I don’t know about you, but I sure am confused about all this current debate over gender equity, gay rights, and transgenders. I keep reading in the newspaper about LGBT. I had to look up the lettering to even know what the abbreviation means. Being “politically correct” has become an obsession with much of the country as well as right here at home in Louisiana.
Now personally, I don’t have a dog in this hunt. Carry on your personal lifestyle as long as you don’t interfere with my way of life or my personal freedoms. Live and let live. But too often today, one lifestyle interferes with that of another. If a baker is in business to make a living, why turn down anyone who wants a cake baked for his or her wedding? On the other hand, if it’s a gay wedding and the baker refuses to bake a wedding cake, why would the gay couple want to do business with someone they consider bigoted?
And this whole transgender bathroom thing? How did transgenders go to the bathroom for the past 100 years? I never really check out someone using the stall next to me. And why all the need for separate men and women’s bathrooms in the first place? Many restaurants in New Orleans have one bathroom for either sex to use. Have you gone to a sporting event and seen a long line for women and none for men? Architects ought to be more creative in designing safe and clean restrooms that can be more efficiently shared by everyone.
I wrote in my column recently about the hypocrisy of hate crimes. Why should any criminal be given a greater sentence because he or she committed crimes based on race, sexuality, sexual identity, or physical ability? If a child is tortured and murdered, is that to be considered less of a crime than if an Asian or a handicapped person is killed? Political correctness should not be a factor.
In Natchitoches Parish this past Christmas, a school principal was suspended for allowing a student-led prayer to take place. There was no sponsorship by the school. The students were just allowed to pray. But this wasn’t politically correct in this day and age. Kids can pray under their breath but not out loud? Nonsense!
I wanted to order the wonderful Disney film “Song of the South” recently to watch with my grandchildren. Remember all those enticing songs like “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” and “That’s What Uncle Remus Said?” Uncle Remus was an American Aesop, full of delightful stories (“Don’t throw me into the briar patch”). But the film has been out of circulation since 2000 because some critics say it glorifies slavery, even though the story takes place years after the Civil War. But not to offend anyone, so our kids miss out on a delightful tale of magical fables.
And for goodness sake, don’t attempt to bless anyone if they sneeze or for any other purpose. Up in New Hampshire, an election worker was recently fired for telling voters as they left the voting booth “God bless you.” It was supposedly a form of electioneering. I guess election officials were afraid a voter might have so disconcerted over the candidates running that they might go back into the voting booth and vote for the Good Lord instead.
A person can be sensitive to how others might feel without worrying that their every utterance may cause someone to take offense. Some of us feel it necessary to be more politically correct than do others. But a vibrant and strong country is only as courageous and agile as the sum of its parts.
I’m willing to go just so far to appease the P.C. crowd. Look, I’m a redneck, not someone who is rustically inclined. And we are always going to have hurricanes down here in Louisiana, not "himmi"-canes. Sometimes, things are said where you take personal offense. But we can also go overboard by assuming a “victim mentality.”
You can be polite, but in doing so, you don’t have to shy away from telling it like it is. I try to do just that in offering you my perspective in my column each week.
One of my best friends’ wife has a rare form of cancer. Just diagnosed.
Another one of my best friends has another form of cancer. Radiation is knocking the crap out of him.
Another one of my best friends died of pancreatic cancer a few years back.
In the immortal words of a certain Democrat running for his Presidential nomination in the clown show, “it’s a big effing deal”.
It is. And that particular candidate, whatever his level of knowledge and competence is, says he wants to cure it as part of his campaign.
Now, in fairness, once you get into the first few minutes of the third period of life (isn’t everybody a hockey fan?), it’s not quite as big a deal as when you are in your 30s, but we live in a world where we simply do not expect a disease to eradicate us. Our expectations are the other way around.
Back in 1991, Ervin “Magic” Johnson announced that he had tested positive for the HIV virus which is a precursor for AIDS. Back then, I was running the basketball radio network for Oral Roberts University in addition to owning a group of Oklahoma radio stations.
I vividly remember some young players(several of whom have retired from the NBA now) asking the late coach, Ken Trickey, when they would find a cure for AIDS.
“When,” said one of the best coaches and human beings it has ever been my privilege to know, “the research money runs out.”
The truth is often unsettling.
When President John F. Kennedy launched us in a race to the moon, we, as a nation, got it done inside a decade. There was little or no political pushback. First, we were in a race with the Russians. And, second, we had pure research being funded by the Federal government. Finally, there was a specific goal. To land astronauts on the moon and bring them back to Earth safely.
Over the years, we have not cured AIDS, but it is no longer a virtual death sentence. For lack of a better term, we have contained it. And Magic Johnson played a role. So did George W. Bush, when he was President. But the major reason is very hard-working scientists and researchers. And 28 years.
One of the reasons that the Federal government can’t do a cancer moon shot today is that the elites in Washington have worked themselves into a position where nobody—literally nobody—trusts them anymore to do the right thing for the right reasons.
On one hand you have a President who has the support of what Hillary Clinton calls the deplorables.
And on the other, you have all of the Democrat clown show who hates the President and will do almost anything to deny him a crumb.
Frankly, if President Trump were to single-handedly cure cancer, on his own dime, the Democrats would accuse him of conspiring to overpopulate the Earth.
That said, most of what happens in Washington is designed to make some segment of voting America feel good. The truth is that most of Congress is focused on first getting elected and then retaining power. Life amongst the elite is pretty good—for them.
Going to the moon, made us—both the idiots in Washington as well as you and me—feel really good. I remember exactly where I was when Neil Armstrong hopped off the step of the Eagle landing module onto the moon. Even though I grew up in the town where penicillin was discovered, that discovery never galvanized the whole small city, much less the whole country although it was a great public good.
Sadly, the eradication of cancer will never have a big enough political effect to allow us to attack it the same way we got to the moon.
That said, it will happen—maybe even during this third period assuming no overtime.
It will happen because the researchers working on it are incredibly smart people and don’t need a President to declare war on a disease to be motivated.
Government cannot solve all—or even most—of mankind’s problems. Only smart people can.