“A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.’”

— THOMAS PAINE
September 2021

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Common Sense

We’re approaching a Risky Business moment. Remember when Miles says to Joel, the Tom Cruise character, “Sometimes you gotta say What The F***!”

Here we are, 155 years after the Civil War, facing another insurrection. A substantial minority of the country resists vaccination and thereby risks everyone else’s health. They disbelieve climate change and the looming environmental catastrophes. They want their guns, distorting the history of the Second Amendment, and they would re-write our electoral principles to say “One white man, one vote.” Redistricting is a political game and the courts are there, or so they believe, to reflect the passions of the mob. Girls made pregnant by rape are just out of luck. The government should be prevented from forcing someone to vaccinate their body but should be free to force a woman to carry an unwanted fetus to term. The full faith and credit of the United States is taken to be just another gambit in a war between Red and Blue. No wonder people flock to cryptocurrencies. And huge inequalities in income and wealth are dictates of natural selection.

One party embraces a lifelong lying, imbecilic grifter from Queens, while the other plays according to Marquess of Queensberry Rules, including the mandate to fight with padded gloves. Its intellectuals are absorbed in the pressing matter of pronouns. Student activism is apparently a thing of the past, while

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,…
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
—W.B. Yeats

One wonders if the bloody war from Sumter to Appomattox could in part be reversed. Whether those who do not treasure true freedom and the self-evident truths that all men are created equal with the unalienable right to pursue life, liberty and happiness should just leave. Maybe Alcatraz, a pretty island in San Francisco Bay, or Guantanamo, a warm weather Caribbean resort, could become a separate nation for them. Or perhaps the Italians would sell Elba or the Greeks an island or two? There would of course be travel, subject to passports and visas.

Robert Kennedy said, “Some men see things as they are and ask ‘Why?’. I dream things that never were and ask, ‘Why not?’”

It’s time to take the gloves off and, together, to say “WTF?”

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