Commentary

We Need to Care More; Start By Caring Less

By JOHN M. IMPERIALE | Jun 06, 2018

I couldn’t care less if there was a person connected to the Trump campaign in 2016 who was a “spy” for the FBI, or simply an “informant” relaying inside information to the proper federal authorities. Either case would be completely legal and appropriate. As Republican conservative Congressman Trey Gowdy said, the FBI was doing exactly what the American people should want it to do.

I care a great deal about what exactly was going on inside the campaign. We will, eventually, find out, but if we care for even a moment about the side issues being raised to distract us, the conspiracy theories and talk about the imaginary “deep state,” we will forget what is truly important: the truth.

In that vein, I could care less with whom the president cheated on his wife: porn star, Playboy bunny, reality show wannabe. I don’t care. I don’t care about their stories; I don’t care about the sordid details, the non-disclosure agreements, the veiled threats, the lawsuits. I don’t care for one simple reason: Every moment I would spend caring about the despicable details of Trump’s personal life would be a moment not available to care about his dangerous policies. Every minute the media spends on the salacious details of the most unscrupulous man ever to hold the presidency is a minute they are not covering his administration.

The nightly news rarely tells us about the latest environmental protection rollback, or the unqualified judicial appointments, or the details of the “tax cut” that raises taxes on the middle class, or the insanity of John Bolton’s beliefs, or any of the myriad policy decisions made by unqualified Cabinet heads. Those are the things we all need to care about more.

Speaking of sex, though, can we all stop caring about who loves whom? We have lost enough privacy in this country, especially since 9/11. It is about time that we gave everyone’s bedroom the privacy it deserves. Someone is gay; someone else is a transsexual; someone else is bisexual. I do not care. Nor should you. A person’s sexual preference is totally irrelevant to what they do, or how they do it.

Issues such as transgender bathroom preference are a charade, phony issues used to discriminate and pruriently pry into other people’s private life. Gays do not abuse children any more than straight people do; transgender people do not commit crimes in public bathrooms any more than straight people. Gay people and straight people: no difference except whom they choose to love. And when someone chooses to love another human being, can’t we all just be happy for that person?

You know what we should care about? How the LGBT community is treated. Discrimination and hate crimes are a serious problem. If you want to obsess about other people’s sexual preference, obsess about how they are treated in society.

Also, let’s have no more about same-sex marriage. Please. That topic is done, over. And why did we even care in the first place? It’s nobody’s business, especially not the government’s. I don’t care who marries whom; I hope they are all happy. I do care about how gay couples are discriminated against in most states on issues such as estate taxes and adoption. And so should you.

Note to Gov. Phil Murphy: I could care less about marijuana policies in New Jersey. Anyone who wants to smoke pot, does so. Legal, illegal, irrelevant. There are many other problems that deserve your attention.

While we are all waiting for Gov. Murphy to care about our taxes and the exodus of people from New Jersey, he got right down to business by expanding the medical marijuana law, adding new diseases to those eligible for prescription pot. Great – if, that is, you have one of the diseases the governor saw fit to add to the list. If you have some other medical malady not yet covered, sorry, he did not think of that yet.

Pot. Medical marijuana. Just make it legal and move on to things we should care about.

I care about the opioid epidemic that is destroying thousands of lives. Do not tell me that pot smoking leads to more dangerous drug use. It does not. No legitimate study has ever shown that it does; many have shown that it does not. I have never even tried pot, and never will, so I have no vested interest in the debate. I just know that every moment we spend caring about marijuana is a moment not spent worrying about heroin, opioids or prescription drug abuse.

I certainly care about our constitutional rights. I just do not care if people think their constitutional right to bear arms is unlimited. No right is. Try yelling the proverbial “fire” in a crowded movie theater and claiming your right to free speech. Also, why do the Second Amendment proponents not care that the Constitution, in its very first sentence, proclaims that the purpose of the U.S. Constitution is to “promote domestic Tranquility”?

How about the Fourth Amendment, which proclaims the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses”? Yes, that is parsing the Fourth Amendment, but parsing is what Second Amendment proponents do best, as they ignore the “well-regulated militia” specified in their beloved amendment. I care about all rights given in the Constitution. I just do not care if anyone thinks the Second Amendment permits citizens to have unqualified, unlimited weaponry. The objective in the Second Amendment is “the security of a free State.” It seems logical that achieving that goal would require limits on the types of weaponry that threaten such security.

One fact is imminently clear: The Second Amendment is clumsily worded. Therefore, I do not care that the far-right wants to interpret it as an unrestricted license to own assault weapons. I care about the more than 13,000 gun-related deaths every year in the U.S. We should care about mass shootings. We should also care about the people who are being killed one at a time by handguns.

Politicians and pundits on the far right and the far left have become absolutely useless in the quest to find solutions to today’s problems. So can we start ignoring them, say, now?

There are so many things to care about in this world. In business and in our private lives, we are taught to prioritize. Some things are more important than others. Some things, we have to admit, are not really important at all. We need to deal with what matters and not spend a minute on what and who does not matter. Every minute spent listening to the extremists and lunatic fringe – on both ends of the political spectrum – is a minute that could be spent considering the reasonable positions of people that matter.

John M. Imperiale lives in Harvey Cedars. He can be reached at Johnmimperiale@gmail.com.

 

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.