[May 7, 2022] The question that underlies many hot-button issues of the day is whether the world’s trajectory, perhaps our country, is headed upward or downward toward good or bad, success or failure.
This article is Part 1 of 2 on how to navigate hot-button issues. There are two basic methods, and I will be addressing each. Today, I’m setting the stage and laying out where we are relative to our past.
In the last 50 years, many good things have been almost unbelievable, yet we do not hear about them. For example, according to the World Health Organization, more people have been lifted out of abject poverty than in the planet’s entire history. Starvation is almost non-existent. Worldwide, formal education is at its highest level.
Except for the Ukraine War, there have been no major wars in the West since World War II, ending 77 years ago. And the land used for the production of food crops is the largest ever; crop production efficiency continues dramatically upward. That makes me somewhat optimistic.
This does not mean that there are no problems because there are undoubtedly severe environmental, health, social, and political issues that plague us. Pollution of the air, land, and water, overfishing in the oceans, the COVID pandemic and the heavy-handed government response, expanding illegal drug markets with cheap highs, and water scarcity are reportedly serious concerns. Much of them have an immediate effect on us all, especially the poorest.
Yet the idea that our problems are driven by a corrupt and evil capitalist system of patriarchy is not just a bad idea; it is wrong. The claim itself is terrible, demoralizing, and damaging because it encourages the further destruction of the very human systems that have advanced us to where we are today. And the politicization of our institutions has created a carelessness in both scientific studies and political reporting.
So much animosity, usually politically driven, results in losing the trust and confidence we have in our most trusted institutions. The open hostility, bitterness, and inability to ‘see’ the other side or compromise are serious problems that deserve our attention.
Tomorrow I will publish Part 2 and lay out two possible ways of dealing with hot-button issues.
Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).