Fish: Our culture is reactive, not proactive
We are a nation that is reactive and almost never proactive. We only respond when poked, we only get involved when it affect us. It doesn't matter what it is, we only react after it happens. In the most simplistic example I can give, someone you know is stricken with a disease that's incurable, you probably never gave it a second thought until it hit close to home. Now, you're out raising money, educating people and frantically working on your friend's behalf. It's admirable and noble and by no means am I suggesting that you shouldn't. But what if that disease was cancer brought on by smoking ... did you ever tell them to quit? Most likely the answer is no — reactive not proactive.
As a culture, we live moment to moment. Right now that moment is focused on terrorism and more specifically, Muslim terrorists. But let me add a word that should change everything but often doesn't: "radical" Muslim. See, those two words put together should change everything, they should say not all Muslims are bad. But unfortunately they don't, basically because we're too busy getting armed to the teeth to protect ourselves. Just like in 1999 when we armed ourselves against all teenagers because Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold gunned down 13 innocent people, injuring 23 others. Wait, we didn't? I must have gotten my wires crossed with the 2012 shooting at the Aurora Movie Theater when James Eagan Holmes set off tear gas then opened fire, killing 12 and injuring 70. Wait, we didn't then either? Then certainly it was when Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and gunned down 26 people, 20 of them children, right after shooting his own mother.
My point? All of these people were home-grown terrorists. Maybe they didn't call it jihad, maybe they didn't have a political agenda. But they did manage to kill 51 people and injure more than 90. All of it is disgusting behavior, all of it upsets me to the core, all of it makes me so mad that I literally want to get a gun and start shooting. But what the hell am I shooting at? I'm mad and I'm irrational, which is probably the worst time to hand people guns.
Then you've got Donald Trump out there once again doubling down and feeding his base by making a statement that he is going to close his borders to all Muslims. Really? How do you do that? It's like saying you're going to incarcerate all the Mormons because you don't believe in plural marriage. Here's the thing: you really shouldn't get your polygamists confused with your Mormons. They're not the same. Just like all Italians aren't in the mafia. Just like all Germans aren't anti-Semitic. It's dangerous and reckless.
But here's your silver lining: By the time it comes to cast a vote, we as Americans will be reacting to something completely different. I don't know what that is, but it will be something and everyone running for political office will scurry to its side with their fail-safe plan to fix it. Only thing is ... they can't because, alas, this nation of Adderall and Ritalin junkies can't focus on any one problem long enough to fix it. I for one am completely frustrated by that. It doesn't matter who is in the Oval Office, they don't stand a chance. We as a nation can't focus on any one thing long enough to actually solve a problem. And by solving a problem I mean listening to both sides and only dealing with the issue at hand. So right now, going after radical Islam is a good idea. I don't like the way it makes me feel knowing someone out there is willing to walk into a crowded room and detonate themselves. Both sides of the aisle have good ideas around resolving this issue. So we need to un-polarize and pay attention.
There were two Roosevelts that ran this country during some pretty dicey times. One of them said, "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." While the other one said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." So why aren't we trying? What are we afraid of? What the hell is up with that?
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