Post#: 301-18 – Words: 1717 – Audio: N/A
It’s been a tough 72 hours for E Pluribus Unum.
In the last few days alone some white guy killed two black people at random in a Kroger grocery store in Kentucky. Then there was the 14 bombs sent to all the former Democratic leaders and others who Trump has vilified in the past by an enraged white guy. Now there’s 11 Jewish worshipers killed inside their own synagogue by a white anti-Semite gunman. Is there a common theme in all three of these acts of violence besides the assailant being a Right Wing white guy? Of course, and that’s the focus we need to maintain.
It’s natural to try and examine each individual event as it’s own crime because we need to assign guilt and responsibility on a personal level. After all, aren’t people supposed to be responsible for their own actions? That’s certainly the entire idea of our Constitution, is it not; the equal application of law to assign responsibility? Unfortunately there is nothing “neat & tidy” about the practice of democracy because the exercise of democracy depends entirely on the diversity of will; our individualism and the freedom to practice that individualism is how each of us can attain, if we wish and to the degree we want, a life to include the liberty to pursue a level of happiness for ourselves and our family. As I often illustrate, 325 million Americans all with their own “American” dream on the social and political environment in which they prefer to live and be governed does not make for a “neat & tidy” form of being governed. We tend to argue among ourselves, we’ve built into our form of government actual entities that are meant for us to argue within, how to judge those arguments, and how to decide what arguments win or lose. We’ve even built special buildings from which we argue with each other and judge the application of those arguments. We argue among our religions, our social moralities, and even in the mediums where we entertain ourselves. And some of us have argued so much that their internal human instinct is unmanageable and lash out by the random or specific killing of others who are arguing.
So what that’s common theme running through these last three tragic events? To me I see it as an A,B, & C thing.
The “A” Thing –
There are indeed social and political changes as communications technology changes the world and as the population increases. Instant communication and increasing population has pushed the idea of globalization. All nations are becoming linked certainly by commerce but also by things like the internet that it’s getting very difficult for any nation to truly be “isolated” into doing their own thing internally (although The Great Leader in North Korea is doing a good job so far.. but even he is feeling the outside pressure). Technology has assured that “no man is an island” and no country is an island. This is why civil wars and internal conflicts between nations extend well beyond political borders like at no other time in history.
The “B” Thing –
The above then filters down to the individual citizen. Rapid communications even to the citizenry of Third World countries allows for witnessing cultural and political events in real time. The average person can see how one form of government might look desirable elsewhere and others are viewed with disdain. This can foment internal challenges and conflict. That opens up threats to internal traditions and social biases.. directly challenging a country’s cultural identity in many cases. This can create severe internal pressures across the board. It’s an application of Chaos Theory… the “Ian Malcolm” idea that a mosquito flapping it’s wings in Siberia affects the weather in Poughkeepsie… or more to the point, the idea that small changes in complex systems can have big, unpredictable effects. This is why a civil war in Syria can have a world impact. Now, add to all this the changing leadership of countries that tend to reflect the internal cultural and political stresses. Of course, case in point, the timing of getting someone like a Trump as president of the most powerful country on Earth who represents radical views relative to the changing global situations toward nationalism. Someone like him will tend to incite internal conflict all the more, that will end up being felt (as it has) all over the world. Populations are traveling spawning immigration concerns more than just here in America… intentionally or as refugees trying to escape persecution. Common languages are shifting and changing with the migration of populations. Here we have seen over the past decades Spanish becoming a second unofficial language. All this pressure buildup upon some status quo resistant to change has to go somewhere… and that’s made nationalism more prevalent in our politics to meet a perceived threat of a way of life falling by the wayside for a more global identity.
The “C” Thing –
Along with nations having greater internal discontent and relations between each other being tested, the person on the street is often the end result of being victimized by all the rapid changes. This presents itself with increased public rhetoric, crime and killings. The basis for all that is many times a trigger for mental illness problems. As the population grows, as the economy changes, as the politics change, as political conflict increases around the world.. as cultural norms change, mental health issues are surely to increase and manifest themselves in a variety of ways in society. This isn’t to imply that the conflict in Syria is going to turn some American into a random shooter. These triggers are inflicted at the individual level, job issues perceived to be caused by what appears to be un-checked immigration; hearing more foreign languages when just going to the neighborhood grocery store, or people wearing strange clothing, or the reality in perceiving a decline in white entitlement being replaced, or displaced, by foreigners.
So.. to summarize a bit…
- Advancing technology making communicating and information exchange far more than we can absorb and far more quickly that we can adapt to.
- Increasing population world-wide due to advancing longevity made possible by medical advancements, drug availability, and hygiene improvements… and population migration due to economic conditions, and fleeing refugees due to political conflicts.. both creating challenges to immigration policies, and challenges to leadership as local demographics shift their choices of leaders to reflect more nationalistic tendencies.
- A natural rise in mental health issues across the board as the challenges and stresses of life change so rapidly that some people can’t adapt quickly and succumb to forms of social depression and/or radical behaviors that can shift to uncontrolled rage that result in violence and murder… in many cases randomized.
So What Do We Do With This.. Presuming I Am Perceiving All This With Some Measure Of Accuracy?
First off I think we all have to pass through this as there is no avoiding the changes coming. Technology is going to continue to advance.. right or wrong. Population is going to increase, as are all the problems, crisis, and social burdens that brings with it. Of course, borrowing the “survival of the fittest” from Mr. Darwin, those people within our population that can’t adapt to all these changes will fall victim in some form…. and some of them will lash out violently. Quite obviously if some life-changing apocalyptic or quasi-apocalyptic event occurs.. like some uncontrollable disease, internet goes down indefinitely, zombies take over, then likely we won’t have to worry about any of this.
Secondly, we might be able to treat the symptoms if not the entire affliction. There’s no curtailing the scientific advancement of man.. so trying to control technology will be marginal at best, if at all. While not typically practical controlling population growth (ask the Chinese) we can likely make some strides moderating the migrating with more specific immigration controls both on the local nation level and on an international level. To moderate refugees I think we are going to have to make greater efforts at international involvement via diplomacy to make refugees not want to become refugees in the first place. In other words, if people need to leave their country then through diplomatic arm-twisting we get more active in forcing those governments to accept responsibility for the problem. We may be a world of independent sovereign nations but we all do live on the same world as a community of nations. The days of political neutrality have long since passed in favor of economic globalization.
Thirdly… to many people globalization is the bad word. Here in America we need the political wherewithal to select leaders that listen and consider the concerns of ALL Americans in order to reduce the feeling of non-representation. We are currently living under what happens when we don’t listen; we have an ineffective President who represents a pissed off minority of society that’s fomenting social, cultural, and political chaos. Our political party system needs to evolve to include political minorities. We also need to concentrate on electing leaders who can actually lead ALL Americans.
Fourth, and those who know me know I have been pushing a national mental health policy. As populations increase and as we try and get used to cultural and social and political changes we are going to need to control and treat those who have trouble adapting to life in general.
The last 72 hours has been a tough national pill to swallow. It’s certainly been a greater tragedy to the victims themselves and their survivors. Even so, this isn’t about the Second Amendment. This isn’t about racial hatred. This isn’t about political hatred. This isn’t about anti-semitism hatred. This is all about hatred at all; it’s about social, cultural, and political intolerance; Americans hating Americans. It’s also about having a piss-poor leader of the Free World lacking the moral fortitude to inspire us Americans to strive for moral fortitude.
The one good thing.. the ONLY good thing.. in Trump becoming our President is that we now know how important the president is in reflecting who we are and who we want to be… and most important, showing us what most of us don’t want America to be.
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