In a world where politics has become all-consuming and there's an interest group looking for an opportunity to exploit every issue, it has become almost impossible to have adult conversations about certain subjects. The moment you try to do so, legions of grievance mongers, ideologues and bottom feeders start belting out scripted responses that have nothing to do with the topic at hand and everything to do with what they imagine your motivations to be and how ugly, stupid, and flawed they think you are as a human being.
What this means is that certain crucial issues never really get discussed in this country. Instead, we just end up with people insulting each other back and forth. That's too bad because these are not small matters. To the contrary, they're rather consequential and they deserve to be seriously discussed instead of treated like partisan footballs.
1) An Overly-Feminized Society: Women have come a long way in the last fifty years, but you'd hardly know it from the feminist rhetoric we hear. Maybe instead of raging against the patriarchy, we should start asking if men are now getting the short end of the stick. Does that sound wacky? Tell that to a dad who's fighting for custody of his child in divorce court. How about when it comes to abortions? We keep hearing that it takes two people to make a baby and that both parties are responsible for raising a child; so how come the father is locked out of the decision-making when it comes to deciding whether there's going to be an abortion? If women are earning 57 percent of the college degrees these days, maybe we should be asking how our education system is failing our young men. Women may feel like they still have it tougher, but percentage-wise, there are probably as many men who feel like our gender is the one getting the raw deal. The difference is that men aren't usually willing to say it out loud.
2) Illegal Immigration: If you try to discuss the problems associated with illegal immigration, the only response is, "You just don't want Hispanics here!" That's really shorthand for, "We don't ever want to have a real discussion about the issue." Here's the simple reality: Because we have so many poor Hispanic countries near our southern border, the majority of illegal immigrants in this country is ALWAYS going to be Hispanic. We can never seem to get past that fact to really talk about all the other issues associated with illegal immigration. For example, are illegal immigrants putting Americans out of work? Are they driving down salaries that American workers are paid? If we allow illegals in the country to have citizenship, won't that just encourage more illegal immigrants to come here? Does it really make sense to allow millions of manual laborers, most of whom are poor and uneducated, to become American citizens who'll be eligible for welfare, food stamps, and Social Security? Wouldn't that just be importing poverty into the country? Are the millions of illegals in this country actually changing our culture for the worse? Should we put an end to birthright citizenship for the children of two illegals? Could it actually be dangerous over the long term to have millions of people here who aren't loyal to the United States and believe they have a right to be here illegally because the southern United States is "stolen land?"
3) Legal Immigration: Despite the attempts to conflate this problem with illegal immigration, it's a very different issue. For one thing, most Americans agree that legal immigration is a good thing -- at least to a certain extent. Still, if we start with the presumption that we do have a right to control who enters our country and that the goal of legal immigration should be to improve life for the people who are already here, there are a lot of important questions that deserve an answer other than, "You hate immigrants." We need to start asking: Should our immigration policy be based on merit instead of family connections? We're the most desirable location in the world; so why not take the best of the best? If we were actually bringing in rocket scientists, engineers, and computer programmers, then maybe it would be time to ask if we should increase the number of people we're allowing to immigrate to our country. Our immigration policies are actually changing the racial make-up of our country. Should we put a stop to that? Should we focus on bringing in more people from Western nations with similar cultures? How about we make immigrants ineligible to receive welfare or food stamps? These are all very relevant questions that we never really have any back-and-forth on. That should change.
4) Our Deficit Spending: A lot of people would argue that we do discuss this issue seriously, but that's not really the case. Many people give lip service to the idea that our spending is "unsustainable" and theoretically agree that we need to do something about it, but they fiercely resist actually getting down to brass tacks and distract, distract, distract when it's time to talk about real world solutions. Realistically, we cannot get our spending under control without dealing with Social Security and Medicare. Moreover, on the state and local level, union pensions have to be dealt with. Then there are taxes. Here's the truth: Taxes must go up at some point and we can't tax the rich enough to fix the problem. What that means is that the middle class must pay more in taxes, not for better services, but to pay for what we've already spent. If you disagree with what conservatives like Paul Ryan and Rand Paul have come up with, that's fine and dandy. Just present your own numbers that explain how we're going to pay off a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit, a 14 trillion dollar debt, and 100 trillion dollars in unfunded Medicare/Social Security liabilities without cutting NPR, PBS, cowboy poetry or anything else liberals think is essential.
5)Gay Marriage: Our republic has survived for 200+ years without gay marriage. Up until the last couple of decades, even gay activists weren't seriously trying to redefine marriage. So now, suddenly, anyone who opposes it is a homophobe? How about we discuss the fact that being pro-gay marriage is incompatible with being a Christian? Isn't forcing Christian churches to have gay marriages a violation of their First Amendment rights? Isn't it entirely possible that gay marriage could cheapen and demean heterosexual marriage leading to less marriages, which would harm society? Should we be doing something that helps mainstream an extremely unhealthy lifestyle? Why do we need a religious ceremony for gays when civil unions could supply the same legal rights without being nearly as controversial?
6)Racism: At what point can we all stop pretending that America hasn't done a 180 degree turn-around on race issues since the sixties? People yell “racism" so much these days that you'd think Democrats like Bull Connor and George Wallace are still around persecuting black Americans. Could we start by perhaps acknowledging that affirmative action is immoral government-sponsored racism against white Americans that undermines the achievements of all African Americans? Is it worth discussing the possibility that the sky-high illegitimacy rate in black America is ten times more of a factor in their problems than racism? How many black Americans fail simply because they've been told their entire lives that they're victims and that the deck is stacked against them? How about black racism? Louis Farrakhan, who's well liked in black America, is as much of a scumbag as a KKK leader and everyone knows black Americans supported Obama over Clinton purely because of his skin color. We rightfully condemn racism and race hatred amongst whites; so why do blacks get a pass on the same issue? Can we also admit that being black is often a huge advantage in pursuing scholarships, getting promotions, and avoiding getting fired? When the president of the United States is black, isn't that a pretty good indication that racism has become a very minor factor in American life?
7) Radical Islam: There's plenty of talk about radical Islam, but few genuine conversations about the subject because there are so many difficult questions to answer. How do we define a moderate Muslim? How do we tell the difference between the moderate Muslims and the radicals? Shariah law is barbarism that's incompatible with Western civilization. How do we stop it from spreading here? Should the unique problems associated with Islam affect our immigration policy? Why aren't more moderate Muslims speaking out against radical Islam? There are already Americans who've been intimidated by the violent threats of radical Islamists. What's the best way to keep those threats from inhibiting free speech? These are not bigoted questions; they're questions being asked by Americans all across the country. Unfortunately, instead of talking it over, some people would rather play the victim and scream "Islamophobia." It's not Islamophobia to question why parts of Islam have become so intertwined with murderous violence and why more Muslims aren't renouncing that violence the way people from other religions have in similar circumstances.