The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

MARS, ANYONE?

It was the best ten cents I ever invested in anything.  That was the price I paid to become a member of the Science Fiction Book Club based in Long Island.  For my little silver coin (and a three cent stamp) I embarked on the wonderful possibilities of intergalactic travel and exploring the vast cosmos.  In exchange for my investment I received five hard bound, large books and began my travels through the universe from the comfort of my home sofa.  And that got me interested in frequently visiting New York’s Hayden Planetarium which became my home away from home.  Somehow the vastness of the universe and the possibilities contained in it that we can barely imagine put our petty differences in perspective and reveal them for the insignificant things they are.

I thought about this as the kerfuffle erupted recently as both Indiana and Arkansas passed laws to re-emphasize the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.  Naturally, the left took a break from pushing for a higher minimum wage to jump on these two bills and castigate them as being horrifically anti-gay, despite the fact that the governors of both states clearly stated that was not the intent of either law.  That, of course, is a matter of speculation.  So what does all that have to do with space or at least a leap into it as plans are being made to invade the Red Planet?

As you may know, a Dutch company called Mars One intends to launch a ship to our nearest neighbor in the solar system, prospectively in 2022 and is currently recruiting applicants who would like to join the crew of explorers.  They received thousands of applications for what is billed as a one way trip.  The plan is to establish a permanent colony on Mars.  Needless to say, the colony will have to be self-sustaining.

Now Holland is a very liberal place.  In fact, they were the first country in the world to recognize gay marriage in 2001.  Although the Mars project is being funded and developed by a private company and not the Dutch government, it is reasonable to assume that those in charge probably share the same social views as many of their countrymen.  So that suggests one simple question.

Will those who are screening for applicants for this momentous mission consider including gay and lesbian women in the crew, knowing that they will be unlikely to contribute to the nascent colony’s ongoing genetic survival?  I hope that I’m here on Earth long enough to get an answer to that question.

WILL XX MARK THE SPOT?

Once upon a time in America, long before we had large clunky voting machines which now have largely been replaced with far smaller, more sophisticated and technologically advanced apparatuses which enable us to determine who will mis-govern us for the next few years until we repeat the exercise, people cast their ballots using paper and pen.

With the introduction of the voting machine, at first we used them for the “important” races – president, senators, congressmen, governors and the like.  Things like constitutional amendments and people running for judgeships were still conducted using paper.  After all, no one understood the implications of those constitutional amendments and it was virtually impossible to get any information on any of the people running for judicial office so people, if they bothered to vote in those elections did so based on whether the name of one of the candidates appealed to them.  It seemed as good a way as any to cast an uninformed vote.

This is not to say that the votes cast on the machines were necessarily much better informed.  In Chicago, the Cook County Democratic party typically handed out a simple instruction guide for those who were unclear on which candidates might best represent their interest.  The one page instruction guide was simply entitled, “HOW TO VOTE.”  That pretty much said it all – and despite the fact that many voters in Chicago were Polish or Hispanic, the simple guide was only available in English.  But the graphics certainly overcame the prospective voter’s possible lack of familiarity with the lingua franca.

The “guide” instructed the voter to:

1)  Pull the red lever to the left.  (This closed the curtain to ensure privacy as the citizen went about his or her important business).

2)  Pull Lever “A”.  (This was a straight Democratic party vote).

3)  Pull the red lever to the right.  (This opened the curtain and recorded the vote on the meters at the back of the machine).

The guide concluded with the congratulatory message:

“YOU HAVE NOW VOTED.  THANK YOU.”

As simple as this was, there were some precincts in which technological advances somehow languished.  Interestingly, these were often in precincts which had a heavy concentration of SRO’s – Single Residence Occupancy buildings whose tenants were often street people who would panhandle during the day, buy their bottle of Ripple and return to their residencies at night to curl up with their bottle and a tattered copy of “Tropic of Cancer.”

These voters were often hung over on Election day and every other day, yet getting them out to vote was an important part of the local Democratic precinct captain’s job security plan with the city so a different strategy was adopted to make sure that they not only got out to vote but that they voted “correctly.”  The entire voter fraud scheme relied on stealing one blank paper ballot.

The precinct captain, perhaps in conjunction with the Judges of Election for that precinct, would obtain a blank ballot and mark it with black ink and then go about his business of knocking on the doors of the SRO’s residents to get them out to do their civic duty.  The prospective voters would have only one responsibility, other than to hand the pre-marked ballot over to the Judge in charge of dropping it in the secured ballot box, thereby ensuring the integrity of the election.  It would be his duty to return to the precinct captain one blank ballot which he would be given after he presented the Judges with his name and they certified his right to vote in that precinct in the election.  The reward, other than taking pride in performing his civic duty, was a pint bottle of booze.

Now the city of Chicago, concerned that people voted in a conscientious and sober manner prohibited liquor stores, bars and restaurants from selling alcoholic beverages during the time the polls were open.  So the precinct captains had to obtain the hootch in the days before the actual election.  Rumor has it that there were quite a few liquor stores that did a land office business during that period and there was one incident reported where a precinct worker’s car was vandalized while the polls were open and a substantial amount of cheap alcohol was stolen from it.  I never heard whether that precinct captain met his quota for getting out the vote that particular day.

Those who were all atwitter about the Florida “hanging chad” controversy, might have been interested to know that in the primitive days of paper ballots, we had our own controversies on how ballots were marked and whether those ballots were marked legally.  According to the Cook County Board of Election Commissioners, a valid ballot was one in which the voter had made an “X” in the little square to the left of the candidate’s name.  Some voters, unclear on the concept, circled the name, marked an “O” in the square or wrote the word “Yes” there or failed to have the lines of their “X” intersect – all of which were grounds for disqualifying that particular vote.

But we’ve come a long way from those days of marking an “X” to identify our choice of a candidate.  The main theme of Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency next year will probably revolve around one issue – casting a ballot for an “XX” chromosome candidate.  As Ms. Clinton put it recently in one of her rare public appearances, (oh, I forgot this was a speech for which she received a $250,000 honorarium to spout forty minutes worth of generalities), “Isn’t it time we elected a woman president?”

She and the American people would have been better served if she had said, “Isn’t it time we elected a competent person president?”  That question, however, might not work well with her playbook.

It is an unstated but obvious goal of the left in the United States that under the guise of “humanitarianism” we should open our borders to any and all of the world’s “oppressed” so that they may come and enjoy the government benefits so richly awarded thanks to the efforts of the ever-diminishing working class who earn the money and pay the taxes to provide them.  This is all done in the name of equity, social justice and (less obviously) the ultimate goal of getting a sufficient number of voters to the polls so that the policy can be even further expanded and America may join the ranks of third world socialist countries in which everyone can enjoy an incredibly low level of income equality.

There seems to be some confusion among certain Democrat politicians regarding their family origins and backgrounds.  We all remember Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D – MA) decision to claim a Cherokee background because of her remembrance of her Aunt Bea’s looking at a family portrait, telling the young Elizabeth that their venerated ancestor, captured forever in oil on canvass, “had high cheekbones – just like yours.”  Well, that seems good enough for government work.

Now cometh Hillary Clinton on her van tour to Iowa claiming that all her grandparents had immigrated to the United States, when in fact three of them were born here.  Not that it should matter – other than Hillary’s version makes for a more compelling story.  And heaven only knows, Ms. Clinton needs something to talk about to help the average undecided independent voter see beyond the makeup base and blush to want to cast their ballot for her.  There is certainly little that is positive in her background to cause that to happen – and a lot of baggage that, at the very least, has a certain air of privilege and impropriety.

But returning to the subject of immigration and why our porous borders should be converted into open floodgates, the left makes the argument that the Europeans who came to this country were usurpers, stealing the land from the aboriginal residents who were already here.  Coterminous with this argument is the beginning of their objection to guns since the displacement of Native Americans was accomplished through the use of the blunderbuss which proved to be a far more efficient killing device than either the arrow or the tomahawk.

The most current theory on the inception of the human race is that from an original “earth mother” somewhere in Africa, all humanity sprung.  It’s the sort of scientific community’s version of the Adam and Eve story – but with God eliminated as an unnecessary addition to the cast of characters.  Well, let’s run with that theory.

So our original progenitor had a child or children and presumably they had children and before long there were a whole lot of children and adults running around this one spot on the African continent.  We can certainly imagine that after a not so long time on the evolutionary scale of things, it got a little crowded in this African oasis.  And as new generations and more children came along, some of them decided to move to newer, less populated areas.  They might only have relocated a few miles away – or perhaps they went further.  Much further.  In fact, some of them moved to Asia and Europe and the Americas and Australia.

If the the scientific theory is right, there is no other explanation for how so much of the earth’s land masses got populated.  So while the various Native American tribes were here before the European settlers, they were in every respect immigrants and usurpers just as much as those who followed and largely displaced them.  It might be argued that anyone other than the descendants of the original “earth mother” who still live in the same spot whence all of humanity originated are in fact immigrants and usurpers – all of us.

While I hear the left spout off all the time about how unfair minorities are treated in the United States I have yet to hear any talk of any movement for all of us to hop on a plane and go back to Africa so that we cleanse ourselves of the sins of our fathers and forefathers who had the nerve to come here looking for a better life.  Of course, were we to do that, we would obviously put some stress on the local economy and populace – but we can deal with that issue when the planes start to unload their passengers.

Until that happens, which may be awhile, we can not only admit but agree that we are all immigrants – and be proud of it.  It is not so much what we did to get here but what we do while we are here that is important.  Personally, I would prefer the company of a law abiding immigrant to that of a fourth generation American who is a serial murderer.  And just as we weed out people who have a legal right to live here through our judicial system, it is incumbent on those in government to weed out those who wish to come here before they are permitted entry.

Any of us who is charitable might invite a hungry stranger into our homes to share a meal.  But most of us would recoil if that stranger showed up unexpectedly at our doorstep and demanded that we share our bounty with him or her.  And it is for that reason that in the interest of the common good, we ought to have a strong and strongly enforced policy on immigration, welcoming those who have the desire and the potential to add quality to the fabric of American society and rejecting those who will detract from it.

While I have no interest in providing constructive advice to Hillary Clinton on how she should conduct her campaign, it should seem obvious to a woman of her extensive background that most of us who will make a decision on the person who will receive our vote in the next presidential election would like to feel that we are treated as smart enough to know when someone running for office is telling a whopper.  So if Ms. Clinton wants to do the best thing she can to promote herself, it might be to try a little honesty.  Not only would it be refreshing – it would certainly be unexpected.

It was the summer of 1991.  Bill Clinton had left the Oval Office which allowed him more time to chase skirts and wife Hillary was ensconced in the U. S. Senate.  On a beach in Florida, the barefoot former president hit a hard object in the sand with his foot.  He reached down to unearth what appeared to be a lamp of the shape and style which Aladdin discovered to summon his genie.

Clinton thought a moment, “Could this be an authentic genie’s lamp – and would it work?”  So he rubbed the lamp and sure as shooting a stream of smoke emerged which turned into a real live genie.  Clinton was thrilled at his good fortune and for a fleeting moment the thought of 72 virgins flew through his mind.

The genie introduced himself as the “Real Moustaffah” and said, “Mr. President, as you have released me from the bondage of the lamp, you are entitled to ask me to fulfill one wish.”

Clinton was taken aback.  “One wish.  I thought the person who found the lamp was entitled to three wishes.”

“Well, that’s the way it used to be.  But we formed a union and entered into a collective bargaining agreement and now the standard is one wish to a customer.  Surely, given your background, you can appreciate how we were being overworked and oppressed and this is a much more equitable arrangement.”

Although Clinton was disappointed that he would only get one wish he began considering what he would ask the genie to grant him.

After a few minutes he said to the genie, “You know, I had always hoped to achieve an accord in the Middle East where all the parties could live together in harmony and peace.  I hoped that would be the defining achievement of my presidency.  But what with the impeachment trial and the sex scandal, I am afraid that is how my time in office will be remembered.  So, can you make it so that there is peace in the Middle East and security for Israel?”

The genie shrugged his shoulders, removed his turban and scratched his bald head.  He turned to Clinton and said,  “Look, let me show you something.”

The genie reached into his outer garment and pulled out a weathered, fragile map and unfolded it.

“This is an ancient map of the region.  You can see that there has been conflict there for thousands of years.  The Jews have been targeted by the Philistines and the Egyptians, just to name a few peoples who have sought their annihilation.  I have to tell you, I don’t even think the Most Supreme and Exalted Leader, (our chief genie and union head) could accomplish what you have asked me to do.”

Clinton was obviously disappointed.  But he began to think what else he would wish for as the genie refolded the map and put it away.

He turned to the genie and said, “You know, most people don’t understand the relationship that Hillary and I have.  I realize that our marriage is not exactly what you would call traditional.  But in my own way, I really do care about her.  And it bothers me when I hear people speak ill of her.  When she got elected to the Senate in New York, they called her a ‘carpetbagger’ and I’ve even heard people use the “B” word when they refer to her.  She clearly has a very poor public image.  So, for my wish, I would ask that you make people like Hillary.”

The genie looked at Clinton, nibbled at his lower lip and said, “Let me take another look at that map.”

THE LONE RANGER

Back in the 1950’s when television came in two versions – “black” and “white” and was promoted on only three portals, ABC, CBS and NBC – a program was broadcast, based on a Zane Grey novel.  It was “The Lone Ranger,” starring Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels as his faithful companion, Tonto.  One of my favorite shows, I was allowed to take a break from homework to spend a half hour watching the program.

There was a bit of a ritual surrounding watching the show in my house.  Five minutes before it was to air, my father would open the doors to the large sang de boeuf colored Chinoise cabinet, revealing the relatively small Dumont television it held.  He would turn on the power and the hum of the tubes warming could be heard from behind the set as it got itself ready for this week’s episode.  I remember holding my breath, hoping that the set would spring to life and that none of the vacuum tubes had failed.  And then the set would spring to life (usually).

There was no doubt that we were about to see yet another riveting episode when the stirring theme song for the program, the final, allegro portion of Rossini’s “William Tell” overture blared forth in pure unfettered monophonic sound and the announcer pronounced the Lone Ranger’s iconic words as he sat astride his almost equally famous horse and said, “Hi-Yo, Silver!”  And then they would dash off in a full gallop in pursuit of evil doers.

Back in those days it was always easy to tell who the “good guys” and the “bad guys” were because the good guys wore white and the bad ones wore black.  (It was a simpler time and nobody thought this was racist – or at least we didn’t have umpteen million chat room participants discussing that possibility – but then our chat rooms back then were found either in our schools or at the supper table at home).  Stick ball occupied a lot more of our time than discussions about surreptitious bigotry.

Television and media in general have evolved and now have the ability to represent our world in full panoramic colorization.  There are probably few of us, even those of us who hold a certain nostalgia for the olden days, who would want to return to them – at least in respect to how we watch our entertainment.  But the precision with which we could once identify good and bad, right and wrong has been blurred if not completely lost, perhaps because of our ability to see things in so many different shades.  That might explain, at lest in part, our present philosophy of “relativism” which essentially bastardizes principle and finds countless arguments to mollify wrongdoing.

The good news is that there are still some fundamental truths in which we might find security – if we may call it that.  One of those truths is as relevant today as when I heard my father promulgate it a half century ago.  “It is your responsibility to vote in an informed manner – and because you have taken the time to weigh the merit of each person’s candidacy and background, to cast your ballot for the one who will steal the least.”  And with that in mind, I will turn my attention to events that developed this week in my native state of New York.

New York’s Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver (D – NYC) was arrested and indicted on five separate federal charges of corruption.  If convicted, each charge could carry a twenty year prison term.  The charges allege that Silver used his position as Speaker to obtain payments from various law firms who benefited from his influence in directing public policy which directly benefited their practices.  Silver was reported not to have performed any services yet was rewarded with paychecks from one of the firms which amounted to $800,000.  In total, the federal government is alleging that Silver received a total of $3.8 Million over a period of several years and has seized the eight bank accounts in which the monies were deposited.

At his arraignment, Silver was released under a $200,000 personal recognizance bond but was required to surrender his passport.  This might put a crimp in his upcoming plans to participate in the foreign “economic development” tour which he, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Senate Majority Leader were to take, presumably for the purpose of attracting more businesses to open their doors in the Empire State.

The arrest comes at a time when Gov. Cuomo is under a great deal of criticism from the Republicans in the state’s two houses over closing down the Moreland Commission, a body which was looking into what is reported as widespread corruption among state legislative members.  Cuomo formed the commission in March, 2013 and abruptly closed it down eight months later which gave rise to the U. S. Attorney, Preet Bharara’s involvement.  He further suggested that this investigation has not concluded and there may be other indictments in the offing.

Silver’s supporters including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio advised a “wait and see” attitude, the mayor rightfully pointing out that we have a judicial process which we should allow to play out and praising the Speaker as “a man of integrity.”  Others have made comments about the culture to be found in the state’s capitol, suggesting that “no matter how virtuous a person is before election to the state legislature, there seems to be a corrupting influence which takes hold of even the most virtuous.”  That might be supported by the number of state legislators who have been forced to resign after their convictions on varying corruption charges.

Speaker Silver, of course, maintains his innocence.  But based on the scathing press conference which Bharara gave subsequent to the indictment, it would seem that he is confident that the facts he has uncovered will result in a conviction.  Since this is a “white collar” crime and the defendant has a long history of “public service,” it is unlikely that he would receive anything akin to the maximum sentence should he be convicted.  But it does seem likely that he would spend at least some time in the “Big House.”  And as we did on the Lone Ranger, we might hear the judge cry out, “Hi-Yo, Silver – away.”

There has been a lot of negative feedback directed at the White House for its omission in not sending a higher level individual to the rally that took place last Sunday in Paris.  Surely, we could have spared Vice President Biden or Secretary of State Kerry to attend.  If, God forbid, something had happened, they could easily have been replaced by someone equally incompetent.

While White House spokesman Josh Earnest, acknowledged that this was a small faux pas on the part of the administration, he preceded that with a variety of other explanations which bore all the validity of the explanation that “The attack on our facility in Benghazi occurred as a result of a spontaneous attack, caused by an offensive video.”

Let’s see,  “The President only found out about the rally as a result of hearing about it in the media and there wasn’t a sufficient amount of time to ensure that the proper security measures would be in place to guarantee his safety.”  So let’s think back to the funeral of Nelson Mandela which the president did attend.  There were several more days which intervened between his death and burial – and there was probably previous planning about security which would have been tethered together since he was an elderly man and his death, at some point, was expected.  So, despite what must have been greater security, do you remember the mentally ill man who, while Obama gave his eulogy, was gesticulating a translation in a pseudo-sign language style of his own invention?  Was the entirety of the Secret Service detail off in the red light district during the ceremony?

“The president was not invited to attend.”  If that is true it might speak volumes about the real state of Franco-American relationships – though it is surprising considering the fact that Presidents Hollande and Obama are both socialists.  Perhaps the French simply didn’t want the nation to be snubbed in the same way that the British were by Obama’s failure to attend Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

While it seems unreasonable to expect this or any other president to expose himself to unnecessary personal risk, that didn’t seem to deter Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the latter being a much more likely target, from having the gumption to show up and march in the front line, arm in arm.  One could argue that with or without any American security, Obama might well be viewed by the Islamic radical terrorists as an ally rather than an opponent and would have been the safest of all world leaders present at the rally.  After all, he’s been busily freeing Guantanamo detainees and sending them back to the homeland where they can rejoin the fight to eradicate Western Civilization from the face of the map.  Well, at least we taxpayers are saving money since we spend three times more per year on one of the enemy combatants in Gitmo than we do on your basic murderer or rapist in one of our federal penitentiaries.

Now that several days have gone by since the Paris demonstration of solidarity, I think I may have hit on the real reason that Obama couldn’t bother to make it to France – other than the obvious that he was watching the playoff  games.  It is that he was fleshing out his latest idea that we should offer everyone the opportunity to attend community college, maintain an “average” average and have the taxpayers fund their education.  This may surprise some long time readers but I have to say that this might be the brightest idea that has sprung from Obama in the last six years – or perhaps ever.  Which is not to say that I am in complete agreement with it.  But let’s set aside partisanship and review this proposal on an objective basis.

I’m going to begin with an assumption that while an associate’s degree might not carry with it the potential earnings benefit of a four year bachelor’s degree, it should at the least offer its recipient at least half the potential of the more advanced parchment.  We’ll set aside the fact that about thirty percent of those holding newly conferred bachelor’s degrees are unable to find any work and more than sixty percent are holding positions for which they are overqualified for lack of suitable opportunities which would require their newly acquired expertise.  Those are mere anomalies.  There are at least a few examples of how acquiring a four year degree – or at least working toward that goal – can bring with it financial rewards.

The feds recently apprehended seven student athletes who attended the University of South Dakota who were involved in a tax fraud scheme which reportedly diverted $1.1 Million in fraudulent tax refund claims and which netted the group $400,000 which they withdrew from ATM’s before they were arrested.  Of these, six were members of the USD football team and one was a member of the university’s track and field team.  (He was probably the runner for the group).  So to those of you who criticize the quality of education that our kids get in college, I can only say, “Pshaw.”

As I write this, it occurs to me that perhaps the explanation that Obama was watching the football playoffs is indeed the real reason for his notable absence at the Parisian rally.  He might have been scouting for promising football players to add to the administration’s staff who could come up with innovative ways to pay for his community college proposal.  After all, most of those guys have four year degrees – and a fairly large percentage have felony convictions to round out their resumes.

ZIMMERMANIA

Just when we began to focus on serious issues like the intensification of Radical Islamic terrorist attacks on Western Civilization, who pops up his head once again but none other than George Zimmerman.  You remember him, don’t you?  He’s the guy who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in Florida, was brought to trial and was acquitted.  That judgment resulted in some minor protests (though absent the burnings and lootings which subsequently have become fashionable) and an explosion in the sales of hoodies – much to the pleasure of the manufacturers in China where they are made.

Whatever you thought of the Zimmerman verdict, it’s pretty difficult to argue that George’s subsequent behavior would not suggest a person who is rapidly speeding downhill.  His latest arrest, as I recall his third, suggests that he is not coping too well with reality – or has abdicated much commitment to it.  And while it might be expedient to shake our heads and tut tut his behavior – drawing whatever inferences befit our personal views of the man  – I am surprised that the liberal left press hasn’t gone on to offer us an explanation for it, one that would be consistent with their worldview of other shooting deaths which also involved blacks.

We know from viewing the mainstream media that anyone who is murdered, irrespective of the circumstances, is always the victim.  That is particularly true if that victim happens to be darkly complected, the activity in which he was engaged prior to his expiration being irrelevant.  Just because he was robbing a convenience store or breaking a law prohibiting the sale of loose cigarettes is inconsequential.  There is always an explanation about how society doomed that person to a life of petty crime – or even more serious infractions.  But if we take that “logic” to its inevitable conclusion, that leads us to a paradoxical conundrum.

If we accept that lawbreakers have no free will but are merely marionettes whose strings are pulled in a certain predetermined sequence beyond their control, it seems only reasonable to apply that same robotic condition not just to one segment of society but to everyone.  Therefore, we should not try to convert the racist from his views but rather, accept his view on race as being nothing more than the manifestation of a condition which his environment has imposed upon him.  He is no more guilty of anything than the person who finds that cancer has invaded his body.  It’s just one of those things – a sort of “Deus ex machina” syndrome or to put it in Calvinistic religious terms, nothing more than the earthly expression of predestination.

It is clear that what might be construed as random events do have implications for our lives.  Prior to his encounter with Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman seemed to be quite a decent person.  He was involved in mentoring children, many of whom were black and certainly didn’t exhibit any reported issues which would suggest that he would become a violent person.  If we accept his version of the events that night, confirmed in the jury verdict, he was merely concerned that Martin was a threat both to him and to his neighbors.  Apparently, the local constabulary and the local DA agreed with his explanation and were prepared to let the matter drop.  Enter the DOJ.

Because the Holder Department of Justice has made a six year career of looking for and, inevitably finding, racial motivations in every instance where a black individual is slain by a non-black person, they succeeded in reopening the case and forcing the now famous trial.  And, despite Zimmerman’s acquittal, his life (and that of his family) were forever changed as a result of the trial, irrespective of the outcome.

Zimmerman was once a person who was considered a likeable person and a good neighbor was regularly portrayed in the media as a racist vigilante.  He went into hiding having received death threats.  Perhaps from the stress which we would all feel as a result of being publicly cast as a pariah, his relationship with his wife suffered and they were divorced.  He was involved in several road rage and speeding incidents and now, most recently, was charged with throwing a wine bottle at his current (soon to be ex) girlfriend.  But is any of this Zimmerman’s fault?  Or is he merely a hapless victim, brought to his current condition through a set of circumstances which were beyond his control?

If we accept the premise that the liberal left espouses, we would have to conclude that in the same way that Trayvon Martin was a victim of circumstance, (remember that if he had not been suspended from school for the third time, he might not have gone to the grocery store which led to the fatal encounter), Zimmerman is little more than a marionette whose strings were pulled by the media’s attention to his trial and by the public’s reaction to the way in which he was depicted.  In that light, his recent brushes with the law and domestic violence are little more than expressions of his condition – one which we might describe as Zimmermania.

While it might be comforting on an emotional level to believe that whatever we do can be explained away through some sort of concocted justification, it precludes us from ever being virtuous by doing good at the same time that we can never be criticized for venal behavior.  And if we accept that premise, we are closing the book on life in a moral society and are opening a volume with the one word title, “Chaos.”

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