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This is a kind of print medium, backed-up electronically. So, it will still be here in a few minutes, hours, and days. Here’s my suggestion. Read through once while your inner “Yeah-but”-ite chorus is otherwise occupied. You know the “Yeah-but”-ites. We all do. “Yeah but, You can’t possibly afford that.”  “Yeah but, you aren’t smart enough to do that.” “Yeah but, no-one would be that kind.” “Yeah but, yeah but, yeah but.” Give the chorus a TV show to watch, knock em out with whiskey — whatever it takes. Read the following once and see where the train of thought takes you. I have been thinking about this in terms of “America” because that’s where I happen to have been born and where I live now. But I suspect you can read what is below and substitute the name of your own country wherever it says “America.” If you do that, can you see these suppositions as equally applicable to your own?

You can always go back and rip my suppositions to shreds when you go through it a second time. In fact, knock yourself out. Read it fifty times and find fifty things wrong every time. First, read it once though, without doing that. Just flow along with the story. I realize it’s a story. I’m not trying to steal your pocketbook or convince you of tax reform or against it or any of that. It’s simply a “what-if” train of thought. I don’t know exactly where it will lead and neither will you, although the “Yeah-but”-ite chorus would insist after line one, that they knew exactly what I am going to say and why it would never work. By the way, if you do go back and read it a second time and find some better alternative, unstated assumption, another line of speculation, etc., I really would like to know. Anyway, here goes…

What if…

The vast majority of Americans actually wanted pretty much the same things for the country?

What if…

The vast majority of Americans wanted the basics for everyone and a few luxuries and a better life for their kids?

What if…

There actually is enough wealth for everyone to have the basics and a few luxuries and build a better life for their kids?

What if…

That were true regardless of political party, religion, region of the country, education level, gender, race, generation, or occupation?

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What if…

Agreements and Cooperation actually occur across every boundary in this country far far more often than acts of crime, or even nastiness?

What if…

Acts of crime or violence or scandal are reported far, far more often than the much more numerous cooperative actions?

What if…

Media have discovered that they make a lot more money if they report on sensational rather than inspirational or informational content.

What if…

The politicians, in order to gather our contributions, tend to exaggerate the negative attributes of their opponents and minimize their own while meanwhile exaggerating their own positive qualities and down-playing those of their opponents.

What if…

There were a vast number of improvements that could be made that everyone would agree on?

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What if…

Our roads, bridges, and schools could be repaired and rebuilt?

What if…

We discovered that whether buildings and bridges stood or fell depended on physics and not on the political persuasions of the architects?

What if…

We made education a higher priority and spent more money on it than on cosmetics?

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What if…

We worked together to improve health in the country by encouraging everyone, male and female, young and old, to exercise more, eat healthier meals, and spend more time interacting with each other than watching TV?

What if…

We forced politicians to do what was best for their constituents rather than what was best for their wealthiest donors (when those are in conflict — they are not always in conflict)?

What if…

We focused on working together to accomplish what we agree on while we have a full and open debate on those things we don’t agree on?

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What if…

We took it upon ourselves every day to give each other the benefit of the doubt?

What if…

The next time we are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, instead of weaving frantically in and out to “save” a few seconds, we kept up as smooth and steady a pace as possible while minimizing lane changes, accelerations, and breaking?

What if…

When we disagree about ends or means, we first recount what we have in common and how we want to deal with disagreements rather than rushing to resolve things once and for all immediately.

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What if…

We thought that life itself was a pretty cool gift to be enjoyed and that many human activities such as gardening, dancing, reading, making love, making music, teaching, participating in sports, walking, eating — that they are all pleasurable in and of themselves and not means to some other end like making more money?

What if…

It were possible for people to get together in neighborhoods, cities, states, nations, and world-wide to find, formulate, and solve problems even without governments?

What if…

We saw every human being to be an individual with their own desires, talents, ideas, issues, that to them were just as important as our own are to us?

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What if…

The successes, failures, short-comings and talents of each individual were partly based on luck and individual effort, but were also largely based on the actions of their parents, grandparents, neighbors, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, strangers, teachers, doctors, Founding Fathers, explorers, scientists, artists, writers, bakers, truck drivers, fire fighters, police officers, farmers…?

What if…

A major way to reduce abortions would be to educate women better and to give them economic opportunity, and if they did get pregnant without wanting to, they had a much wider variety of choices than: 1. carry to term and give them up for adoption and never see them again or 2. carry to term and then struggle to make ends meat while trying to take care of a a kid on their own or 3. abortion?

What if…

Everyone promised to take care of every child born and make sure any mother who wanted to had the economic, social, and educational resources to give that child an opportunity for a full happy life with the mother being as involved as she wanted to be?

What if…

People viewed jury duty as a civic responsibility rather than something idiotic to be avoided so they can concentrate on more important things?

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What if…

People cared as much for the looks of their neighborhood and yard as much as they cared for the appearance of their clothes and hair?

What if…

Every American realized that people from other countries had just as much pride and hope for their own country as we do for ours?

What if…

People who made millions of dollars despite not producing any tangible work product or useful service were not viewed as some higher form of life, but as a kind of parasite on society?

What if…

In other words, actually providing direct value by building, discovering, cooking, growing, teaching, for instance, were viewed as much more valuable than redistributing money that was created by primary work.

What if…

We all realized that we are someplace we’ve never been before and no-one knows for sure what the path forward is, but that whatever the correct path is, it cannot be based on mutual fear and hate but must be based on love and trust?

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What if…

Realizing that, we collectively tried to determine how to follow or build paths of love and trust and found ways to overcome hate and fear?

What if…

We used our choices of media to watch and products to buy, not just on how much momentary pleasure they gave us, but also on how they were impacting the world and its people?

What if…

By working together we can build a better world for everyone?

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What if…

By respecting everyone, we can come to a better appreciation for the complexity that we live in?

What if…

Things are just a means to ends while life is an end in itself?

What if…

People came to see that everyone on earth is closely related?

What if…

People saw life on earth as something precious and worth saving and that that was even more important even than getting a new pair of sneakers?

What if…?

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