Most people regard 2020 as a strange year, and it is a bit unusual. Surely we are squabbling more than usual. Why? We have an election coming up on November 3, 2020. Nevertheless, although 2020 may seem like an exceptionally bad year, human conflict is not as unusual as we would like to believe. If wars were not so devastating and exhausting, we would probably fight more than we do. Consider this Wikipedia article, List of the lengths of United States participation in wars (en.wikipedia.org). There are some long wars, but the long wars are relatively minor conflicts. Full scale, unrestricted conflicts, because they wreak so much havoc cannot long be sustained. One side or the other has to give up.
Since we are risk adverse we usually try to avoid unrestricted conflicts like the American Civil War and World War II. In fact, this is why we choose our leaders with an electoral process that uses ballots instead of bullets. Shooting each other may resolve some difficult questions, but only the most evil and foolish believe violence solves more problems than it creates. Unfortunately, many of us still hate compromising. Therefore, even within the context of an election, some of us will fight to win as if we were engaging in a low intensity conflict. Consider the means some are using this year to win the battle over who will lead our nation.
- Information warfare: Hasn’t the news media’s partisanship become obvious in the arguments over whether or not President Trump should be impeached and removed from office? Is not most of the news media propagandizing us for the sake of one side or the other?
- Cyber warfare: Don’t the big Internet companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter constantly find excuses to deny the folks they disagree with access to their platforms? Don’t the big Internet companies look for opportunities to promote the cause of those agree with? Don’t Google searches favor one side? Doesn’t Amazon blacklist one side? Doesn’t Facebook censor just one side? Doesn’t Twitter factcheck just one side?
- Economic warfare: Haven’t the big corporations have become more and more partisan? Don’t politicians punish industries who don’t promote their agenda? Aren’t consumers launching boycotts and buycotts? Isn’t the Coronavirus (COVID-19) being used as an excuse to stifle the economy?
- Psychological/Political warfare: To divide their opposition, aren’t politicians highlighting divisive issues such as race, sex, religion, wealth, age, ethnicity, regional difference, sexual orientation, and so forth? Instead of working to resolving our differences aren’t politicians and their news media allies deliberately fomenting division? Haven’t the George Floyd riots been used as an opportunity to deepen conflicts between the police and the communities they serve?
- Terrorism: Is our news media trying to inform us or frighten us. Are the stories about COVID-19 designed help us understand the threat posed by the virus so that we can CALMLY go about our daily lives, or are these stories designed to advantage one side or the other in the election? Haven’t some intended the demonstrations about the death of George Floyd and supposed monuments to racism to be violent? Aren’t the riots we have seen in our inner cities designed to instill terror?
What is going on? We are a deeply divided nation. Unfortunately, we are more deeply divided than our nation was before the American Civil War. The issue of slavery divided the North from the South, and that was profound enough. By the hundreds of thousands men killed each other. Unfortunately, today Americans no longer even share the same basic values.
Why are we so divided? Consider this quote.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. — Ronald Reagan (from here)
We now accept generational differences as normal, but each generation has the job of passing on the best things in their culture on to the next. Because each generation has different experiences, parents cannot expect their children to see things — have exactly the same understanding of the world that they have — but parents should expect their children to care about the same things they care about. We need to teach our children our history so that they learn to respect those who went before them. We stand upon the accomplishments of those men and women. We should learn what they did so we can seek answers from the past. We should not to use history to justify the hatreds that consume us today. However, when parents give elected officials responsibility for educating their children they can only guess what their children will be taught. We do know, however, that children will tend to adopt the values of those who teach them, be those values good or bad.
So, who is in charge of the education of our nation’s children? Those people include school board members, state and local government officials, Congress, and the President. Unless parents choose to homeschool their children or to send their children to private schools, they have little control. Instead, bureaucrats selected by politicians will exercise control.
What is the priority of politicians? Most want to get reelected. So, they sell their influence to the highest bidders. Those bidders include teachers unions, government employees unions, builders, developers, and various special interests groups, but not many parents. Political activists like LGBTQ groups often show up in greater numbers than just plain, ordinary parents. Think about this. People whose sexual proclivities cannot produce children show up at school board meetings in greater numbers than parents? This is why not enough emphasis is put on the instruction of children in what their parents actually want them to learn about reading, writing, arithmetic, history, science, and so forth.
That raises this question. What can we do? Is it too late? Only God knows if it is too late, but we can pray and stop being so ridiculously apathetic. We can start doing what we should have been doing all along. We can fight for school choice and let parents decide who teaches their children and what their children learn.
Some will tell us this election is about choosing the best judges for the Supreme Court, maintaining a free economic system, religious freedom, preventing election fraud, and all kinds of other things, but it is really about our children. If we don’t teach our children properly, they won’t even know how to run their own lives. There is no chance they will know how to run a country.
On November 3, 2020 we all need to go to the polls to vote. If we are going to vote for the best people, we need to start preparing ourselves now. Why now? How many of us learned what we need to know about how our government is supposed to work in school? The sad truth is that almost none of us learned what we should have learned. If we had learned what we need to know, we would not allow selfish people to turn our elections into low intensity conflicts.
Articles on The Events of 2020
- From impeachment, to pandemic, to riots, wildfires and killer hornets, 2020 is proving to be a doozy (washingtontimes.com)
- Just halfway through, 2020 has already been a year for the history books (nbcnews.com)
- The history-making moments that have happened so far in 2020 — and we’re only halfway through (fox5ny.com)
- 2020 timeline: It’s been one big story after another — after another (nydailynews.com)
- 2020 Has Changed Everything, and It Is Only Half Over (cnn.com)