"How you are seen by others becomes the mirror that tells you what you are like and who you are. You need others to give you a sense of self, and if you live in a culture that to a large extent equates self-worth with how much and what you have, if you cannot look through this collective delusion, you will be condemned to chasing after things for the rest of your life in the vain hope of finding your worth and completion of your sense of self there." ~ Eckhart Tolle
Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, you will agree on at least a few things: The number one 2012 US Presidential Election campaign issue is the economy; and the underlying ideological thread tying it all together is the degree of government's role in our lives.
Take a deeper look and you will find the real reason the economy is the number one presidential campaign issue--the desire for more.
Republicans believe less government is the route to a stronger economy and Democrats believe more government is the route to a stronger economy. Either way, the common goal is to enable or create a stronger economy! And the voting citizens agree. But what's wrong with greater financial wealth?
"Money often costs too much." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Money is not the root of evil but it is the most common means of losing oneself. When identity is found in money, and in things purchased with money, the ego seeks and finds the means to perpetuate and strengthen this false identity; the authentic self gets covered.
Ironically, the desire for more--the insatiable hunger for greater monetary, material and social wealth driven by the stronger economy mantra--was at the very core of the cause of the Great Recession that politicians love to blame on each other; the desire for more inevivitably ends with less; the cycle of greed never ends--it just manifests itself into something different every time.
Placing irony on top of irony, voters in 2012 will once again perpetuate the lie that a stronger economy translates into a greater existence by telling politicians to fix our economy for the purpose of elevating our misguided sense of self-worth: More money will solve all of our problems.
"If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires." ~ Epicurus
The so-called poor never have enough but neither do the so-called rich. The collective ego of a materialistic socieity is never satisfied and the biggest egos in the world--politicians--know how to speak directly to this. Politicians will never tell voters to wake up from their financial-driven delusion because that would undermine their own reason for existing--to gain more power while perpetuating the illusion that the role of government is to spread wealth--to help us all make more money, to buy more things until we get tired of those things, then buy more things to replace the old things, and so on.
"Wealth and rank are what people desire, but unless they are obtained in the right way they may not be possessed." ~ Confucius
In consumer-based societies, which makes up the majority of the civilized world, the individual identity of each citizen is found almost entirely in (or accomplished by) money, material wealth and social status. The collective society must be made strong to enhance the financial well-being of all of the individuals within that society, otherwise the society and all the citizens within it presumably fail:
- Younger generations must have more financial advantages than older generations;
- People with less must be given the opportunity to have more;
- The wealthiest must have increasingly greater capacity to grow more wealth;
- Those who are the wealthiest are admired, yet detested;
- If the financial wealth of the nation is decreased, the sentiment of the nation is negative; and
- Corporations must have either more cooperation from government or less interference from government, whichever makes them more profitable.
Politicians invented the question, "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?" If you answer yes, vote for the incumbent; if the answer is no, vote for the challenger. It's the economy, stupid! But who or whom is the "stupid" one? Think about that.
More is not always better but social conventions teach it. The total well-being of an individual, and of a nation, is only partially dependent upon financial wealth. The majority of one's true wealth is self-created.