I do not know anything about Heather Mac Donald. I’m not linking Professor Mann’s piece because of her or the topic of which she spoke at LSU. I’m linking because it emphasizes a view which at times I think is as obviously unapparent as The Purloined Letter from Edgar Allen Poe, and “obviously unapparent” makes absolutely no sense except in the Poe context.
Anyone can talk about problems. We ourselves are fully capable of recognizing many problems. It makes no sense to me to pay individuals to merely point out problems that I already acknowledge exist unless I was in denial. That’s different because I really do need the assistance whether I want it or not if I’m unaware or in denial.
My point is that I want to hear alternative plans, proposals, and ideas about how to solve problems. Is there a need for someone to echo what I’ve heard? Admittedly I won’t always like what I hear even if I know that the information is in fact necessary.
I seem to recall reading that sometimes you might have to lose a hand, a finger, or toe in order to save the body. Obviously I don’t want to have one of my hands chopped off or even my pinkie toe, but having it happen may in fact be to my benefit depending upon time, place, and circumstances. I do not, however, need someone to tell me:
“Rick, your finger is a wreck. It’s all gangrenous and such probably because you were stupid, careless, or unlucky. Now before you go kick the bucket sign my petition outlawing all infections. Hate to ask with you being all feverish and suffering in pain but would you donate $300 to me to add to all my other donations so that I can seek out more people to tell them infections are bad, Ummkay.”
Idiotic example huh, but that’s what it often feels like discussing legislation and policy today?
For example look at our roads and bridges. They ain’t in good shape. It’s not that much of a stretch to say that following a good downpour, we can launch a boat and go fishing in some of these potholes. In some areas here in the US, vehicles on the highways can become socks in a clothes dryer. We know that they were there, but where are they now?
Now most people know of the problems with our roads, bridges, and infrastructure. Some can cite specific engineering principles; others can cite blown tires or wheels thrust out of alignment; others might say that drive was a kidney kicker; some will just shake their heads in hopes of not diagnosing personal whiplash.
Regardless of our degree and method of understanding, we all realize that we need to fix this problem. We don’t need a politician, TV, or radio personality to tell us that we have this problem. What we need is to determine who has the authority to fix things and then how we are going to fund the materials and labor to just git-r-done.
Here’s another one:
Perhaps you believe in that stereotype of a welfare queen and believe that SNAP is nothing but fraud and waste. Well if you are an elected official then please tell me how we are going to stop this fraud and waste. If you are a TV or radio personality, someone I pass on the street, or my next door neighbor, complaining about fraud and waste, let’s discuss and figure out why we have Veterans and even active duty military needing and using SNAP benefits.
Yes, some people do cheat the system, but what about those who truly need the assistance? How do we assist them so that they no longer need our assistance and they themselves can be among those who assist others in need? Reducing funds, increasing funds, making stereotypes, none of that is doing anything to address the actual problem.
Now some of my friends and colleagues will say that a solution is religion. I’ve heard a number of times that God has been kicked out of public schools and homes. Personally I believe in Christianity, and in my opinion I’m not powerful enough to kick God out from anywhere God wants to be. I can deny God is there, but the God of which I believe is still going to be there. I reckon my reasoning could be termed as some type of applied Christian Agnostic Atheism which really doesn’t make sense regardless of context.
Still, even if everybody shared Christianity and the same view of Christianity is it the responsibility of the schools or our government to teach these beliefs? That’s what some seem to suggest when arguing that the Bible should be taught in schools. To me that contention admits our lack of personal responsibility and our failures to provide what we believe is proper moral guidance.
Why the above?
It’s not infrastructure, public assistance, or religion individually. I’m contending that many of us talk the talk, but the emphasis needs to be on walking the walk. I read the budget proposal submitted by Congressman Tom Price. The details I saw in that proposal, however, are sporadic. Name the specific cuts. On paper it’s one thing to say cut SNAP, but show me the reality where you are cutting Veterans and active duty members of the military. Those individuals do not fit neatly into that welfare queen stereotype or that of someone unwilling to work. AMT is listed, but apparently that is just one. What are the others?
These pundits, talk radio programs, “news” networks, critics, and experts become popular and often idolized figures just for complaining and placing the blame on someone else. Many politicians are running for reelection even before being sworn into the office to which the people elected them. It’s just a lot easier to talk and complain than to actually identify causes and work to solve problems.
Some people are not going to be happy, and sadly I think some elected officials care more about making their base happy than representing all constituents.
We the People are equally to blame because like it or not he is our President, she or he is our Governor, they are our Senators, and so on whether we voted for them or not.
Have we forgotten how much we benefitted by hearing stuff that we did not want to hear? It wasn’t easy at the time, but in the long run are we better off?
That’s my two bits worth of nonsense which won’t even buy you a plug nickel.