The Wrong Arguments, Pt. 1
Part 1: Can I get a witness?
Recent shifts in American politics have brought some benefits. Average Jane’s, Joe’s, They’s and Those are more politically aware, concerned, maybe even involved and active. Advances in technology may deliver new modes of participatory democracy that have more traction than a mouse-click but less risk than fighting in the streets. Nonetheless, the straitjacket put on the so-called discourse we’re force fed from mainstream media, which in turn affects how we talk to each other…aggravates! Where are imaginative thinking, real news, and deeper analyses? Pundits rehash the same talking points, survey the same limited options, and sustain their ratings as we just watch them bang into the bumpers. They tie themselves to the wrong arguments; arguments that limit possibilities and the discovery of initiatives that will move us forward.
Can I get a witness?
We could be building a society where all unwanted and unplanned-for children are guaranteed food, shelter, clothing, education, health care and excellent prospects for a good life and the pursuit of happiness. A society where reproductive freedom and abortion is legal, affordable, accessible, and decided by the pregnant woman—but rarely exercised.
This is in fact a market-based approach. Create a society with great incentives for taking the baby to term instead of prohibiting abortion. Pro-lifers NEVER address this. Instead they make the wrong argument that all life must be preserved regardless of the circumstance surrounding that pregnancy and the prognosis for the unborn child’s life.
The media could devote more time, every day, to impress upon us the seriousness of our environmental crisis and point to solutions and the dire necessity of action to stop the destruction of Earth’s habitability for life as we know it. And the media could devote time daily to the means by which we can increase gainful employment for those who would be displaced by a more environmentally benign economy.
Instead we argue about whether oil, gas, coal or other fossil fuels should or shouldn’t be fully utilized. We discuss issues of employment, of education for employment, and the environment as if they were separate and unrelated. We shy away from the political actions that hold the destroyers of the environment accountable for their actions. We rarely talk of policies that coordinate saving the earth, education, and jobs…though the Green New Deal does finally broach that. Workers in coal, oil, and gas, and students headed in that direction, need the kind of education that will prepare them for well-paid yet greener work. Yet we make the wrong arguments about the economy as if it functions in a bubble that does not dramatically affect the environment. [Stay tuned for Part 2]