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There Must Be A Better Way

There is too much violence in the world. There can be no denying that violence by Al-Qaeda, drones, or beheadings have caused the world to be on edge. We seem to think by killing people we can make the world safer. It appears to me that it has the opposite effect. The vast majority of us feel no safer today than we did decades ago. We are less trusting of others and we think another attack on us is just around the corner. It may be.

I am not convinced that constructing the fence, or banning refugees, or stopping immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, the Sudan or any other country for 90 days will lead to a safer America or world. The assertion that these countries have majority Muslim populations does not factor in their selection seems like an “alternate fact”. The truth is we do not accept that people of faiths other than Christianity believe that the democracy practiced in the United States is a worthy goal. Our leaders seem to think that the “Freedom of Re

ligion” mentioned in the Constitution meant only Protestant or Catholic. Others are only pretenders.

In President Trump’s world, we make the rest of the world believe as we believe; do as we say; act as we act or we will bomb you into submission. That is, unless you are my friend and say kind things about me. In that case I will allow certain privileges. I will look the other way while you do your dastardly deeds. What is it that binds Great Britain and Russia? They appear to be quite different but for BREXIT and Russian aggression in their neighboring countries. Some countries feel entitled to the wealth of the world because they believe they are smarter or more powerful. The USA is part of this group. Because you possess atomic bombs or live more comfortably than the rest of the world does not make you better people. Because you have built great empires does not ensure you will rule forever. A house built on a poor foundation will surely fall.

We will not be made safer by strong armed tactics or boisterousness. Only if we demonstrate respect for the rights of others will we establish a position where we will be admired in the world. Statements like “we should have taken THEIR oil” only serve to solidify the distrust that is borne from years of exploitation. Dominance by the best ideas is far better than dominance by threats. We should be informed by the all too recent experience of Germany that racism, militarism, and walls will not prevail. The world will rise up against you and you will be brought down.

The Founders, in all their imperfections, warned us against this. From Washington to Eisenhower, they cautioned that we should not get so caught up in ourselves that those dangers that are apparent are overlooked. We have built a stronger country because we acknowledged our imperfections and sought to overcome them. Our heroes worked hard to make us better and we are a better today than we were at our founding. Improvement has been constant. What is better in our past? To what do we want to return?

While I enjoy the quality of life that living in America has afforded me, we cannot continue to exploit and threaten others to achieve our goals. There must be a better way.

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