Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
“I haven’t finalized my plans in this area. I am still outlining an agenda. My guess is that I will get to work on this new phase early next year.”
What needs to be planned? The wildest political environment since the internet was invented is happening right now. If you’re not posting at political sites now, you never will.
You are entitled to your opinion, Anonymous. I don’t share that opinion. I am going to proceed in the manner that feels right to me.
I don’t think what you are saying is crazy. You are making a legitimate point. The political environment is indeed wild today and so maybe the guiding thought should be to strike when the iron is hot. Perhaps I am making a mistake by waiting a bit. My gut tells me that this is not quite the right time. I have learned over the years to trust my gut re such matters. So it is my intent to hold off for a bit. But I acknowledge that it is possible that I am making a mistake by doing that.
I’ll offer one possible explanation for why it might be better to wait a bit.
Yes, the political environment is wild today, as you say. Is that a good thing? Is that what we want?
I don’t want that. There is a sense in which I do want it. I want to see change. Wildness is conducive to change. We are as a people now in the process of shaking things up. So perhaps I have a great opportunity that has appeared before me that I should be taking advantage of before it passes. Perhaps there are people who would listen to what I have to say today who will not listen tomorrow and I am making a terrible mistake by holding back for a bit. I can see how that might be so.
But there’s another side to the story. The people who are voting for Trump are angry today. Fair statement, no? And the people who are voting for Clinton are perhaps not quite angry but they are something on the negative side too. Perhaps they are disgusted. Perhaps they are dismissive. Perhaps they are just shocked. They are something on the negative side, in my assessment. They are not today fully open to the possibility that they have something to learn from the Trump people. They do not feel warm and friendly toward the Trump people. At least that much is fair to say.
That’s a problem, in my view. I understand that it is probably insanely idealistic to think that there is ever going to be a day when there will be zero antagonism between the Trump people and the Clinton people. But the answer is not to engage in more yelling. I intend to spend more time in future days at political sites because the investing field has in the Buy-and-Hold Era become 100 percent corrupt. People feel (with good reason) that it is not possible to make a living in this field unless you give up your personal integrity to make nice with the Buy-and-Holders. So it makes sense for me to spend more time at political sites where people may feel more free to talk openly about the Wall Street Corruption that is poisoning our country today. But I am not a tiny bit interested in generating more hate. If what you are suggesting by saying that the political environment today is more “wild” than it has been at most other times is that there is an openness to hate today that was not present before, please count me out, you know?
I am one of many people who believe that the best moment in Sunday’s debate was when both Clinton and Trump were asked to say one positive thing about the other and both offered sincere and kind comments re his or her “opponent.” That’s the United States I love. That’s what works. That’s the answer. That’s where I am taking this thing between the Valuation-Informed Indexers and the Buy-and-Holders.
Love is the answer, Anonymous. So, yes, I want to work at sites where it is possible to say openly “Jack Bogle is a con man who has more responsibility than anyone else alive for bringing on the biggest economic crisis in U.S. history.” That must be said because that’s the obvious truth here and we need to make everyone aware of the obvious truths if we are going to solve our biggest problems. But that by itself is not hateful. Saying “Jack Bogle is a con man” is an act of love so long as the intent behind the statement is to bring Bogle to a better place and thereby to secure for him in the minds of millions a reputation as a great man, which is what he is (the full truth is that he is BOTH a con man and a hero to the middle-class).
Yes, we need a political moment in which people are desperate enough about the pain that the Wall Street Con Men have brought on to open themselves to some new, peer-reviewed findings about how stock investing works in the real world. But we are going to waste that opportunity if we give in to human weaknesses that tempt us to blame ONLY the Wall Street Con Men for our troubles. Bogle couldn’t have gotten away with what he got away with if the newspapers had called him out on his b.s. and if the academic researchers had called him out on his b.s. and if the freakin’ millions of middle-class investors themselves had called him out on his b.s. We are ALL complicit in this huge act of financial fraud, every last one of us, including yours truly. That reality has to be part of the story that is told.
I am not convinced that the political environment that exists today is the political environment in which that FULLY true message can at last be heard. My sense is that we are inching up to a better place, that we are being put through some awful smelling stuff as part of a process that will over time come to yield some amazing fruit for our entire nation. But that we are not quite there yet.
I am not God. I could be wrong. I am not sure. But my sense is that the opportunity here is not quite ripe. So my inclination is to hold back a bit longer and watch to see how things develop. I want to help out at sites that permit people to give voice to important truths that for too long have been censored or self-censored. But one of the truths that needs to be voiced is that love is the answer, that for all of their flaws the Wall Street Con Men want to do good and long to do good and are highly capable of doing good. I need to be able to tell BOTH sides of the story to get this job done right. And I am not interested in achieving half-way successes. We need full successes to get things back on the right track. I need to be able to speak HONESTLY. That means saying that “Jack Bogle is hero to the middle class” as much as it means saying “Jack Bogle is a con man who has participated at sites that permit posting by the sorts of individuals who associate with Mel Linduaer and John Greaney.”
That’s where I am coming from. It would be a mistake to wait for the perfect moment because we don’t get perfection in this fallen world. But I am not sure that the time is quite ripe for what I am trying to do and for what I must do if all of our efforts of the first 14 years of discussions are to bear good fruit for all of us. I am in wait-and-see mode. I am watching and pondering and planning and hoping and praying. Posting (on political sites) comes later.
Those are my sincere thoughts re these terribly important matters, in any event.
I naturally wish you all the best that this life has to offer a person, my good friend.
I hope that helps a tiny bit.