Sunday, July 17, 2016

Some Lives Really Do Matter More

 It's time someone stood up and said this clearly:  Some lives really do matter more than others.

This blog is not intended to be "politically incorrect." It is not racist in any way shape or form, since hundreds of thousands of those lives which really do matter more are black lives, Hispanic lives, Asian lives or "other" lives. 

Yet the fact that some lives really do matter more is not being said, and it needs to be said, despite the risk of being labeled a racist for saying it.

Some lives really do matter more than others.  They are not black lives - nor are they white lives - race has nothing to do with why they matter more than others.  And they matter not because they are Christian, or Jewish, or Muslim - or if they believe in nothing at all.  Their lives matter because of what they do with their lives. They are worth more to all of us in society because they risk their lives to ensure that the rest of us can live our lives unmolested by those who think only their own lives matter.

Our society exists because there are some lives - the lives of people, men and women, black and white, faithful and non-believers - who are dedicated to preserving, protecting and defending society.  Without them, society as we know it would not long survive.  These men and women come from all races, all religions, all nationalities - and, because of what they do on behalf of the rest of us, their lives matter more to society (and, if we're honest, to ourselves) than do the rest of our lives.  Why? Because without them, the society - the civilization - that we cherish would swiftly disintegrate into unending chaos. That would put all of our lives at risk in a way we who believe in national defense and civil order can barely imagine.

These lives which matter more than the rest of ours belong to the men and women who serve in our armed forces - as well as those who serve as city, county, state or national law enforcers.  Add to them the EMTs and firefighting first responders, along with those who staff our emergency rooms - they live their lives to save the lives of others.

Don't believe me?  Consider this:

Imagine a world where the United States had no military forces. How long would we survive as a free and independent nation when any two-bit tin-horn dictator, Muslim fanatic (think ISIS or the Ayatollah) or sociopathic world leader (Putin) could send his military to disrupt or destroy America.  We have a hard enough time dealing with terrorists and dictators and sociopaths even when protected by the millions of American men and women who bear arms in defense of our country.  Surely, the lives of these volunteers - all of whom stand ready to lay down their lives in defense of the rest of us - matter more to our country (and to each of us personally) than do those who reap the benefits without sharing the risks.

Now imagine your city with no police, EMT or firefighters poised to respond to 911 calls - to rush to your aid when you are attacked by burglars, drive-by shooters, arsonists or those who just get a kick out of hurting others.  When they don their uniforms, they make of themselves targets, as we saw today in Baton Rouge and not too long ago in Dallas.  Without them, there would be no civil order - it would be every man or woman for themselves, and the only safety would come from the barrel of a privately-owned gun.  Vigilantism would be the order of the day, even as chaos would be the only surviving "rule of law."  Surely those men and women who make themselves into targets - who risk everything, every day - to protect the rest of us and to ensure that our society continues to exist based on the rule of law - surely their lives matter more than do the lives of men and women who do nothing more than pay their taxes to ensure the continuation of our civil society.

Postscript:  This blog was written as my reaction to today's shooting in Baton Rouge, a shooting that took the lives of three policemen (all husbands and fathers, and at least some veterans of military service to America).  I do not know these men's race, or religion, or ethnicity - nor do I care, for regardless of who they are or where they came from, they are the glue that holds America together, and because of that, their lives matter more - more than mine, more than yours, more than the vast majority of Americans who pay taxes (and, in some cases, pay tribute to the fallen), but who do not take it upon themselves to risk their lives to benefit all of us.

I do know the race and faith of the shooter - but that doesn't matter.  He could have been any race, and any faith, and his actions would be no less heinous.  In terms of God, all men and women are equal, but in terms of our society, this life did not matter.  Those who would say his life did matter are mistaken - hopefully with good intentions, but all too often with harsh and hateful socio-political views driving their belief in this man's value to society.

Final postscript:  As a young man, I volunteered (twice) to serve in the US Navy, and did briefly serve in the US Air Force, before a vision problem deteriorated to the point that I was "legally blind" without corrective lenses.  However, this desire to serve is not the same as serving.  My life matters no more than any other who has not served - and I and my family are in perpetual debt to those who do don the uniform of their city, their county, their state or of the United States.