COMMON SENSE IS LOSING THE BATTLE
1994 /1999 BY RALPH REWES
It has became almost impossible nowadays to tell right from left and lies from truths. Ours is a biased worried full of half- lies and half truths.Optimists lies; pessimists ignore truths Today’s world speaks words devoid of meaning or become masterpieces of fallacies, redundant sophisticated sophism or luring video-oral or printed baits.
A couple of decades ago, an overwhelming explosion of new names flooded our American society — loudspeaker of the world — and divided our people into multiple segments by attaching new names on every imaginable group formed by combination of everything possible. Segmentation and name calling went hand in hand.
Thus, Americans have multiplied profusely in shapes and hues unimaginable: Hispanic Americans, Polish American, Czech Americans, Cuban Americans, Mexican Americans, African Americans, Chinese Americans. But after you put labels on people, what?
What purpose, one asks, serves these divisions when ‘Americans’ would suffice. Sure, it is great to have diversity. It gives color and sound to an otherwise gray society. But, everyone would be stronger under the same protective umbrella, one that makes an individual American, any individual American, the minority with the most protected rights. As a United Way local campaign wisely stated: “We are all equal; we are all different.”
Left and right in politics puzzle even more. People coming from Communist, or former Communist, nations cannot understand why in the West, especially in the USA, exists a paradoxical marriage of liberal leaders to Marxists. Communists persecute the same victims persecuted by an extreme right. They have the same atavistic sexual mores. They live lives of extreme luxury and defiant privilege. Well?
So what! Francisco Franco represented in Spain, and he was to the eyes of the world, the extreme right. Fidel Castro represents the new left in Cuba, and unbelievably still is seen as a liberal, revolutionary by the USA extreme left. Then, how can one explain their political love affair that lasted until Franco’s death?
Hard-core atheists in Cuba declared a sacred war against perverts, especially homosexuals, favorite victims of political demagogues, with the same intensity of a Jerry Faldwell’s, except for the fact that Communist had the power Jerry doesn’t and could corral them in concentration camps in conditions that would make homophobes here leer.
Just by using words, Fidel Castro is now winning the battle of immigration against the United States because our US government does not realize the specialized semantic power of the Cuban rulers. Few realize that they divert the attention from their 30 years of political crimes toward a constant outpour of criticism against the USA.
When Castro talks about the immigrants in the USA, he leaves out the important fact that that huge number of refugees was his creating. No other dictatorship anywhere in the Americas ever came close to his achievements.
We must worry that the downfall of Communism in Europe was not the result of democratic mentality in the West, where the main philosophical current was either apathy or to play along with Soviet leaders to take advantage of trading with them (as some of Castro’s benefactors are playing along with him to benefit with bloody dollars obtained trading with the Caribbean Minihittler). Communism fell because centralization of the economy works only for a limited period of time, like the pyramid scam.
We must worry because our principles have been corroded by indifference. We need new principles. We need principles based on logic. Religion does not work in this century as it used to in the past. In fact, our problems today are an inheritance from fanatic religions. Our new principles should be based on tolerance and intelligent day-by-day decisions. We cannot impose mores any more. We have no right to impose religious rules, especially those censoring and limiting the access of science to our children, like the shamefully debassing anti-evolution victory gained in Kansas by the ignoramous. Thank God, the Catholic Church decided to go on the scientific path!
Our jurisprudence needs a total overhaul. Fanatics in Florida recently demanded laws to put nudists behind bar for three years for bathing as God intended to, while a mugger gets away with probation in a few months. Moralistic fanatics in Miami, place the names of solicitors of prostitutes on TV every half hour, 24 hours a day, while cautiously avoiding placing the faces of real criminals in the same position. Sex is so prevailing as a crime in the mind of a majority that is shocking, especially when violence, censorship, bad taste, or other social malaise are bluntly ignored.
I have yet to see a tele-evangelist whip out a campaign against big sinners, murderers, Mafia leaders, drug lords. Of course, it is safer the way they do it. They know who the vulnerable are and who the dangerous. There is an insignificant number of probabilities for a Lesbian to attack a religious fanatic, attach some cement shoes to his feet and drop him in a river.
Since he has become a focus of world attention, Fidel Castro constantly quotes Christ. In fact, I think this aging maniac quotes the bible more than Faldwell. How come? I have never heard Jesse Jackson talk about Christ either, although I saw him hugging Castro once and shouting: “¡Viva la revolución!” Maybe Castro convinced Jackson that he was a second Messiah. Not that there are not some leaders that would willingly trade the Bible for Das Kapital, if they knew that this switch would put them in power. (Some have done it the other way around.) I dare Mr. Faldwell to start a campaign against the organized crime as viciously as he does against homosexuals.
If there is something Americans should be proud of is this special instinct to detect demagogues. Language helps. When I hear some political leaders talk, promising the sky and the moon, if elected, the phrase that comes to my mind is: “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.” And here’s also a difference between the so called right and left. Leftists promise what they know they cannot fulfill. Rightists, on the contrary, threaten segments of the population to get the worst out of other segments of the population.
If there a symptom of this decomposition in common sense, it is the point-counterpoint talk show (I wish they leave talk shows to the radio). On one side an extremist, on the other side another extremist — both shouting at the top of their lungs, unwilling to compromise. Whatever happened to a moderator who could at least, put a leash of both extremes. Whatever happened to that noblesse oblige attitude of admitting that you are wrong if you are. I cannot remember the last time I saw someone graciously conceding the fact that his opponent in a debate was right and that he was wrong!
My only hope is that people are little by little realizing how disgusting a show with two extreme positions is and turn off the set or switch channels. I also hope that, with the downfall of the Soviet Empire and the draining off of its resources — and pay checks they sent to the West, many pseudo-intellectuals and agitators disappear forever from the public scene (there is still a lot of them, some receiving meager paychecks from Cuba, hanging on to it).
I still hope logic can, if not prevails, remain in a large segment of our population.