Avoid Short-Term Thinking
A few years ago I got in trouble for refusing to buy a candy bar at a convenience store. I stuck to my guns though, and nobody starved to death.
A friend of mine once said that needing immediate gratification is a sign of an uncivilized society. That idea is expressed in the story of the ant and the grasshopper, where the ant stores food for the winter and the grasshopper sings all summer instead. The grasshopper starves and the ant survives the winter.
Short-term thinking is pervasive in our society. We leave home where the fridge is full of pop purchased at the grocery store and end up buying a bottle of pop at a convenience store for triple the cost.
If that wasteful behavior is limited to the people who practice it, fine. Unfortunately the stupidity spills over into the lives of others. Availability of food stamps is not limited to people who only make wise choices and plan for the future. People who plan ahead and spend wisely pay for the food stamps that pay the inflated prices they wouldn’t choose themselves.
Dope addicts and shopaholics impact the lifestyle of their loved ones. In satisfying their immediate urges, they reduce the ability of the family to provide basic necessities.
We cannot legally refuse to fund a wasteful food stamp program. But we can disassociate with dope addicts and foolish spenders. It might hurt, short-term, to leave those we love to their own devices as a means of self-preservation. But continuing to allow ourselves to be used as enablers does not cure the offenders, it perpetuates their problem.
I’m a taxpayer and am pro-life. I’m an enabler too. When I look around at this big world through whatever truth might leak through the media complex, I see our lives being impacted by people we never chose to be associated with. Lindsey Graham and John McCain are two of those people. The world is their convenience store.
Their meddlesome war culture affects all of us. The September eleventh attacks were a result of their view that the whole world is theirs to own. Let us not forget that our military presence in Saudi Arabia caused the attack. Even the CIA has admitted this was a factor. If you can’t understand that, imagine if Hamas had a military base in Hampton.
Proponents of the war culture do not think long-term. They flail about mindlessly because the shock they feel makes them lose sight of reality. It is disturbing to see the carnage in the Middle East. It is terrifying to have a huge icon burst into flames with innocent people jumping to their deaths. But we have a republic (did?). Elected representatives are supposed to act in a manner that is well thought out, as opposed to the reactive stupidity evidenced by our so-called leaders. Attacking Iraq as a reaction to an act perpetrated by Saudi Arabians has had long-term negative consequences.
After all of these terrible mistakes in foreign policy it is time we learned from them. Saddam Hussein was a cruel man who ran a secular and somewhat stable country where Christians and Jews were relatively safe. We put an end to that. Bashar al-Assad had similar secular leanings in Syria. So what do our esteemed leaders do? They funnel weapons and cash to the Syrian Rebels. Those Syrian Rebels include ISIS.
Going back to the days when the Soviet Union was squandering resources invading Afghanistan, we were arming the opposition there, the same people who are our enemies now.
What we should be learning from all of this is that national defense needs to be part of a long-term plan. We need to look at the resources we have and plan on defending only that and doing it well. We have an economy built on capitalism, which makes us much stronger than the failed state of Soviet socialism. But there is still an end in sight to the wealth of our republic.
Will we avoid that Middle Eastern convenience store? Will we let those factions fight it out amongst themselves and return to our role as an example of prosperity through freedom? Or will we be led around by the nose by pro-death big spenders like Lindsey Graham and John McCain?