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The Butterfly Effect denotes the idea that when a butterfly flaps its wings it can affect the weather on the other side of the world or more easily close to home. Imagine if a million butterflies came together and flapped their wings in unison. The impact might be felt by politicians in the state capitol or even on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Concerned butterflies know that politics in the New Millennium is the only game in government. They know that the results of elections determine how and for whose benefit the trillions of dollars in tax money collected by the government is spent. Government only functions on behalf of the average citizen when democracy works. And democracy only works when lots of butterflies flap their wings in unison.

But how do engaged butterflies know when to flap their wings and for whom? Especially since, sly politicians often obscure the facts and mislead or manipulate public opinion. And, labels like conservative, liberal, Republican or Democrat no longer serve to adequately differentiate political agendas.

Smart butterflies have learned to question what politicians say because, unless caught on microphone in an unsuspecting moment, most politicians have refined the art of spinning their agendas to make even the most dysfunctional plan sound reasonable. Smart butterflies know to pay more attention to what politicians have done and with whom they associate than what they say. They realize that the actions taken by politicians generally fall into two categories: progressive or regressive.

Progressive agendas benefit a broad spectrum of society, build cohesive communities, and are constructive by nature. They help society progress by increasing participation in democratic processes; promoting transparency in government; encouraging peaceful resolution of problems; and demonstrating responsibility, integrity, and respect.

In contrast, regressive agendas generally benefit those who are in least need of assistance. They divide society; prove destructive; and foster violence, greed, secrecy, and corruption. They repress participation in democratic processes and retard the intellectual and social growth of communities often through the use of fear mongering and intimidation.

Actions, not individuals, are by nature progressive or regressive. Wise butterflies also know that politicians sometimes cross the line between progressive and regressive, so it is important to determine in which camp a politician spends most of his political capital. This is not that difficult to determine since most politicians trend toward either a progressive or regressive agenda regardless of any avowed political affiliations.

Luckily, politicians who chose to pursue regressive agendas on one day can just as easily realign their positions with a progressive position the next day. Such a quick shift might be inspired by lots and lots of butterflies taking to the sky to lobby for positive change. Even so, politicians who consistently follow a progressive path are more deserving of support.

In the New Millennium, butterflies who favor vibrant, healthy communities where they are free to thrive and raise their young have discarded outdated political labels that promote partisan bickering and produce little more than gridlock. They reject the banter-based media outlets for fact-based sources that honestly report what policies their elected officials support, and they uncover whether those policies are progressive or regressive. Then these concerned butterflies actively engage in democracy by flapping their wings vigorously in favor of politicians who support progressive policies.

Significant change always begins with one butterfly rising to the occasion followed by another then another until the sky is filled with a brilliantly colored collage of wings flapping in unison for progress. Experience reveals that communities where conditions are conducive to the health and well-being of butterflies are also good for the health and well-being of people, too!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fred Stawitz is a national award winning writer/educator and a recipient of NEA’s A+ for Excellence in Education and the NASA/NSTA Newmast Awards. His latest book Don’t Run Naked Through The Office is due for release in March 2014. He can be contacted at fred@storymakersinc.com.

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