Posted by: Brad Stanford | October 7, 2013

What’s Missing

I have noticed a pattern, as I often do.

The pattern has to do with the justification people use to hurt others, or to turn a blind eye to a systematic hurt that they would otherwise call out.

I wrote previously that the left-right paradigm is dead. When the net result of government actions are summed, this is true. But where it’s not true (yet) is in the minds of those who have been systematically targeted by propaganda over the last 50 plus years – the American public. (If it helps you to think, “He means those people, not me,” then go right ahead and think that.)

This make-people-choose-a-side-ism is by design, for this condition creates the divide amongst citizens required for a government to operate outside it’s own laws. When people are given two choices they usually chose one rather than opting to assess the situation and chose the right answer for the given problem.

The most glaring version of this: A traditional Republican or Democrat will call out injustice in one instance only: when it is committed by the opposing side.

But this equation holds true for most of life. Look at that same sentence with variables:

A traditional [Type 1 Person] or [Opposing Type Person] will call out [a conflict/issue/problem/] in one instance only: when it is committed by the opposing side.

Try filling in the blanks with these words:
Christian/Atheist/logical fallacy
Capitalist/Socialist/bad policy
Pro Life/Pro Abortion/inconsistencies

You get the idea.

Interestingly enough, the place where this happens the most (even though it shouldn’t) is in the press. This is why bloggers and local self-appointed journalists have taken to reporting. There is a massive vacuum left by corporate journalists. Instead of reporting facts, figures, and other truths, the corporate journalist spends his or her time on broadcasting whatever their side says to broadcast. The truth vacuum has to be filled by something.

An example: it would be an easy thing to compare how well each president adhered to the Constitution during his presidency, showing laws broken, laws kept, and definitions that were changed so that technically no law was broken where it would have been otherwise.

However, if you – as a journalist or a news corporation – need to make sure that the public likes whoever is in office because he has promised to push your agenda onto the nation (and you like that idea), then the only reason to run such a comparison would be to demonstrate how great this president is compared to this in the past, or to a future opposing candidate. But if your president of choice has a horrible constitutional record, why even consider such a thing? That won’t help “your” side.

When the public deludes itself into protecting a “side”, we automatically have a problem. The casualty is truth, justice, and the American way, with no Superman to save the day at the end of the episode.

What’s missing is a moral compass.

Meaning, not only a definition of what is right and wrong, but a way to determine if a certain action fits into one or the other definition.

For example: you hated the fact the George W. Bush took us into war predicated upon lies. In fact, you marched in an anti-war rally. But then when Obama did the same thing, you did nothing. Your original position was “War is wrong.” But in reality, your position was, “War is wrong if the other side starts it.” While “War is wrong” would be a moral decision, there is actually no underlying moral compass. The only motivation you really have is “We think clearly, and they don’t, so we can’t let them do anything.”

When a person thinks they are doing something morally right, but there is no morality associated with their decision whatsoever, this is doublethink at its finest. There is plenty of emotion, and perhaps even vengeance. But there is no set of predetermined and consistent rules guiding the person. The only rule is, “Hooray for our side!”

The worst form of this I find in those who self-label as “progressive”. There is an extremely strong tendency to not be able to see the faults with their side’s decisions, agenda, or logic. Obama can do no wrong, he’s simply surrounded by sore losers. Bush caused all the trouble to begin with (only 1/6 true), and progressives have the solutions. If we would just tax the heck out of everyone, we could pass the money out equally, etc.

Conservatives on the other hand have at least three factions fighting to redefine what “Conservative” as a title means. The result is that there is a LOT of fault-declaring going on. In fact, it was calling out the faults that caused these sides to from up.

In the meantime, the progressives are cheering, “Yay! the other side’s in disarray!” clearly not understanding the metamorphosis that’s actually happening.

There are a billion versions of this that happen in traffic, in churches, in offices, and everywhere else every day. It’s not just politics. (Or, depending on your definition, everything is political.)

The moral compass is what’s missing. Fix the compass and you will solve a multitude of problems all at once. Ignore it, and you guarantee a painful decline into Lord Of The Flies.

Which one sounds better to you?

If you want to call out racism, call it out on all sides consistently.

If you want to call out lies in a campaign, call them all out, then snub both candidates for thinking they could dupe you into voting for the lesser of two evils (which, either way, is voting for evil.)

If you’re going to call out homeschoolers as indoctrinators, call out the public schools as well. (Worldview is actually the heart of the argument here.)

If you want wars to end, then protest them all – consistently.

If a Christian saying that they disagree with homosexuality is “hate”, then a homosexual disagreeing with a Christian is also “hate”. (It isn’t for either one of them, but I’ve heard “hate” associated with “disagreement” like that.)

If there’s no such thing as right and wrong, then laws are ludicrous. That means that there’s no reason to not kill you. (Be consistent, and understand all sides of a belief before staking your life on it.)

I keep being told that most people can’t think calmly and clearly about these things, and my hopes of being able to have a national discussion about morality is unrealistic.

I chose to ignore those opinions.

I do think it might not happen in my lifetime. There is a lot of hurt to fix out there.

But the one who fixes the hurts wins the opportunity to be listened to. So I will continue to focus on that, expecting a harvest in line with what I sow.

Life allows for little else.

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