2016 March 21, Monday

Some of the silly Facebook "memes" I've seen lately:

• U.S. unemployment is lower than ten years ago
• The U.S. economy is doing better than 2006
• Race relations in the U.S. are better than 2006
• The U.S. federal deficit is lower than 2006
• The Ku Klux Klan is something other than Democrats
• Hitler is associated with other than the left wing
• Lincoln and Martin Luther King left-wing Democrats
• Not taxing people is "giving" them something
• Made up quotes for Sarah Palin or Donald Trump
• Corrupt left-wing governments care more
• People who believe in God are ignorant fools
• More people are getting better, cheaper health care
• Big government can avoid corrupt corporatism
• Planned Parenthood having a helpful foundation
• No government funding means it can't happen
• Making America like the rest of the world is good
• Things are really great in Denmark and Sweden
• Guns kill more per capita in the U.S.
• Republicans create war, Democrats work for peace
• Terrorism a problem in just a few selected places
• Politics is more important than cat videos
     With the candidates so frustratingly bad and the Facebook "memes" so ridiculous, I've put my mathematically-excellent mind to it and I think I've figured out what the two important issues are and what we need in the United States of America. I'm a smart person with a good education and a long record of building working decision-support systems. I've given political ideology much thought, so my opinion should count more than emotional, factually-wrong Internet images.

     1. First is the notion that it is acceptable, even a good thing, to take stuff by force from one person to give to another, from communism and fascism to democratic socialism and the welfare state.

     2. Second is the politicization of race in the United States from slavery and Jim Crow laws to Affirmative Action and Black Lives Matter.

     American belief in these two things, especially the first, has supported most of the terrible things that have happened in our world in the past century. They have eaten away the fabric of our country like acid on metal and have spread like flesh-eating disease under the skin of my country. With good intentions perhaps, many Americans believe in these values as I do not believe in them, but there shouldn't be doubt about the their consequences in history.

     Before we worry about which candidates or which programs or which legislation or which causes we support, it is my well-thought-out conclusion that we need to reject these two values as a nation. We need to accept our founding values that it is always terribly wrong to take by force anything for the purpose of giving it to somebody else and that race or sex should never be a political value among free men, now all people. Calling forced redistribution and government racism virtues in the face of the horrors they have created is the irony of laughing at a victim's pain.

     If you care about something, then give of yourself to make it better. If you care enough about something, then convince others to help. If you want to end hate, prejudice, and discrimination, then treat people as equals and get friends and institutions to do the same. That's where the right, decent, moral path ends, as history has taught us so well.

     All the rest really isn't that important. Guns, abortion, gay marriage, "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, Common Core, health care, flag burning, drug legalization, a bad haircut, and illegal immigration are minor points after these two ideas.

     Even the presentation of pseudo-science as political fact from eugenics and an impending ice age to the ozone layer and global warming, as damaging as it has been and with the horrors it has created, is less important than these two principles.

     It's easy, then, isn't it? We have a moral compass available to us. Any program that supports forced-contribution is evil, whether from Stalin or Sanders, and any program that supports racism is evil, whether forced segregation or Affirmative Action, even when they're cloaked in good-speak words like "helping the poor" or "diversity." They're wrong from first principles of any decent morality, they haven't turned out well, and, most important perhaps, they won't turn out well in the future.






If you sympathize with this summary, then here are my other American-issues essays.

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