dishonest Friend
Of course, I’d rather not have any enemies at all.
Worse than a known enemy is a person who claims to be a friend, claims to be on my side, but is a dishonest friend who lies to me, who then betrays me – stabs me in the back. I don’t like being betrayed or lied to.
On some issues, sometimes, some enemies have treated me better than some people claiming to be friends. They’ve been honest, and even though they made it crystal clear they dislike me or disagree with me on an issue, they have at least shown respect. That kind of enemy I could have a friendly drink with and not be concerned about them becoming a violent threat to me. Intelligent debate. Diplomatic. Agree to disagree. Peacefully go our separate ways.
I’ve been a strong believer in saying “Each to their own way of life, as long as none are a threat to me and my way of life.” Live the way they want to live on their side of a line. Cross that line to force their way of life on me, then I have to go defensive. Only if I know of a pending invasion, so to speak, would I go offensive to stop it.
Throughout my life – now age 60 (born 5 March 1956 in Wichita Kansas), no known honest enemy has ever betrayed me or lied to me. Such betrayals and lies have only come from people claiming to be friends, and a few relatives. However, none now – I’ve outlived all of them, so far as I know. Anyway, it hurts more (emotionally and mentally) when a betrayal is by a trusted friend than by a known enemy. Perhaps comparable to what Judas did to Jesus.
It’s an extremely rare condition, but not unheard of, that because of unusual metabolism, and possibly a difference in RNA, possibly carried by DNA, alcoholic beverages can’t make me drunk. Instead of being a depressant they are a stimulant – like a super-fuel, increasing speed of physical reflexes, clarity and speed of thought. That’s the way I was from age 20 to age 30, 1976-1986, during my first profession of 10 years. I was in electronics repair work, mainly repairing juke boxes, pinball games, video games, and some kinds of vending machines. I ran night and weekend service calls mainly at bars (age 18) and clubs (age 21). My social life meshed perfectly with my professional life, so most of my friends were also customers in those bars and clubs. While shooting pool (playing billiards) I’d bet money and pretend to be getting drunk while maintaining total control. I never walked out with less money than I walked in with. I’d use my winnings to buy drinks and ham sandwiches for the looser and others, so no one ever got mad at me for winning – I shared the winnings but for covering my own expenses while there. In 10 years, I never got into a fight in a bar or club. Then an odd thing happened. Bleeding stomach ulcers caused me to permanently quit drinking all alcoholic beverages in August 1986. The “friends” in bars and clubs said, “If you will not drink with us then we can no longer trust you.” So I was no longer welcome in those bars and clubs. As result, I changed professions.
I’m writing this now because of the political situation in our country – the United States. I’ve had enough of lying politicians. Especially those claiming to be my friend (although not knowing me personally) in order to get my vote. Not just national but especially local elections – I’m now living in Norman Oklahoma. Then when in office betraying me and all others who voted for him (or her). So this Election 2016 is not just about the major political issues. It’s about which candidates are being honest, which ones are telling the truth. Certainly not Hillary Clinton. Likewise not Donald Trump. I’ve considered Bernie Sanders to be honest, and so I respect him, even if I don’t agree with him on all issues. Likewise the Libertarian candidates Gary Johnson and William Weld, as well as Green Party candidate Jill Stein. As a Centrist, I’m more like Libertarians than Liberal Democrats or Conservative Republicans. I’m registered as an Independent (unaffiliated) voter.
I’ve always believed current or former governors of states make the best presidents, mainly because they have the right kind of job experience and a proven track record. What’s most impressive about Johnson and Weld is that both were Republicans twice elected in blue Democrat states. That’s amazing. It proves they are diplomatic and respect both sides. Elected a second time proves they satisfied both sides to some extent. Even so, they have basically been Libertarians – running as Republicans when Libertarians could not get on the state ballots. Libertarians are liberal on personal and social issues while being conservative on economic and government issues.
There are differences between lying, flip-flopping, and justifiably changing positions on issues. Lying means a candidate claims to take a position on an issue but is really on the other side. Flip-flopping, the candidate actually changes positions on issues, back-in-forth, frequently, for no apparent justifiable reason other than which way the political wind is blowing. A justifiable change comes when more or new information on an issue becomes available on an issue, so that the candidate or elected politician can then make a better informed decision. Sometimes it happens when the issue or situations involving the issue have changes that cause the candidate or elected politician to no longer be willing to support it or to then be willing to support it. There are also those odd situations when the candidate or elected politician is lied to by sources, causing them to take a wrong position and to in turn make wrong decisions. By that I mean an honest politician could be lied to and then act incorrectly.
Voters can change their minds to. There are differences between no-information voters, low-information voters, and well informed voters (assuming they can trust their sources are not lying to them or distorting the facts). I consider people, who pay no attention to the issues and news, and then on Election Day blindly vote for their party, to be no-information voters. Low-information voters at least make some effort to know what’s going on. Well-informed voters take the time to do some research into the candidates, elected politicians, and issues, as well as not being blind followers of one party. They can think for themselves. They don’t need to be told by a political party what to think – what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. So when a voter gains more or new information, then the voter can make well-informed decisions. Even so, all that becomes corrupted when politicians lie tot hem and the mainstream news media distorts the facts.
So, again to note, to stress the point, Election 2016 is not just about issues. It is about honesty. Who you believe. Who you can trust.
As for issues, from my perspective, there are at least three kinds of issues…
- Those that I don’t care about one way or the other, and barely have an opinion on. Not many examples I can give at this time, but perhaps I’d include Corporations (listed under Social Issues at the On The Issues website).
- Those that I care about, but have no direct impact on my life, so they are not a high priority for me. Such as the same sex marriage issue. I’m straight, and I choose to be single with no children – I’m not a family man. If two men want to get married to each other, or two women want to get married to each other, and either want to adopt children, then it has no direct impact on my life, for better or worse. What does bother me is when such people are discriminated against by hospitals (I’ve read about – such as a significant other not being allowed to visit their sick or injured or dying mate there in the hospital), or discrimination by any other business for any reason. However, the restroom issue for transgender people has gone too far in my opinion, going against common sense. Other issues I care about, might even have strong opinions on, but usually don’t have direct impact on me, include: Abortion, Foreign Policy and Trade, Immigration, and Education (for children – as adults in college is a different subject).
- Those that I care about because they do have direct impact on my life. Such has Cost of Living, Crime and Law Enforcement, Environment (especially safe drinking water), Health Care, Housing, Infrastructure, National Security (foreign and terrorist threats), Social Security and Welfare.
I believe most voters are focused on basic day-to-day survival. That becomes clear when walking into Walmart and observing people there, as well as what they are buying, while I’m there for usually the same reasons. Food, general supplies, perhaps some medicine, maybe some clothing, and any other basic human needs. There is a difference between NEEDS and WANTS. Needs is what you need to stay alive and keep a roof over your head. I need food. I want a new flat-screen TV. Pay the apartment rent, pay the utilities, buy food and other basic needs. Survival. Then if any money is left over, take a look at the wants list, set priorities for those. No debts. No savings – I should but I usually break even every month. Twas the night before payday and all through the wallet not a dollar was stirring not even a dime. Charity? Maybe give some money to the “Church in the Park” people, who saved my life a few months ago – helped solve my housing problem back then. Anyway, most voters don’t have time to get informed and care about issues that have no direct impact on their lives. When I do have time, I don’t want it to be wasted by lying politicians and deceptive mainstream news media.