I’m back from a most pleasant interlude away from television, radio, newsprint, and any discussion of politics. It was wonderful. But now, I’m back to the “wars” once again. I confess I am sick of the wars, all of them. I don’t mean just the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and the as yet undeclared war on Iran. I’m sick of the war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war on women, the war on religion, the war on Christmas, the war on Gays and Lesbians, the war on immigration, the war on obesity, the war on voter rights, the war on the Middle class, the war on unions, the war on abortion, the war on global warming, the war on evolution, the war on environmentalism, the war on government, and even the apparent war on young (and not so young) Black people.
Perhaps we just need a better metaphor. But it does seem to me we are at war with just about everything these days. Of course these are not all truly wars, but speaking of them as if they are is, I gather, what sells, what makes them exciting, what defines our failures to ever find solutions to problems we have that would be eminently solvable if anyone was serious about solving them. Of course some of them are not wars at all, and in fact are basically non-existant. There are, for example, no wars on Christmas or religion, these are merely figments of some of the demented minds in the Republican ranks, hallucinations that allow certain individuals more air time. The war on obesity is not serious enough to be taken seriously by the ever-growing population of the obese.
Some of these wars are not really active any longer, having failed long ago. There is, for example, no longer any meaningful war on poverty, we seem to have just accepted the fact that the wealthiest, strongest nation on earth, cannot solve the problem of poverty. We have concluded that it’s their own fault if they are poor and giving them any further aid is just too expensive. As far as the war on abortion goes, it should have been solved years ago when it was made legal by our (used to be) Supreme Court. You would certainly not know it was legal at the moment as abortion doctors are being murdered, abortion clinics bombed, the law being subverted at every opportunity, and so on. In spite of the law this is one war that continues unabated.
Of course the war on evolution should have been won long ago, as it has been in virtually every industrialized nation on earth except the United States. The relative age of the earth, for example, was determined to the satisfaction of geologists in the 1800’s, other evidence for the theory is so overwhelming that no one challenges it any longer except for some of the most extreme bible thumpers who refuse to recognize science as being of any importance. The same holds true for the war on global warming, well established by fully all serious scientists on the face of the earth, but inconvenient for corporations who wish to continue exploiting the world for short-term profits, and fundamentalists to believe only God can change the climate. The war on environmentalists has been raging now for some time as, again, there are those so intent upon their profits they are willing to sacrifice mother earth herself. The war on government continues, fueled by those who want to control it themselves and want us to believe people can somehow do without it.
There does appear to be a serious on-going war on women, the reasons for which are unfathomable unless, again, you are a true bible believer. This is a war that goes beyond merely women’s rights, it is a war against their health, as hard as it is to believe such a thing would even be possible in the 21st century. Those waging this war, Republicans, of course, want us to return to an earlier period when women were seen, not heard, belonged in the kitchen, pregnant and barefooted, and served their Lord and Masters without complaint. This particular war on women, along with the unstated war on Black people, seems to be the most heated and active at the moment.
The so-called war on drugs continues year after year even though it is perfectly obvious it is a dismal failure that not only wastes billions of dollars but also wastes thousands of lives, especially the lives of young Black people, and fills up our overcrowded prisons with non-violent offenders whose only crime is the use of marijuana, a weed used by literally millions of Americans most every day. This is a war so completely foolish as to be laughable if it did not produce such horrendous results. But of course there are those who profit from it and therefore manage to keep it going in spite of its obvious ill effects on our young people (and many not so young). And it is one war that could be easily won by simply admitting that the problem is a medical one rather than a political one and, if drugs were made legal it would virtually disappear.
Anyway, I’m sick of the whole business. All of these problems (wars) could be solved if as a nation we were serious about wanting to solve them. But too many people have vested interests in keeping them going, the very same people who control the means to solve them, and also the very same people who have now apparently reached the status of “Untouchables.” Sad but true.
I was going to buy a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, and then I thought: What the hell good would that do?