Friday, January 02, 2015
Should I Be Political
As I occasionally write, idiots rile me up. I just responded to a stupid political posting on Facebook.
It amazes me how few people understand politics, even a lot of politicians seem to lack a basic understanding of what government does and why it is important to the functioning of a civil society. I generally stay away from politics on the blog and on Facebook. It is so easy to piss people off, but the lack of basic understanding of how and why government is essential to having a civil society is hard to ignore.
I can understand if someone dislikes the policies and practices of a President. I have not always agreed with the person in office, but I have always tried to be respectful in disagreeing with their policies, and not insulting to the person. In my opinion, we have elected a demented old man and an idiot in the decades that I have been voting (and I voted for one of the two,) What I see lacking in the discourse, is the ability to dislike the actions or lack of actions of the President, instead of being disrespectful of the person. Let me offer an example, I thought W was an idiot, but what I objected to was his waging war, skirting around the Constitution and approving the violation of basic human rights while waging war. Holding prisoners for decades without charge, or opportunity to be heard, while creating the fiction that they are not prisoners of war subject to the Geneva Convention - violates the core values of a civilized society. It is polite for me to say that, impolite for me to say that only a moron would allow such a policy to be implemented. It has taken a decade to figure out how to undue, what was done under W, and we are releasing people into the world, who are going to go home and tell the world, how terribly they were treated by the USA. Our government has committed war crimes. Karma!
When people live together, they tacitly agree to be nice to one another. We don't steal, because if we do we are implying that it is okay for other's to steal from us. We consent, that when someone breaks this basic tenant of a civilized society they will be punished. That is really the core of criminal law, and centuries of experience has shown that the fairest way of enforcing this is for government to do so (there is a lot of history to learn from on this.) There are things that we can do better collectively as a governmental function then we can alone. If we each had to build our own roads, few of us would ever leave home, let alone travel around the world. A society functions better when it does not have people dying on the streets, the most efficient way of assuring that this does not happen is for government to provide a safety net of basic services and supports. A lot of basic research, to improve the future of all of us, is hard to fund on a one-on-one basis. Few people can provide $300,000.000 for cancer research next year, but most people can provide their $1 - to collectively fund this essential research (assuming that fighting cancer is a worthy cause - I am not entirely convinced that prolonging lives is in the long term best interest of the global picture.) Apply that to hunger, housing, education - the model works.
I see so many people objecting to this basic model of a civilized society. The history that shaped our government was based on trying to improve on systems, that failed. If we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.
Maybe I should rant about politics and government more.