Flashback: Stop looking for trouble

The best approach to historically ignorant, culturally hysterical people is to avoid them. They are looking for trouble. They can take their trouble, and themselves, and stay away from me and mine.

I wrote this in 2017, just after Donald Trump was sworn in as president. The issues I presented then were different only in the places and the people. Instead of Barcelona, we have Gaza and Ashkelon. Instead of generic “health care,” we’re talking about COVID-19. You get the idea. Four years later, the message is the same.

Don’t worry. That’s the best advice I can give you today. If you read the news (and you’re reading a newspaper, so it almost goes without saying you read the news), you’d think the world is falling apart. I cover the news for a living, and the velocity of change is increasing so much that it’s very difficult to know what to cover, and by the time I try to even achieve a basic understanding of one thing, everyone’s moved on.

Nobody takes time to study the issues because there’s no time to do it. Two weeks ago, we were all carping about health care. Before that it was Russia. Now it’s terrorism in Spain, Confederate statues, and neo-Nazis. I still haven’t caught up on health care.

Let’s get serious about life for a moment. Since January 20th, has your job changed? Have you been forced to move? Have you been summarily arrested or had your life threatened because of your beliefs? Have you lost access to your health care? Maybe some of these things have happened, but statistically, they haven’t to just about all of you.

Occam’s Razor—the simplest explanation is usually the best. If you go looking for trouble, you’ll probably find it. If you seek to stay out of trouble, sometimes it will find you, but most of the time, you’ll avoid it. The people who went to Charlottesville were looking for trouble, pure and simple. And they found trouble.

The people in Barcelona were not looking for trouble, but it found them. There’s a difference between innocent victims and people who put themselves in places where trouble is happening—or bring their trouble with them.

If you’re one of the people looking for trouble, I’ll pray for you—at a very great distance. I’ll mostly pray you and your trouble stay far away from me. Then I’ll pray that you decide to put trouble down.

Don’t worry. The world will go on as it always has, although at a greater velocity, it seems.

Those who want to now vaporize every statue which represents some historical event or person with whom they disagree, or even could be legitimately linked to bad things that happened in the past are making very poor, uninformed assumptions. One of these is that somehow we, today, are better than they were in the past. They talk as if we’re at the end of history and now we can go back and edit.

I’ve got news for those people: today’s history hasn't been written yet, and tomorrow’s history could be far, far worse than the statues and symbols they seek to erase. They should be much more concerned with tomorrow’s history than yesterday’s symbols and statues.

Those who would be the editors of the past have an agenda for the future, for which their version of the sanitized past is ideally suited. Without a past, who can compare today’s actions—good or bad—to mistakes and corrections made long ago? Without reminders of the past, who can judge today or tomorrow against the benchmarks made when history was much closer?

The editors of the past would rather not have that kind of judgment upon them. They’d rather not stop to study issues in terms of how mistakes and corrections were made in history. They assume we’re now far better, more informed, and more moral in humanity than they were then.

But then, people sought to use birth control to genetically guide and advance the human race. Then, people sought to sterilize “unwanted” elements of humanity by race and intelligence. Then, people listened to madmen like Friedrich Nietzsche who posited a “superman” to replace God.

Today, Iceland boasts that they have “eliminated” Down Syndrome by aborting nearly 100 percent of babies who have it. Today, neo-Nazis chant “Jews will not replace us” as they march with tiki torches. They have learned nothing from history.

Yet those who believe much of America still advocates slavery (even neo-Nazis haven’t said that), would erase the history of America’s fight to end it. Those who fought Communism would see themselves made the moral equivalent of Nazis, though the Communists killed hundreds of millions. (Look at Venezuela today.)

They have not studied. They have not learned.

The best approach to historically ignorant, culturally hysterical people is to avoid them. They are looking for trouble. They can take their trouble, and themselves, and stay away from me and mine.

I am not looking for trouble, and neither should you.


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