The Conversations We Need to Have

Look, I know that I post things here sometimes that make people uncomfortable … in the deep hope that it will prod them to ask themselves why a post makes them uncomfortable.

I make no apology for that.

And I understand that many people would prefer that their social media just be filled with humor; encouragement; wisdom; photos of kids, food, flowers, pets, landscapes and unique things — rather that posts that trouble and require thinking and reflection.

I totally get that. Sometimes I scroll past the troublesome, too. I just don’t have the energy for them. Sometimes you should too.

It may seem that those posts of mine are intended to be divisive. That’s not the case. My hope is that they can spark thought and dialogue about reconsidering the values that can make one country or people or generation great.

We need to have these conversations, and this social media forum is a place it can begin.

Does it make us great for political leaders to support and encourage insurrection to defy the voters’ choices with no consequences, or to punish them with (at the very least) removal from office?

Does it make us great for our legislators to baldfacedly lie about themselves, cheat others, perhaps even steal and not face consequences, or for them to be suspended from office until justice takes place?

Does it make us great to be force-legislated into the culture and ethic of one group of controlling people — especially when it represents a particular religion —or to have open dialogue about what is right for all?

Does it make us great to teach future generations a sanitized history or to tell the whole truth about our past and present?

Does it make us great to limit voting opportunities and representation rights for a certain group of people or to give equal voice and vote to all?

Does it make is great to single out certain groups of people and label them undesireable and limit their freedom of self-expression, or to recognize the universal right to be and express oneself — so long as no violence is done to anyone?

Does it make us great to ban books for everyone that make a few uncomfortable, or to let books compete in the free market of ideas?

Does it make us great to have government decide whether a person must bear a child/children, or to let that person decide with access to specialist doctors?

Does it make us great to support a system of health care that can be good for those who can afford it but beyond reach for many, or to see to it that it is available to all without a lifetime of debt afterwards?

Does it make us great to spend trillions on war and defense (more than all of the next 10 highest-defense-spending nations combined) or to see to it that the hungry do not starve, the homeless are housed and the jobless are trained and gainfully employed?

Does it make us great to ensure that anyone can easily have as many of any kind of guns and ammunition they desire, or to protect the lives of citizens — of children in schools — by banning the kind used in the military to obliterate as many lives as possible in the least time with the least effort?

Does it make us great to let the free market pay the lowest possible wage for the highest possible profit, or establish a living minimum wage appropriate to regional cost-of-living so that earners are not burning themselves out on two or three jobs just to make a living?

We need to have this dialogue and regard it as damn important to the future — ours, our kids’, their kids’.

And we need to start making some wise choices.