We have so many problems in the United States of America. These problems seem insurmountable, leaving me befuddled when trying to figure out the right place to begin examining the problems. Should I start at the beginning of the country and explain it chronologically or start in the present with the current issues and make the connections?
With intertwined thoughts and a load of ideas, my goal for this series is to make all the things happening in the United States make sense.
I am a mother of three, a wife, and an Army veteran. My interests surround justice, right versus wrong/morality, consistency and efficiency, and are people/ socially focused. I have been writing for years but have only decided to share my thoughts publicly a couple of years ago. After running for a state office and failing in 2018, I was determined to finish my education before making another attempt at running for office again.
I graduated in December 2019 with two bachelor’s degrees in political science and philosophy and minored in sociology. I planned on beginning a graduate degree in education curriculum in the spring of 2020 but was hospitalized due to my recent diagnosis with Sjogren’s syndrome and dermatomyositis. While I have had to change my plans significantly, this time of rest and recuperation has allowed me to slow down and explore my writings. All things happen for a reason, right?
My ultimate goal in life is to understand people better so that I can figure out a way for us to have more meaningful interactions with less conflict. I believe that one of our biggest downfalls as Americans is the lack of respect we have for each other. This has led us to the divisive culture we still live in today. Because the divisibility is due to a cyclical problem, we have to pinpoint the problem holding us onto the loop so that we can correct our downfall. If we began with respecting every individual despite their differences, we would be more willing to be considerate of others. This series will explore this notion and build upon how it relates to all parts of social interactions and not just political ones.
I will initiate Make it Make Sense with the problems at hand, then begin the journey on why such problems exist, sharing thoughts and theories from philosophers, theorists, and other thinkers throughout history. I will conclude with what we can do to address the problems with plans I have developed to change them.
I encourage all critiques, concerns, questions, et cetera, et cetera. I enjoy reading/ hearing what others have to say about my writings- good and bad- for it helps me to develop my ideas.
A few things we will have to establish before going further in this series are the purpose and the ideology held in writing this series. Eventually, I will add a section about terms for clarity of meaning, as I want everyone to understand my message. This foundation is pertinent in maintaining consistency so that the most correct information is being provided and understood.
The purpose of this series is to explore, develop, and share fair and prudent plans for a course correction of the United States. My hope is that people who are in leadership positions down to ordinary individuals can take these ideas and discuss them within their circles. When we allow ourselves to discuss tough subjects, we open our minds to gain a perspective we may not have considered. From there we can use our powers as lawmakers and voters to make the changes we need.
In The Social Contract, Jean Jacques Rousseau describes how the foundation of government ought to be sustained. He states, “…if, in the civil order, there can be any sure and legitimate rule of administration, men [must be] taken as they are and laws as they might be.” This quote encapsulates the foundation I hope to characterize throughout my work.
“[Take] men as they are and laws as they might be.”
-Jean Jacques Rousseau
Going forward, the ideology I hold is a non-ideal one. We can call it “non-idealism” or “pragmatism” or “pragmatic realism.” They all hold the same notion that it is imperative to use just ideas to develop realistically attainable plans to solve problems. My purpose for using and living by this ideology is to be as reasonable and rational as one can to maintain a forward-moving society. Yes, I know, “what is a ‘reasonable and rational’ person?” Simplified, considering all sides of a problem before deciding on the outcome is what I would call reasonable, where rational would be considering the history and social norms that contribute to the issue that makes it a problem. Doing both would classify a person as “reasonable and rational.”
Many problems are solved on a case by case basis, but one must be consistent in their decision-making process and be willing to trust in the process of cognitive dissonance. That tension within is how change is made. It is like working on a new muscle group. Sometimes there is pain after working on it. Our pain lessens or goes away as we become stronger and exercise the muscle. Cognitive dissonance is not a bad thing as it is an ongoing process that happens as we receive new information. Embrace the discomfort and do not be afraid to discuss it.
Nobody is perfect, but there is nothing wrong with trying to be as fair and consistent as possible.
The philosophers and thinkers I will use in this work include those from enlightenment through critical theory and race and gender relations. We cannot ignore the latter two especially when we discuss American politics and history. I will, also, use philosophers from the educational side of philosophy. I will delve into this towards the end of the series, as education is a controversial and necessary element to creating and changing society.
If you are unfamiliar with philosophers, check out these classic and contemporary classic ones: Emanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Jean Locke, John Stuart Mill, and Friedrich Nietzsche because they are fun to use for taking a Eurocentric view of things.
Contemporary and modern views will include thinkers and philosophers who cover both societal and educational fields: W.E.B. Dubois, John Dewey, George Counts, James Baldwin, Paulo Freire, bell hooks, Judith Butler, and Michael Apple.
I am always looking for more thinkers in this realm of philosophy, so please share if you know of any- even if they aren’t as established.
There are many topics in this series that I will share that take time to process. Much of what I share in this series are revised versions of assignments I submitted in school over the years and ideas I explored and have not shared over that time. I am still trying to make sense of everything, so we are in this boat together. I plan to share weekly, more if I can edit faster than the changing of events.
I will reference any works I can for clarity and update this portion of the series for terms and other changes to my method as needed.
If you would like to contact me for more information, email me at makeitmakesense782 @gmail. com.
Thank You and Enjoy!
 Jean Jacques Rousseau. The Social Contract. Pg. 2