I have puzzled over the inordinate number of mind boggling, ineffective, time wasting and naïve activities that are used by folks world wide as they deal with some of the issues facing humankind today
This article represents a not terribly scientific exploration of the actions people may take when faced with difficult, if not intractable problems. Rather than study the problem, determine its significance, and develop a plan to deal with it until solved, I submit that people do what is easiest, rather than what is best or effective. Faced with real and often horrid worldwide problems, people feel the need to do something even if that something is irrelevant. Thus, for instance, they ride bicycles not for exercise, but to do their part to save the planet. They know not how to save the planet, and may feel inadequate to do so. Riding their bikes represents, in their minds, a contributed solution regardless of the fact that no planet will be saved by a cadre of well meaning bicycle riders. I submit that they may know this, but do not have the ability, or perhaps the courage, to participate in real solutions.
Let’s explore a number of examples: The major problems we all face include, but are not limited to, global warming, environmental protection acts, a nuclear Iran, an Arabic Israel, race relations, illegal immigration, sexual orientation, gay marriage, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, terrorism in general, racism, socialists in the White House, the First Amendment to the US Constitution, the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, The Constitution itself, obesity, diabetes, trans-fats, energy, energy independence, a free press, the Fairness Doctrine, a country now trillions in debt, health care services, ACORN, CAIR, and so on and so forth.
Watching many of my fellow citizen deal with any of the above is a bit puzzling. The issues are not puzzling. What is puzzling is the unwillingness to do any small amount of research into the problems prior to taking some sort of action. They ignore the effect, if any, that their actions may have on the alleged problem, to wit none.
It is important to explore why people do what they do when faced with a problem. Some people simply deny there is a problem. Others fixate on the problem and obsess on that problem, but never on a solution. Still others, and I believe these are the majority of people, choose a course of action that makes them feel good, but that does not necessarily address any part of the actual problem. What they do simply makes them feel good, and that’s enough. If they actually understood the severity of the problem, depression, angst, anxiety and a farrago of related actions would ensue. Some might suffer panic attacks.
Let’s explore one ongoing worldwide problem: Iran and the potential that Iran either has, or will have, nuclear weapon capability in the near future. Most folks never think about Iran, the “bomb”, or the potential of Iran using the bomb to annihilate one or more of its neighbors. Why not? That’s simple. This group of people believes that there is nothing they can do about Iran, and if anything is to be done, the government, or some government will do it. This is a form of denial not terribly different from what the Germans, French, and Americans did when faced with the fact that the Nazis intended to kill all Jews, Gypsies, and any non-Aryan chosen to be inferior.
Recently tens of thousands, even millions of people participated in a massive Twitter “attack” on Iran. Why Twitter? It was safe, it was easy, it was quick and it allowed many to send militant messages to the Ayatollahs, the Republican Guard, and the police that said, in effect, “Take that”. Having done that, these people inflated their chests, and said “I did my part for the Iranian People.“
Did this have any impact on the government of Iran? No. Did it have any impact on the Obama Administration’s response to the terror in Iran? No. All the millions of messages - “Twitterese” – and comments were nothing more than feel-good moments.
How about an issue closer to home, i.e. environment extremism? We have been told that we are polluting the planet, that all garbage, excuse me, trash, is bad, and that all trash can or would kill something if not encapsulated. So what do we do? We sort, we use numerous different trash vessels, we never throw anything where it should not be thrown. Why not? That is easy to explain. None of us are able to actually impact our planet in any significant way. The concept of planetary “trash-less-ness” is too big to get our brains around, and is untenable anyway.
Part of that problem may be that except for a few places in the USA, like Harlem in New York, parts of Los Angeles, Detroit, etc. none of us see any devastation, any rot, akin to the extreme pollution we are told exists everywhere. By the same token, few study the issue, or take the time to see if what is detailed in the news about pollution is actually true. Few question the motives of environmental extremists. It is easier to simply sort our trash, recycle, and feel that we are doing our part for the globe. We walk around and tell ourselves that if it were not for our re-cycling, the planet would be going to hell in a bucket! Actually, if none of us ever re-cycled, not a damn thing would happen to the earth.
Many studies have shown that re-cycling actually uses more energy than simply tossing the articles in a land fill. So while John and Mary Recycle throw fewer plastic things in the trash, they increase global warming related to energy consumption. Of course that assumes that we humans actually have any impact on global warming. We do not. (See scientific literature on this subject.)
Regardless of our inaction, of our willingness to accept nonsense from all the prophets of doom, gloom, planetary disaster,and human responsibility for everything, we are not doing anything that affects anything. By never questioning authority and never saying the equal of “The emperor has no cloths”, we are not different than the person who is an enabler of an alcoholic or a drug abuser. We silently watch and take the easy way out. We recycle, rather than address the issue; we buy silly cars like the Prius rather than question the real issues behind energy, and energy independence. We never wonder why every President since Jimmy Carter has proclaimed energy independence a goal, but none have moved even an inch toward that goal. If we do wonder we never demand an answer. To hedge our bets some still buy a Prius just in case…
We never attack a problem directly because Americans more often than not take the easy way out – there’s that concept again! Rather than ask tough questions, we became politically correct. Rather than challenge activists groups who believe the constitution is an arcane piece of patter that need not be heeded, we gave in, and in the process gave up.
When a gay person first said I have the same rights as a heterosexual person relative to marriage, we never said “No you do not.” When the Black Panthers intimidated voters, in Pennsylvania, we never said, “Stop or you will be arrested and thrown in jail.” When Environmentalists in California said the nonexistent Kit Fox is more important than building homes and businesses for citizens, we did not say “No it is not”. When Code Pink said, the Iraq war is illegal; we never said “No it is not.” We never had the courage to tell them that their peace activisms, and the peace activism of others before them, have killed more people than would have been killed in any war. We never told them that in the history of the world, there has never been a lasting peace without a war. We never told them: Deal with it!
When the Obama administration said we must apologize to the world, we never said “No we do not’. In fact, the world should be apologizing to us. When we see Socialism as a Presidential agenda, we never say “Mr. President, this is America. We are a Representative Republic, and prefer to stay that way.” Ditto to all of our representatives who close their eyes to the shenanigans of the Socialist-Communist-Liberal cabal now in power.
Americans do the things they do because they are powerless, or at least feel powerless to do anything meaningful. So they sort trash, add bumper stickers to their cars, never read the news because it is upsetting, and never complain publically because we do not want to be seen as troublemakers.
Sadly, we need millions of troublemakers to save the United States of America, and even more sadly, it may be too late to find them. They have all been labeled Domestic Terrorists, and are in hiding.