it’s not that they don’t know…

Gauantanamo Bay

Prisoner at Guantanamo Bay

The argument most often made with regard to why Americans take a “hear no evil see no evil” approach to foreign affairs is that most Americans just aren’t aware of the goings on in the rest of the world. They’re short on details.

The media, we all know, is overrun with stooges and wannabe celebrities. If you need proof, just view the video at the bottom.

But with crowdsourced media now overtaking traditional media, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make the case that the information required to make informed decisions is not out there – somewhere.

It now appears that Americans are divided into four categories; 1) those who know  2) those who have all the right questions (they’re getting warmer) but aren’t sure where to find the right answers 3) those who are only interested in using social media to watch cats in cartoon hats 4) those who just don’t care.


For a number of reasons (not the least of which is that the number of people in this category is increasing) the folks in category four are the most disturbing to me. It would appear that they know our government has been engaged in any number of nefarious plots but have made peace with it.

The pool of people in category four have bought into the idea that governments must make difficult, even brutal, choices.  They, quite frankly, don’t care what those decisions are or who they impact. They don’t make any distinction between a government’s sovereign right to protect itself from a real threat and a government’s choice to operate C.I.A. black sites in an effort to gather intelligence that, by and large, doesn’t benefit the majority of Americans.

Members of category four don’t even raise their eyebrows when the government makes an absolutely absurd case for invading another country or allowing its citizens to rot away in jail at our government’s directive. To them, it’s just a post 9-11 way of life. Not even a modicum of thought is given to the rightness or wrongness of our government’s approach and accompanying actions. Members of category four are just bots with no moral core to speak of, and if a moral core is present, it certainly doesn’t extend to our government or outside of our borders. They’d just as well prefer not to make such considerations and turn on NFL Sunday or Basketball Wives instead.

The problem is that you can’t very well expect your government to have a soul if its people have lost theirs. It doesn’t much matter to me whether my neighbor agrees with me as to the nature of right and wrong. The study of philosophy was born of such disagreements. But when my neighbor stops caring about right and wrong, or considers such moral perils only at arm’s length, in the abstract, then we’re doomed. A country of people who don’t extend the same compassion they have for their own children outside of their country’s borders is a country destined for failure.

America’s decline isn’t only tied to our economic decline, but also our moral decline. A country can’t very well call itself a beacon of hope for the rest of the world if it doesn’t care what happens to the rest of the world.

 

 

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