Conventional wisdom is always at the crossroads, and today it faces more challenges than ever. The iconoclasts, the anti-authoritarians, the unorthodox, and a multitude of feisty cynics are ready to examine the wisdom of the status quo before the violent terrorists force the issue. Won’t you help us?
The following is a list of 12 items taken from the conventional wisdom of modern Americans. Some of these are urgent items that need updating:
1. Democracy is the best form of government that should be adopted by every country on Earth.
Does anyone seriously believe that our spendthrift and poorly audited federal bureaucracy should be given a superlative rating? (Don’t use parliamentarian democracies to make a comparison.)
2. The United States is the wealthiest nation on Earth.
The US, who has the largest debt in the world by trillions of dollars, cannot be considered a rich nation just because it can put political pressure on other nations to loan it money without the approval of the IMF and the World Bank.
3. For most religious adherents, there is but one God.
One God for every better known religion plus numerous deities for the lesser known religions. All these supreme entities comprise some kind of Ecumenical Council which never meets anywhere.
4. Containing population growth isn’t nearly as important as the abortion issue.
That’s why the refugee and illegal immigrant problems must wait until Roe vs. Wade is rehashed by the Supreme Court in the US one more time.
5. Scientific theories must be taught as fact everywhere until they are proven wrong.
Religious speculation backed by mystical revelation notwithstanding, prevalent theories covering global warming, alien abductions, evolution, and the universal economic and social benefits of globalization should be taught by our church elders as well as by our secular leaders in schools and elsewhere.
6. The threats of small wannabe nuclear powers should be countered by strong rhetoric of the leaders of those nations that already possess nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
Ignored is the obvious suggestion that what worked in Japan to end WWII is likely to work in North Korea and in other countries where ambitious leaders want to expand their influence. Massing thousands of foot soldiers with small arms along the borders of aggressive countries who defy American threats is about as ineffective as constructing another Maginot Line.
7. There are several land masses south of the equator that don’t have any political clout, so why not ignore them?
Large groups of poor folks don’t count until they are armed with weapons of mass destruction. A stone from a sling shot may have killed Goliath, but it will take much more than the cheap conventional weapons that we are exporting to these “developing” countries via friendly arms peddlers to bring the US Military to its knees any time soon – thanks to our volunteer soldiers.
8. Our Social Security System won’t be in financial trouble for some years to come.
It will be in trouble much sooner if the Federal Government can’t raise the money to pay back the loans it has already borrowed from the Social Security surplus. Of course a Social Security default in the US won’t be the first seen in the world. Monetary devaluation accomplishes the same objective quite effectively in those countries that don’t have “hard” currencies.
9. We must take care of all the unfortunate victims of whatever calamity that besets the human members of our global village.
With your taxes, generous donations, and voluntary support, not mine. If that doesn’t raise enough money, then cut back on the government expenditures that don’t hurt me personally, and stop publishing exposes and pictures in the media about all those ugly conditions that can’t be eliminated right now. Whatever you do, don’t increase taxes!
10. Keeping patients alive in a vegetative state, no matter what the cost and the consequences may be, is preferable to allowing them to die and go to Heaven.
Obviously doing this is more important to our leaders in Washington than arguing about and trying to resolve the urgent problems that affect the whole nation.
11. All is fair in love and war, but not in prisoner-of-war camps.
Especially for those who love war and the fun of interrogating and intimidating prisoners.
12. Love makes the world go around.
And it’s the job of the politicians to keep it spinning. That’s why lobbyists are so loving and lovable, and why we go to war every so often to prove to our neighbors how much we love them.
This is just a dozen examples of flawed human wisdom that the purveyors of manipulated data and shallow analyses want us to accept as “conventional.” If you are not interested in this cynical viewpoint, you may not like Parts 2, 3, and 4.
To be continued.