Very few things annoy me more than people who yell their flawed opinions all over. I’d call them dumb but in truth, most of them aren’t. They’re idiots. I’m one of them. No, that’s not a typo. It’s the truth, as far as I understand it.
I’ve been proven wrong before, many times. I guess I do have a bit of experience with it, just enough to recognize nobody has all the right answers at all times. The difference between me and some of the rest of my focus group is I can accept being wrong. I expect it. In fact, that’s how I learn things I can’t find in books. But that’s the point, really. Sometimes I’m actually spot on. The terrible, terrible truth about it is sometimes even when I’m right, I’m wrong. And no, that’s not a typo, either.
Refugees seem to make folks everywhere trip their neurons. The very possibility of them coming actually creates nightmares for the average Joe or Jane, terrifying gun-wielding, black flag waving images of terrorists running free. It seems to awaken deeply burried xenophobic and racist tendencies you’d have to see to believe. One can’t argue with those. Actually, you can but … you get my meaning. Logic stops working. It won’t matter what or how I tell you, actually, if my opinion conflicts with your feelings. Logic can’t handle beliefs or emotions. However, I’ll tell you this – if I were in their shoes, if I knew I’d only have a remote, one in a million chance of raising my son in peace and happiness, I’d take it. There are no other rationalizations outside this. Everything else is just irrational fear.
They’re here to take our jobs, says my co-worker. Bullshit, mon ami. Take what jobs? The ones already scheduled to be outsourced to China? Perhaps you ment those high-skill jobs, like engineers, medics, accountants or… lawyers. Right. Because we don’t need them, right? We’re having an oversupply of engineers, medics, lawyers and other such titles that require at least 5 years of school and lots of practical, hands-on experience. Or maybe they’ll let somebody with a less than stelar education handle brain surgery or perform audits. No, those two aren’t similar, it only appears that way. Though, how many of those people are there in this refugee deluge that haven’t been already scouted by the right companies? Oh.. Then you must mean they’re after jobs in sales, marketing, retail, or even the dirty jobs like broom executive or poop wiper account manager. Of course. That’s it. Except those are already usually assigned to immigrants, because they’re willing to work them and they’re cheap. Not many westerners (well, in Europe anyway) willingly consider a career of flipping burgers or washing toilets. They might do those jobs and only think of them as temporary. But somebody has to to them. Shit literally happens, every day.
There are downsides to immigration. But those only exist where there aren’t strong governments, and by that I don’t mean Chuck Norris types – I mean police enforcing the laws and politicians willing to make unpopular decisions if those decisions are the correct ones. I don’t mean forbidding muslim refugees to live and work somewhere – I mean actually separating the state from religion in scenarios such as that nut refusing to do her job because she thinks the law is against her religion or making up sharia patrols. To those nuts I’ve got this to say (and it ain’t even original, you don’t deserve an original quote): “Demanding my compliance with your religious beliefs that I don’t care about is like telling me I can’t eat bacon because you’re on a diet”. It’s not about islam. It’s about religion in general. It’s not about the freedom of belief, it’s about basic human rights. It’s one thing to pray every hour and it’s another thing to demand absolute obedience from your wife or daughters, denying them the freedom you enjoy because your religion is against women driving or choosing their own path in life. Anybody else notice both christians and muslims have little regard for women? Well, that ought to at least raise a few eyebrows. However, that’s the point – religion can’t substitute those basic human rights with something else. They are called “human rights” because they ought to be the same for everybody, not gender specific. And, if I’m not mistaken, those human rights do make up the basis of every western constitution, meaning upholding them is actually both lawful and correct.
A strong government enforces such, I’m sorry to say, unpopular decisions because, in my opinion, they’re the correct decisions to make. A democracy that holds these human rights in high regard shouldn’t make up laws just because they’re wanted by the majority of its citizens – that only works if they don’t affect the other minorities, it has to work for everybody without affecting their rights. It has to work equally well for the muslim, christian and atheist citizens. Yes, they do have rights. Yes, that’s why I’m suggesting it. You can vote against divorce all you want because you think divorce is against your religion, for instance, because that law, should it pass, will affect those who don’t consider divorce to be against their religion (or have no religion to begin with). You can choose not to divorce but you can’t make the same choice for me – I’m the one who gets to choose. I can choose to diet but I don’t get to make your choices of food, unless you want me to and that, folks is the only exception that even if it’s true, shouldn’t become law.
The freedom to choose also implies the freedom to change your mind. If your wife or daughter has the right to choose to uphold a particular religion, they also have the right to change their minds without your consent. This is democracy, not the shams we find in France or Hungary, or … hell, there’s no particular democratic country worthy of the name that I know of. But there could be.
The problem with democracies is they can’t work well unless the citizens are highly educated and have a strong civic sense of personal responsibility and boundaries. My freedom ends where your freedom begins and all that. It’s not enough. It’s not enough to know what hurts somebody else, there has to be a personal responsibility towards your fellows. If you see abuse, you fight it even if it’s not about you. If you see somebody hurt, you help them regardless of belief or skin color. If somebody tries to make a law against muslim working in public services you choose to vote against that law because they have the right to believe whatever they want to believe. And if you see somebody demanding sharia law to be enforced, you fight for the right of immoral drunks everywhere, myself included.
Just because some people choose to be idiots, to drink and use other means of brain scramblers doesn’t mean they don’t have the same rights you do. They have the right to choose their path in life and you don’t have to like it. It’s their choice. And using violence against prostitutes because they’re too close to your church or mosque it’s still wrong. That ain’t democracy, that’s fundamentalism and it doesn’t matter if you worship Ctulhu, Jesus, Mohammed or Buddha – it’s still shaite. Even more, it’s against the law and if it isn’t, you know it should be.
Perhaps I’m not making enough sense, I know I could explain things better. But I can’t possibly simplify things more than this. For instance, what’s worse:
– having an extremely wealthy individual as ruler for life, let’s say Bill Gates or someone of similar fortune, only that ruler is bound by the law, elected and thus forced to obey and uphold all the basic human rights;
– having a majority vote on every law but that majority can opt to ignore (even temporarily) basic human rights.
Tough one, eh? We fear the first one, actually. We should also fear the second one, the one we actually have. There’s a reason so-called experts exist – specialists in a particular discipline, required to learn and practice their craft for years and years. How can a majority of any large country’s citizens be expected to understand their work with none of the experience? How can they vote if their knowledge is limited? How can they be expected to resist manipulation? Well.. That’s the point. Can we deny refugees the same rights we have? Can that be put to a vote? If we can, we have all failed.
George Carlin said it better:
“Rights aren’t rights if someone can take them away. They’re privileges. That’s all we’ve ever had in this country, is a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news even badly, you know that every year the list gets shorter and shorter.”