There is no political solution

The infantile reflex to think 'our leaders' can put an end to rising evil

By —— Bio and Archives--February 16, 2018

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The infantile reflex to think 'our leaders' can put an end to rising evil
We’ve been over this before, and there’s no sense writing the same column again when you can read the original. I said then and I say now:

The problem is that no one knows a way to do it, or is even sure if there is a way to do it. We make efforts all the time to prevent people from doing bad things. Schools have assemblies and preach against bullying. Bullies are not deterred. We air public service announcements that express the horrors of drunk driving. Drunks still get behind the wheel. It’s not that we shouldn’t try, and it’s not that no one is deterred. Some may be. But the moral drivers behind abject evil, or simple irresponsibility, usually don’t respond that well to earnest, helpful reminders to do the right thing. The fact that we all have to live with people who would do such things in our midst is a regrettable fact of life, but it has been this way since the dawn of time.

It’s understandable, when the evil manifests as horrifyingly as it did in Las Vegas, that we would feel like, damn it, we should do something. The emotion tells you to look at the guns, look at mental health services . . . look at something. Anything. Don’t rest until we’ve ensured that this will never happen again. People make vows like that at times like this.

But just because you’d like something done doesn’t mean there’s something to do, and more to the point, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something for you to do. Even if you’re the government, which the child in us wants to believe can make bad things go away if it only has enough political will, or enough money.

We have laws against drunk driving. People drink and drive. We have laws against smoking pot and against entering the country illegally, and people get upset if you actually try to enforce those laws even though they’re already on the books.

We have laws against speeding, driving slow in the left lane, riding your bike on the sidewalk and having open containers in your car. People them all, all the time.

Are you comparing those things to mass murder, you jerk?

In terms of seriousness or severity, of course not. But in this respect, yes: People in America don’t see the law as something that inspires them to self-regulation of their behavior. They see it as a reason to be careful they don’t get caught. Is this right? Of course it’s not right. But it’s reality: People in today’s culture don’t hold the law in high esteem, and we’re talking about basically responsible citizens. We’re not talking about the guy who’s willing to shoot up a school.

If Congress tomorrow pass every law the gun-control people want, the Nikolas Cruz’s of the world would not say, “Oh, darn, I was going to shoot up the school but I guess now I won’t.” Deranged people don’t operate like that.

We know, but it would make it harder!

You think. And the next time it happens again because “harder” still wasn’t hard enough? Then you pass another law, or you go back and lament once again that “our leaders” didn’t do enough, and that they must do more.

Here’s the predictable lament in today’s New York Times:

But the failure to act on the instant background check and bump-stock bills underscored that even on the most modest of gun measures, Congress is simply incapable of a response.

What was striking in the aftermath of the carnage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is that, now, even the victims and survivors are willing to call their leaders out.


Continued below...

“My message to lawmakers in Congress is please, take action,” David Hogg, a student at the school, said as he looked directly into CNN’s camera on Thursday.

“Any action at this point instead of just complete stagnancy and blaming the other side of the political aisle would be a step in the right direction,” he added.

Melissa Falkowski, a teacher at the school, told CNN, “It’s very emotional because I feel today like our government, our country, has failed us and failed our kids and didn’t keep us safe.”

Here is what you’re missing in this whole thing: Evil is spiritual first and cultural second. It is not caused by politics and it is not solved by politics.

Yesterday I spent nearly 13 hours on a freeway. At one point, a man was tailgaiting me rather obnoxiously. I moved over to let him by as quickly as I could, but not quickly enough, it would appear, given the gesture he offered as he went on by. We proceeded to watch him do the exact same thing to at least two other people, one of whom we saw mouthing the words, “What the hell” after the guy zoomed past him.

This guy had an angry spirit before he got behind the wheel.

My wife told me a story she’d read of a woman seated on a plane near a small baby. The baby wasn’t even crying but the woman went into a loud, foul-mouthed rage over the mere possibility she might have to listen to crying during the flight - thus turning herself into something far more obnoxious than any baby could possibly be, and earning an ejection from the flight from the very flight attendant she targeted with F-bombs and the like.


Last week I told you over on my site about the vice president of the United States offering kindness to a gay man on Twitter, only to be met by vile hatred from what’s known for some reason as the Twitterverse.

We have people declaring they are offended by every single human being who does not share their political point of view. We have high-profile public figures declaring that if you are a certain color, you should be ashamed. We have mainstream media making celebrities out of people simply for mocking others.

You see where I’m going with this? Evil is on the rise. I know every generation thinks it’s worse than they’ve ever seen. It’s worse than we’ve ever seen. To some degree it’s because social media makes it so easy for you to abuse others and win applause worldwide. To some degree it’s because we’re supposedly so opposed to judging of any kind, even though the most popular TV shows always seem to be the ones with a panel of judges.

But it’s mostly because it’s now culturally acceptable to reject God and attack His people at every turn, since people have no idea what that gives rise to in them.

And yes, we’re seeing mass shootings on a larger and more frequent scale than we’ve ever seen before, even though our gun laws are no less restrictive than they’ve ever been.

The problem is not the laws. The problem is not “our leaders.” The problem is that people have culturally welcomed evil while marginalizing faith in God. They welcome it in forms and on scales they can tell ourselves will not lead to violent carnage, but they welcome this spirit just the same. And then when it results in what everyone should have seen coming, they whine that that the government refuses to fix the problem.

It doesn’t work that way. It never has. It never will.


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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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