Bliss: satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more, content. Having a laisse faire attitude. Isolationism (aka the bubble effect) - the illusion that if it doesn't affect one in ones living room, it's not important. If ignorance is bliss, then most Americans must be downright ecstatic with what is happening in the world. The ugly, cruel world outside the comforts and confides of the typical American home, outside the realm of the “civilized” world. If they are aware at all. And many of the few that are often utter the most profoundly naive things. Like “America shouldn't even get involved over there,” and “it's none of our business.”
It used to tickle me when citizens spoke from uninformed mouths, ignorant of what they were so willing to share with others. But as the stakes of international affairs began to have the capacity to reach home, such ill-informed bantering took on a sadder tone.
Americans are decidedly much less educated today than prior generations. But lacking some of the basic knowledge of math and science skills pales in comparison to the real problem, namely the ignorance of history, and the lessons we thought we had collectively learned.
In fact we are so content, uneducated, blissful, that we even elected as president a man with virtually no experience, and plans of action that not only made no since they reeked and bellowed in admission to his naivety. Plans of course he has had to abandon once thrust into the real world and forced to actually lead. He won his role in a dog and pony show formerly known as politics because he had charisma, he had style. And we have become a nation of style over substance.
We have forgotten lessons learned with the blood of so many sacrificed love ones. Brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, moms, dads, cousins. Friends from down the street. Millions of them. Almost all of them losing their very lives fighting evil and oppression around the world, and even at home.
So when citizens say uninformed things that clearly demonstrate a complete lack of historical knowledge it infuriates, amuses, and saddens me – all at the same time. Things like the revolutions erupting or simmering around the world are none of our business. Or things like Israel is the terrorist entity, or statements that promote or acceptingly dismiss government intrusions into citizens' lives.
It's quite rare to be able to report recently hearing a wise statement from a politician. And I wish I could give him credit here but his name went unremembered. But his wise statement stuck, hard. When asked by a reporter if the federal government should do this or do that, he replied “Ask yourself this. Should the federal government even be involved with that.” I mean, after all, the constitution is quite clear on the limited “duties” and limitations of the federal government.
Government's primary duty is to protect its citizens from threats both foreign and domestic. There are no constitutional provisions for buying older cars, bailing out airlines, banks and insurance companies, or deciding if a business or industry is “too big to fail.” What companies, future companies, or since failed companies have been sacrificed and denied their rightful place in a new and better free market because Fanny & Freddie, AIG, GM, and other backward-clinging and thinking companies were given an unearned and probably temporary claim to that slot?
If government was worried about its citizens being abused by businesses why does it allow, through non-regulation, oil companies to stockpile oil and charge consumers record prices while creating record profits? Why aren't unions being fixed and turned back into what they originally were – advocate and champion of the little man against the machine of big business? - instead of bipartisan and bipolar alternatives ranging from dissolution to retaining the status quo.
But the domestic issues dim in contrast to the importance of international threats, none more obvious and critical that the threat from Islamic extremists.
Forget the obvious fact that it often takes force to stop a bully. Or the fact that the only thing necessary for the spread of evil is for good men to do nothing (Burke). It takes great courage and leadership to do what is right even if it is unpopular in 51% or more of Americas living rooms. In a world where the truth can be easily and instantly spun into a web of lies, there are still great truths that we should have already learned – long ago.
What lessons presumably learned in the past have we forgotten? Isolationism and appeasement don't work – Hitler, communism, Hussein, Gaddafi. Laisse faire doesn't work in regulating big business – The Great Depression, abuses by oil and insurance companies. Religious oppression, forced assimilation, or favoritism is wrong – Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, Salem witch trials, McCarthyism, Islamic colonization. And of course, power structures with limited membership become abusive, and fail. Eventually. Always.
It should not take years to muster support for democratic revolutions. It should not take weeks to establish no-fly zones so detached-from-reality dictators can't bomb their own citizens. Ask yourself this as you recoil in political correctness at the thought of sending troops to help average, everyday folk from being massacred by bully dictators and thugs: If not us, then who? If not now, then when? How many have to die? For how long? And how close to home does the mayhem have to come before it is “important” enough to warrant your support?
A wise man once said “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” What he was saying of course was know your enemy. Know who he is. Know what he believes, and why. Know your history, and his. Know this: Islam is not a tolerant or peaceful religion. And if you believe in self determination, democracy, womens' rights, civil rights and liberties, basic human rights, and religious freedom, Islam is your enemy. Even if you are not yet theirs.
If your politically correct subliminal training allowed to to complete this reading and make it to this end of prose, then congratulate yourself. You are at least trying to learn.