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That photo of the drowned father and daughter

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  • That photo of the drowned father and daughter

    I'm quite conservative. I don't support open borders, or amnesty which isn't tethered to a drastic tightening of our porous southern border. But those pictures of the father and his toddler floating face-down in the Rio Grande, her arm wrapped around his neck, really struck an emotional chord in me. Our government (both parties) are so absorbed in their partisan bickering that they couldn't care less to do something to mitigate the situation at our southern border. I realized that I have known for some time, but have been afraid to admit, that our government is - to put it bluntly - wicked. This is not an attack on the president or any political party, this is an attack on the entire apparatus of our government for the past several decades. All of our interventions, all of our "interests" (read: $$$$), all of the dead babies... for what?

    This may not be rational, but it seems so plainly true to me that I can't just explain it away. We're all created in the image of God, so what are we doing hurting each other? I know this is probably naive, but how is what we're doing justified if it's leading to these sorts of tragedies? It's not self-defence, that's for sure. I don't see how the world can run in a moral way, though, does that mean that we're all doomed to participate in such evil? I'm very confused by this. I've always been very patriotic, but nothing I can muster up withstands that horrible image. This is a bit of a rambling post, but I feel the need to unload my confusion somewhere.

  • #2
    It is messed up.

    Politics will always be very difficult and complicated, because life kinda sucks and has these horrible issues. I think the important thing to keep in mind is that, with the exception of a few things, we shouldn't be entirely satisfied or immovable in political issues. Borders, economy, labor, law: it's important to not simply adopt monolithic, "this is unquestionably better" positions when it comes to these practical issues. Exceptions can exist, but I'm speaking in general terms.

    I think this should move us beyond politics and into religion and existentialism, however. When I think of the dead father and his toddler, I am struck by what appears to be a real fact: if there were no God and no afterlife, this whole show would indeed be vain and unbearable. Like a terrible joke. We should never forget about the only things that matter in the end.

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    • #3
      Yeah... I just have this sneaking suspicion that what God wants of us is quite simple - we're the ones who are too clever by half.

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      • #4
        On a purely emotional level, quite apart from any intellectual considerations, I have never found the so called problem of evil compelling, and one reason removing God doesn't makes me feel about suffering, quite the reverse.

        On the border, I don't think this is an issue where there is much bipartisan political blame. It mostly lies with the Democrats (and perhaps the cheap labour, chamber of commerce Republicans). There are essentially two political solutions to the border crisis, of which this tragedy was a part. The first is basically open the borders. Let everyone in; or at least let everyone except terrorists, drug smugglers, and violent criminals in. That way few people will try to cross the border anywhere, but a proper check-point, which is pretty safe. The other solution is proper border security and in-country deterrents (like making it hard to work and live normally as an illegal immigrant), which will drastically cut those trying to enter illegally. The only way to blame Trump and Republicans (again, except perhaps some of the cheap labour variety) is if we think the open borders solution is viable and worthy, and then we can note the Republicans are blocking this. But I don't think it is viable for political, economic, social, and cultural reasons in a modern state, especially one with a generous welfare system. The strong border security solution is that being sought by Trump and many Republicans, if somewhat chaotically. It is the Democrats blocking this. Therefore, I think most the political blame must lie with the Democrats for the border crisis (and their media allies, of course - or is it truer to say the Democrats are the media's allies?).

        By the way, I do think it is true that the media is very selective, in a predictable way, in which pictures like this they show. They explicitly refuse, for example, to show those killed in terrorist attacks.
        Last edited by Jeremy Taylor; 06-28-2019, 12:56 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jeremy Taylor View Post
          The other solution is proper border security and in-country deterrents (like making it hard to work and live normally as an illegal immigrant), which will drastically cut those trying to enter illegally. The only way to blame Trump and Republicans (again, except perhaps some of the cheap labour variety) is if we think the open borders solution is viable and worthy, and then we can note the Republicans are blocking this. But I don't think it is viable for political, economic, social, and cultural reasons in a modern state, especially one with a generous welfare system.
          This might be off topic a bit but there seems to be a belief on the left (I am thinking of the current leadership of the Labour Party in the UK specifically, there are probably similar examples elsewhere) that a generous welfare system and high levels of immigration, including substantial amounts of low skill immigration, are compatible. I never understood how this was supposed to work and thought it was one of their most implausible policy orientations, but they seem deeply committed to it.

          In country deterrents can be very effective, the old Soviet system was very attuned to controlling population movement and states which have preserved it, or large parts of it, are very inhospitable to anyone trying to live/enter illegally (it is very hard to do anything, even buying SIM cards and things like that, without the correct identity documents and residency permits). It's hard to imagine this kind of thing being viable in Anglo-Saxon tradition countries so I wonder what level of controls would be most effective? National ID cards at least?



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          • #6
            Originally posted by FZM View Post

            This might be off topic a bit but there seems to be a belief on the left (I am thinking of the current leadership of the Labour Party in the UK specifically, there are probably similar examples elsewhere) that a generous welfare system and high levels of immigration, including substantial amounts of low skill immigration, are compatible. I never understood how this was supposed to work and thought it was one of their most implausible policy orientations, but they seem deeply committed to it.
            THIS. It's like they're transfixed by one of those impossible Escher shapes that simply can't exist. If only it was limited to the Left.

            To my Conservative friends: you can't have a "limited government" and give the pentagon a trillion a year. It feels funny typing this.

            To my Liberal friends: you can't have Socialism* while importing millions of impoverished third-worlders. (I personally wish we could too! But there's no points for having virtuous feelings.) Interesting book about potential downsides of too much immigration. And a classic source.

            *Whatever the heck this means. (And by conservative & liberal I mean what they mean in the US this week.)

            Originally posted by Abraham
            I realized that I have known for some time, but have been afraid to admit, that our government is - to put it bluntly - wicked. This is not an attack on the president or any political party, this is an attack on the entire apparatus of our government for the past several decades. All of our interventions, all of our "interests" (read: $$$$), all of the dead babies... for what?
            This is right. What do we do? I suppress it because the associated rage and despair are overwhelming. General consolation package, used often, possibly a tautalogy: The universe was created with a maximum degree of potential goodness but not actual goodness. (I think this is related to that befuddling verse where G-d wants fruit trees but trees bearing fruit come into existence.) The present is historically contingent on the free actions of those in the past. No doubt there were objectively better versions of history (Hezekiah could have been Moshiach; the Exodus could have culminated in Egypt escorting the Hebrews to the desert to meet HaShem). But in those worlds we don't/didn't exist. We exist in this one where the current international Goliath is slouching toward Gomorrah. The future is contingent on the free actions of those alive now. Humans have to actualize the world's potential goodness to hold up our end as co-creators, wherever they find themselves.

            ***

            A Peace Party would have support from diverse sides. Tucker Carlson's in awe of her. I have a dream. Imagine a Pro-Life Peace Party, consistent across the board with G-d's Prohibition of shedding innocent blood. Get your optimism fix wherever you can.
            Last edited by Bamidbar 22; 06-29-2019, 12:14 AM.

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