National Security: Return To The PastJul 30th, 2013 | By Jacob | Category: Community News
By Joe Boyles
In 1985, there was a popular film titled Back to the Future which was not only very successful at the box office but spawned a number of sequels. The plot involved a time-machine that allowed the heroes to go back in time and rewrite their personal history. It seems to me that we have a somewhat similar scenario in current public policy. I call this phenomena “back to the past” meaning that, on many issues, advocates are returning to bygone glory days to literally relive the past. In the process, they’re ignoring the facts that describe the present and future, in many cases, missing the obvious. So, what am I talking about? Take the recently concluded George Zimmerman trial in Sanford. Listening to the civil rights coalition, you would think that it’s 1963 all over again, a redo of the Klan gone wild; Jim Crow; lynchings, etc. No, in fact, it is fifty years later. I can attest, from personal experience, we’ve made a lot of progress in race relations over the past half century. What is missing in our public discourse is the disintegration of families and a Black homicide rate in urban areas that is ten times the national average. That is a serious problem that shouldn’t be ignored. Here’s another example — every time a state uses modern scientific proof to restrict abortion, the right-to-choose lobby and their political allies wave rusty coat hangers and wail about “back alley abortions.” Come on, people, and wake up; it’s 2013. We know a heck of a lot more about life growing in the womb than we did forty years ago. All we’re trying to do is update laws using modern scientific method. Traveling back in time to bygone days doesn’t help the debate move forward. Social Security is a classic example of proponents living in the past. In 2005, fresh off reelection, George Bush attempted to reform a program that was badly out-of-date. The Democrats went wild, scaring the public and the gullible media about the end of old age insurance. In a visit to Madison, Senator Bill Nelson claimed he would “not stand idly by and allow the demise of Social Security.” Just like that, he set the agenda back seventy years to 1935. Never mind whether or not we’ve learned anything over the past eight decades on how to modernize a program and make it healthy for the 21st Century. In a recent decision, the Supreme Court invalidated a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act which required several key counties in Southern states to get permission from the Department of Justice for any changes in voting laws. The majority of justices reasoned that, in the past half century, these former pockets of prejudice had moved on. They also saw that the data used by the government’s lawyers was way outdated. Finally, some sanity … but look at the catcalls from the left that nothing has changed. The environmental community used to proclaim the dangers and end-of-time with their warnings about global warming. Then the data showed that the way we measure earth’s temperatures have not warmed since 1998. First, they tried to hide, and then lie about the data. When that didn’t work, they decided to change the term to “climate change.” Now, any climatical condition – snow, hurricanes, heat wave, and record cold – all fit into their doomsday rhetoric. Detroit is the latest (and largest) of more than thirty municipalities and their districts to go insolvent and declare bankruptcy. Why? There are many reasons, but chief among them is the idea of reliving past glory and not waking up to the realities of the modern world. Seventy years ago, during the height of World War II, Detroit was the forefront of the “Arsenal of Democracy,” producing the implements of war for not only America, but our allies as well. Through the 1950s, the (former) big three automakers churned out cars for an adoring public. When the world began to change, the big three were slow to recognize what was happening. The liberal politicians were even slower, making unrealistic pension promises to workers through their powerful unions. In the last decade, the city has spent $100 million each year more than they’ve taken in. They kicked the can down the road until it finally fell off the cliff. I think it is interesting that the opponents of change who want to relive the past have a vested interest in the status quo. In fact, they have financial and power interests in leaving things the way they were no matter how much has changed or how much we’ve improved. Sooner or later, facts and fiscal reality catch up to them. By then, is it too late? I love history. I think there is a lot to learn about where we are and where we’re headed by understanding the past. But, I don’t want to be caught living in the past. Time to move on. It’s the 21st Century.