I’ve been doing some thinking about the concept of evil recently. Much of this stems from our president’s response to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico, as well as his desire to make healthcare unattainable to those that need it most.
There was a question during the 2016 debates that was posed to Bernie Sanders regarding the biggest threat to national security, and Bernie cleverly responded climate change. I believe our president said illegal immigration when posed the same question–don’t quote me on that, though it sounds like something he’d say. But isn’t a lack of empathy towards the poor and less fortunate from those in power just as big of a threat to national security as climate change, immigration, or some rogue nation? Could lax gun laws also pose a similar security threat? They are supposed to keep us secure, but somehow the math in that equation isn’t really adding up.
What I’m dancing around is that the president doesn’t have any real interest in helping Puerto Rico recover. Puerto Ricans do not vote. Texans do. Environmental regulation isn’t really in the best interest of large corporations profiting on abusing the earth’s resources. Ensuring that all citizens have access to affordable healthcare isn’t in the interest of insurance providers or those that govern. And ensuring that strict gun laws exist to help prevent more senseless killings is not in the interest of the gun lobby or the NRA. War though is big business and the big boys like that. See the thread here? I’m proposing that maybe the biggest threat to our national security might not be as easy as a canned answer that tested well in a focus group, works great on a debate stage, and generates media soundbites. Shoot, Donald Trump might not even be the biggest risk to national security, he is just a man–an evil man, but just a man nonetheless. America will continue to survive after him. But what drives him and those like him will remain, and that is self-interest, which is at the root of climate-change crisis and all of the other crisis we face. It might be that we have created a system that has enabled it’s own undoing.
Is it possible for people and leaders within a democratic capitalist system to shed their self-interest for the sake of national security?
More Food for Thought
Here’s one to help get started with as it relates to national security and our wants (self-interest) – The US population is increasing exponentially. The need for a better food management system is imperative. American’s eat meat because they want to, not because they need to. If we shifted to a plant-based diet and used arable land more efficiently, we’d be able to feed more people here and around the world. There are a lot of studies proving this – I’m not going to cite one, simply turn to your Netflix account and watch a food documentary. But if you are still insistent on some proof – here’s something from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition you could read. The study concludes that the lactoovegetarian diet is better and more sustainable, but not sustainable in the long-run considering it’s fossil-fuel requirements. If as a society we acted on what was best for what we need now and for the future, we’d reconsider our diets entirely and use technology to help us develop sustainable farming methods. But the thing is, I’m not a baby calf nor do I intend on growing up to be a 400 lb bovine–keep your milk and cheese, Dr. Lactoovegetarian.