May 7, 2017 the 60 Minutes program where Leslie Stahl interviews Benjamin Ferencz, provides a unique insight into understanding the worst of humanity. The entire interview is most revealing. The part that is most impactful is when Leslie asks “what turns a man to a savage beast…?” Benjamin’s answer it a powerful insight into how you must see this situation. “He’s not a savage. He’s an intelligent, patriotic human being.” The individual’s loyalty to an ideology, religion, tribe, or personal interest is the permission to ignore empathy. These allegiances are license to disregard reality and plod along a path towards annihilation.
This is more than history; it is history repeating itself. The current conflict over Universal Health Care in the USA, is emblematic of a larger set of issues. In a climate of ideological polarization, oppositions take on a distorted set of priorities. Myopic patriotism to an ideology disregards the constitutions’ stories and pleas to keep and update this program. There are two rules for implementing any improvement. One, the initial rollout has imperfections. Two, time is change and you must maintain the improvement.
The turmoil over health care is only one of a plethora of issues, such as climate, immigration, religious liberty, gender equality, etc. Civilizations come and go. They do not disappear by themselves. It is the patriotic march to the edge of the precipice that cause the plunge. The only remedy is for the citizens to listen to their neighbors and act to avoid the inevitable wars that follow an inability to empathize. In a 24/7 global social media world, we have the advantage of not being surprised by the ultimate takeover. Remain engaged, act!