If you ever read the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, you might recall a character names Wonko the Sane – a man who had built himself an inside-out house in order that when he was “outside” his house, he’d be “outside the asylum” – Earth, that is. He determined that the Earth was a dumping ground for lunatics when he noticed that there were instructions for use on a box of toothpicks. After all, no sane people would need such a thing. I’ve been feeling a bit like that – or, perhaps, like the scene in the original Planet of the Apes where Taylor, confronting Dr. Zaius, says, “I know who I am, but who are you? And how did this crazy, upside down world get started?”
I got going on this line of thought yesterday when I came across the 10,000th example of someone saying we have to stop Trump because Trump is insane – just this crazy lunatic who was going to destroy everything…or, at a minimum, start a war over some foreign leader’s disrespectful Tweet. Perhaps that is all true. Maybe Trump is completely ’round the bend. But it suddenly came to me in a flash that if he’s certifiable, then he’s no more crazy than everyone else out there. It came to my mind that I had read plenty of stories over the years of kids graduating high school while being unable to read. I looked it up – one source I found, which seemed a responsible source, claimed the number of illiterates getting diplomas each year is about 19%. That’s just on one in five – one in five people who can’t read are getting high school diplomas. But that isn’t the most insane aspect of it – in order for that to happen, at some point some reasonable, responsible people in positions of great authority had to decree that the logical, sane thing to do with someone who can’t read is to give him a diploma!
I know as well as anyone that there are all sorts of reasons why this happens but regardless of all the reasons – no matter what excuses you try to make for why it even must be that 1 in 5 can’t read – there is no way a sane, rational person allows an illiterate to get a high school diploma. Know what else a sane, rational person doesn’t do? He or she doesn’t allow an illiterate to move on from the 11th grade to the 12th grade. Nor from the 10th to the 11th – you don’t allow someone who can’t read to move on from the 1st to the 2nd grade for crying out loud. If you’ve got the kid through the first school year and the kid is incapable of reading, then you do that year over again…and you keep doing it over again until the kid can read or it is proven conclusively that the kid lacks the wit to ever learn how. You don’t move such a kid on to the next grade – there’s no point! It is a useless exercise. It doesn’t help the kid – it doesn’t help anyone. It is monumentally stupid. It is actually harmful to the kid being advanced without learning to read. IT IS INSANE.
But such stuff just slides easily right over us – the School Board members aren’t ejected from the jobs. Teachers and Administrators happily go about their business on their path to collecting their pensions. Parents just roll with it. But that is also a relatively small thing in the panorama of insanity which is our modern world. Remember, we’ve got legal abortion – on the theory that a woman in a bad way will best be helped if we kill her unborn child. Following on with this great and oh, so sane idea we’re now working up plans for infanticide and euthanasia…because death is definitely the answer to all of life’s little problems…except, of course, in the case of people who ruthlessly murder other people; same people saying we must have abortion, infanticide and euthanasia are largely the same people saying we must not kill even the most horrendous criminal…and, heck, not only not kill them, but make their prison experience air conditioned because it would be insane to have criminals being punished suffer a bit.
Sane, rational, responsible leaders – people purportedly unlike that foaming at the mouth lunatic, Trump – gave us such gems as the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Got to love that – nothing like sending young Americans to die in war, tying their hands a bit so they can’t hurt the enemy too badly, and then losing the wars after massive amounts of blood are spilled. The same sense of responsible rationality has now got about 4,500 US troops in the Iraq/Syria theater of operations even though we have no declaration of war, no authorization to use force…and the Democratic candidate for President swearing up and down that she won’t deploy US troops to fight the enemy in a war we aren’t fighting (except we are, and people are dying – but no sane, responsible leader would bring that up to the American people because it would be insane to disturb their viewing of the latest Dancing with the Nitwits on TV…).
It was, of course, just the most rational thing in the world for us to stand by while China moved military forces into the South China Sea; while Russia invaded the Crimea; while Iran deployed forces to Syria; while Saudi Arabia fights a bloody war in Yemen; while Libya disintegrated…thank goodness we didn’t have an insane person running the United States! Who knows what would have happened? We might have got…what? A zillion people forced to be refugees, tens of thousands dead and Jihadists roaming around murdering and enslaving people.
Also in the Sane People’s favor is that $19 trillion in US debt. Only an insane person wouldn’t pile up that much debt. Nor would an insane person ever have thought up the clever idea of having the US Federal Reserve print up money so it could buy US bonds…I mean, my goodness, you’d have to be some sort of drooling, straight-jacketed moron to refuse to see the wisdom in that!
Tickets for not wearing seatbelts. Fines for collecting rainwater. Licenses for nail salons. Pushing for birth control when our fertility rate is below replacement level. Sending billions of dollars to our enemies. Building windmills in the 21st century instead of nuclear power plants. Allowing 18 year olds to vote and serve in the military, but not have a drink or a smoke. Demanding people bake a cake. Student loans so that colleges can charge ever higher tuition. Health insurance to cover you when you’ve got a cold, but will put you on a waiting list if you need heart surgery. Requiring people to have auto insurance so trial lawyer’s always got someone to sue. $250,000.00 for a 20 minute speech. You can go to jail even if you didn’t intend to commit a crime, unless you’re the Democrat nominee for President. Police with armored personnel carriers. Refusing to offend Jihadis. Going out of your way to offend Christians. Libertarians who love ObamaCare.
I assert without fear that no matter what Trump does in office, it won’t increase the level of insanity. It might keep the insanity going. It might drop some bits of insanity and pick up others, but Trump cannot increase the lunacy because we’re collectively so far ’round the bend we can’t see it from here. This is all nuts.
Get back to me in 2017 – if Hillary wins, then I assure one and all that the insanity will just keep on going. If Trump wins, it might keep on going, as well. But I’d like it much better if we started to insist upon some sanity. Something small – just to let us know we can be sane. Perhaps we can pass a law banning the government from fining us for collecting rain water. It won’t come up as an issue too often, but it would be a start…it would be something we could point to and say, with pride, “see, we’re not complete nutters”.