I’m horribly saddened by the terror attacks in Paris last week. My heart goes out to those who are victims and their families. I know our government will stand shoulder to shoulder with France and talk about the fight on terror and how we’ve got them on the run and blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard it before. The problem is no matter how many people change their profile picture on Facebook, it’s going to happen again.
The French understand liberty better than we puritans could ever hope to:
From the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 defined liberty in Article 4 as follows:
Liberty consists of being able to do anything that does not harm others: thus, the exercise of the natural rights of every man or woman has no bounds other than those that guarantee other members of society the enjoyment of these same rights.
Over here in the United States we wrestle with that definition. It’s always been a struggle for us because for some reason we think it’s okay to get worked up about who someone is sleeping with, what someone is smoking, drinking or eating, what political party someone supports, what kind of clothing someone wears, and probably most importantly – what kind of god someone worships.
We have people like Rush Limbaugh on the right and Rachel Maddow on the left who both profit because they don’t understand what liberty means. Or maybe they do and they don’t care because they like their paycheck (and I have no problem with that by the way, I don’t bother listening to either one of them because I exercise my freedom to ignore them but if others want to that’s their business). Both are appalled that the other could hold such outrageous beliefs.
Read any comment section on NBC News and you’ll see how closed minded even the most progressive people are because they believe that only their view is the correct one. It doesn’t matter which side you play on, both are equally stuck in their ideology and neither is actually willing to have a discussion to try to solve the problems at hand.
Basically it’s about ratings, clicks or fake internet points.
Call it white privilege, or first world problems or any other politically correct term that’s currently in favor and meant to put someone in their place and prevent any meaningful discussion. It’s just on a smaller scale and with less committed to the cause participants because hey it’s Sunday and The Walking Dead is on, or there’s a game or I really can’t be bothered to take up the cause but I can spew hatred on the internet because that only takes a few minutes and I never have to actually own my words because it’s all anonymous.
We can’t stop the terror attacks because we aren’t any better than they are AND we’re lazy. It’s so much easier and satisfying to get in a couple of jabs at some stranger on the internet than it is to sit with someone and learn who they are and why they do what they do. If we can’t allow someone on a news feed comment section to have their own belief, without attacking them, calling them stupid and brushing them and their supposed political party with the broadest brush possible how can we expect the people who grow up radicalized, where that behavior is fostered rather than a side effect, to be any different?
When things like the Paris attacks happen, at least in the US, our response is to reduce our freedoms. Some dude put a bomb in his shoes and now all of us have to remove our shoes at the airport. Some other guy tried to detonate a bomb in his underwear and now we all get felt up by the TSA. We want to think we are safer but most of us understand it’s just theater. It’s a show they put on to make us feel like they’re able to keep us safe. Taking away freedom and liberty is never the answer to these events, more freedom, more liberty is.
But that’s risky and scary
After the 9/11 attacks on NY, PA and DC President Bush said we should go shopping. He took a lot of shit for that but that’s the world we live in and to show fear, to stop going to the malls because they are such targets, is to allow the terrorists to win. He was right. We must not let fear win. The French get it. The day after the attacks most shops were open. I live by the Mall of America and I love it, but every year around the holidays I think maybe it’s best not to go there until the holidays are over. Because I know what a target the mall is (and because it has massive skylights, and is located across the highway from the airport, you frequently see airplanes fly right over it while you’re inside enjoying your Orange Julius).
It isn’t about fighting a religion, it’s about refusing to be afraid in the face of their terror. We go all bat shit crazy talking about muslims and how they are the problem, but then we do that we’re feeding into the narrative of these terrorists. You know what the terrorists hate? They hate it when Muslims move to the US or any western country and assimilate. When someone who is a practicing muslim moves to the US they do so because they want to live a better life than they could in their country, they want a better life for their kids and the want to take advantage of all the opportunities that are here but not found there. When they come here they bring their culture with them and by adding it to the melting pot that idealistically is the US.
It’s just a red cup!
For the last several weeks we’ve been getting worked up about the Starbucks holiday cup. Which might just be the biggest dupe in history because what we were actually getting worked up about was that people were worked up! No one actually ever saw anyone get worked up, at least not than I am aware. It’s less than two weeks before Thanksgiving and Black Friday and already my Facebook feed is filling up with images of turkeys superimposed with a list of which stores will remained closed on Thanksgiving so you know where the right place will be to shop when you’ve woken from you self induced food coma.
Today we’re outraged about taking in Syrian refugees, the internet is up in arms over this. We can’t possibly screen them all!!!! Governors from all over the nation are refusing them (not in MN, though).
“They’re not leaving Syria or parts of Iraq because they want to become terrorists,” Stanio told NBC News. “They have been victims of terrorism, they’ve been victims of gross violations committed by murderous dictators. These are people who deserve protection.”
But we need to take in these refugees because these are the people who make this country great. They’re trying to escape intolerable situations and looking to build a better life here. I say, welcome, come start a business, raise happy and safe children, become an American and enjoy all that she has to offer.
By refusing to take in refugees we’re likely to create more ill will towards the US than reduce it. We’ve always welcomed the huddled masses looking to start a new life on these shores, this is no time to stop now.
More liberty is what prevents terror attacks, not less.
If you really want to do something to change the world start in your own little space. Refrain from calling each other names when someone has a different opinion than you. Instead of shaming them think about having a discussion to understand their point of view. It’s highly unlikely that everyone is correct 100% of the time so open your mind just a crack and consider that someone else might know a thing or two and that we could all learn something if we just listened more and talked over each other less.