Values: How Much Do We Have In Common?
By T. F. Williams
I would like to think we hold some values in common which we as citizens would hold inviolate. I am beginning to think this is no longer true and it causes tremendous concern for the future of this country.
Freedom of expression is no longer inviolate as evidenced by the Cancel Culture. If this essential freedom is not honored, then we are descending into fascism and dictatorship in all but name. This isn’t President Trump being a fascist or trying to curtail rights; rather, it is those who call him a fascist who are in actuality discarding this essential right and destroying the ability to have a meaningful debate. This is evidenced by the shootings of people who say all lives matter as opposed to black lives matter. When did it become acceptable to murder someone for simply disagreeing with your point of view? That is fascism by definition.
During President Trump’s time in office he has made no move to silence anyone who hadn’t signed a document of some type in which they willingly curtailed their rights due to a position they wanted to hold. I did it when I obtained my access to certain information during my military career and while working for a government agency after I left active duty. Military members have their rights curtailed because of the unique lifestyle and circumstance of their career choice.
People within law enforcement and the intelligence community make the same choice. They sacrifice to ensure those institutions are seen by the public as apolitical and capable of being fair. These values of an apolitical intelligence and law enforcement community are being eroded as evidenced by the information we now have about the prosecutions of Carter Page and Mike Flynn as well as the investigation into President Trump and Russian collusion.
Freedom of expression is essential to the disinfecting of political thought and cultural standards. You cannot effectively discredit a bad idea by hiding the idea and keeping it from intellectual scrutiny. You cannot advance great ideas without exposing them to criticism and determining the flaws to ensure a great plan and societal acceptance are beneficial. Iron sharpens iron as the Bible says and we must have real discussion and debate about anything which is to be implemented as law or policy in this country.
Theft is also being changed from absolutely wrong to being conditionally wrong depending upon the thief’s ethnicity or socioeconomic status. I really cannot wrap my head around a justification of taking something from someone which they earned or purchased for their use simply because someone else feels they should have it, though they haven’t tried to acquire it legally. If you riot and loot you are guilty of destroying someone else’s property. Property which they have worked to acquire; and if it is a business, property with which they are trying to earn a living while providing a service to the surrounding community. We cannot allow this to be acceptable behavior; if we do, already underserved communities will be even more underserved as businesses will not locate within them because of the increased risk.
Real education is no longer valued. We do not teach children to think and parse information to come to a realistic appreciation of an issue. We do not teach logic. If we were serious about thinking through a problem we would ensure our children could understand math, the scientific method, and philosophy. We would use the real world evidence of the effects of capitalism, socialism/communism, and fascism. We would know socialism/communism is economically impossible. We would know of the dangers to liberty posed by both socialism/communism and fascism. There would be a debate. You cannot improve everyone’s life by bringing us all down to a lowest common denominator. It is unrealistic and demonstrably false to say we all perform at an equal level thereby deserving of equal remuneration. Equality of opportunity is an achievable goal. Equality of result is not an achievable goal.
We also do not understand the definition of what is a right. A right is something which is inherent and is not dependent upon another person for me to put into action. My freedom of expression isn’t dependent upon someone else for me to act upon. Neither are freedom of association as I can or not spend time with people who choose to spend time with me. I can purchase a weapon if I have the means. I can protect my home. I can keep my personal issues as personal issues. I can practice my faith without anyone else even knowing.
However, if I want medical care I am dependent upon people who have invested time and resources in the necessary training and equipment to provide that particular service to the community. It is therefore not an inherent right as I have no right to compel someone to provide me a service.
It is also why education cannot be an inherent right; rather, it is a service we as a society has determined that a certain amount of education is necessary to ensure the proper running of society and has limited the amount of education citizens will fund through taxation up to and including a high school education. Beyond that amount, we have decided the cost of additional education is up to the individual or the individual’s family to provide.
If we want to have a similar discussion in regards to health care, then we have the discussion. However, emotional pleas should be disregarded and a look at the true cost of such an endeavor must be examined. We can look at the results of such a system in place in other countries. How long must an individual wait for an opportunity to see a physician for common maladies? How long for necessary surgeries? What are the economic costs? What are to be the wages for the physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, orderlies, and others within the industry and how will the wages compare to what they receive now? Will the treatment plan still be between the patient and doctor; even though fellow citizens are footing the cost through taxation? Will a bureaucrat or bureaucratic body make decisions about an individual’s health care and treatment plan? These are just some of the questions which have to be asked and answered.
One value we use to share, and has taken quite a few steps backward, is tolerance. We are becoming less and less tolerant of those who believe differently from us. We want to label people with differing beliefs as evil and bad and unworthy of respect or consideration. As a Christian I may not agree with other people’s faith, but it doesn’t mean they are bad or evil. They are just different. Just as I am a person of libertarian bent, I must remember those who are progressive, democrat, republican, marxist/socialist, or any other ideology are not inherently evil or bad. They are just different. It is no different, in my consideration, than I like blue and green and someone else likes red or orange. It doesn’t make them bad or evil, just different.
We must get back to a common set of values, ones on which we can all agree. All the rest we can agree to disagree.