If the year 2008 has revealed anything, it is this: no society can function properly unless there is a general agreement about what is right and wrong. Unfortunately, right and wrong are now largely held hostage by political ideology: conservatives and liberals have vastly different ideas about what constitutes ethical behavior. Is there common ground? Try these few for starters:
–can we agree that Israel has a right to defend itself? It seems that no matter how many missiles Hamas launches into Israel, there are always some people who believe any retaliation is “disproportionate.” To those misguided souls I offer an old cliche:’ walk a mile in those shoes–with your family. The bet here is the first missile that explodes “nearby”–as in close to your house, your kids’ school or the stores where you shop–would be a life-altering experience.
–can we agree that, other than the, old-boy, personal connections which accrue to an individual, the most over-rated commodity on the planet is an Ivy League education? Reality: stupid, greedy and entitled going in equals stupid, greedy and entitled coming out–which goes a long way towards explaining how so many of our “best and brightest” could have led us to the brink of financial disaster.
–can we agree that most politicians’ primary interest is themselves? Democrats characterized Republicans as the “party of corruption.” Yet considering a short list of Democrats–Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Charles Rangel, William Jefferson, John Edwards and Rod Blagojevich–one might be forgiven for thinking all is not well on either side of the aisle.
–can we agree that an individual’s foremost responsibility is to have a sense of responsibility? Nothing explains the vast expansion of our welfare state better than the idea that substantial numbers of Americans refuse to take care of themselves. Not can’t, as in unable, but won’t, as in unwilling. In the context of the mortgage meltdown and ensuing bailout for example, it would be truly illuminating to know how many foreclosures have occurred, not because people could no longer afford the payments, but because they decided it was no longer worth it to honor their obligations. How many of these same people are bellyaching about corrupt politicians and businessmen?
–can we agree that government at every level spends far more money than it can afford–or justify? California alone has a $41 billion dollar deficit? That’s over a thousand bucks in the red for every man woman and child living in the state. That’s not government. It’s a criminal enterprise, a conglomeration of Utopian do-gooders, self-serving political hacks, unionized bloodsuckers and well-connected lobbyists and businessmen with no sense of proportion or decency. Expand the concept exponentially and what do you get? The federal government.
–can we agree the 2008 Detroit Lions (0-16) are the worst team in the history of NFL football? Just thought a little comic relief might be in order.
Happy New Year to all my readers.
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