To actually live the teachings of Christ: to love everyone including your enemies, to refuse to judge anyone and to protect life in every case and setting – is a difficult road to travel. I had to truthfully examine all of my thoughts, actions and relationships as part of my decision to follow Christ, and had to extend the olive branch in a few cases without knowing if it would be received – it was – but regardless I had to act and I’m glad that I did. People will always think what they want, but when you refuse to participate in the political mudslinging you are immediately suspect as one that may have been drinking the, “political Kool-Aid.” Well I’ve been a black sheep all of my life, and I would rather let the light and truth of Christ guide my life than any popularity poll. If I remain the last one standing on the side of love then I will - because in the end there is no other option for me and for my life. The only true way to solve all of the world’s problems is Love – there is no other path to world peace.
Life is always easier if you join the crowd at either end of the political spectrum, and treat politics as a contact sport slinging accusations like snow balls at the other side. The problem with that tactic is that when you get down in the trenches and conduct a battle damage assessment, you discover that it is the very fabric of our society and nation that is torn and tattered from all the political clashes. I’m old enough to remember all of the political battles along the way where both parties have played the politics of personal destruction against both candidates and presidents. The path that I’d rather travel is one where we use love to look through the eyes of our fellow Americans and people around the world, and when we do we see that – Love Changes Everything. Agreement and compromise must be crafted by the best people available in order to lead our nation and the world to peaceful and lasting solutions – not appeasement – to address the problems that we all face today.
I read a quote the other day that was something along the lines of, “Treat everyone you meet every day as if it was the last day of their life - and you will make different decisions as to how you treat them, talk to them and assist them in whatever they need from you.” I’ll go a step farther and say, “Treat every day as if it were YOUR last day alive, as if when midnight arrives you’ll die in your sleep.” You would treat other people differently if you knew that this was your last day on Earth ahead of time.
Life is so short, and political bickering is so disruptive to the fabric of our society that these issues need to be approached from the very best rational perspectives with everyone having a seat at the table. When the final decision is made as to the course the nation will follow, everyone needs to be able to shake hands and immediately roll up their sleeves and get to work – side by side. Both sides in this political battle of wills have taken cheap shots at each other and resorted to using partisan approaches that only serve their own political interests - and we all need to just get to work and find the common ground and the middle road that runs through love to put our country on the right track towards the future.
The issue of border security is a major topic today as people become more and more concerned about the flow of illegal and undocumented aliens crossing our borders. Every sovereign nation has the right and responsibility to enforce their borders as a way to ensure the integrity of their country. In the United States the draw of employment for foreign workers to fill jobs, for employers to hire illegal immigrants at low wages and for the government to turn a blind eye to the issue for decades; has turned what was always hidden in the shadows and thrust it into the glaring spotlight - as the economy and terrorism have both taken center stage today. No country can accept an unlimited flow of undocumented workers – and who knows what else – crossing their borders without it becoming a national security and economic issue for the safety and survival of the nation.
The cost to the taxpayer for supporting illegal immigrants has become unbearable, as we have generously provided all types of benefits from medical care to in-state tuition for immigrants who are illegally in this country. If we continue down this path our economic system will collapse under the weight of the social costs this imposes on the taxpayer, while at the same time curtail benefits and infrastructure improvements for our own citizens and deny them the opportunity to take the jobs that currently employ illegal immigrants. The only effective way to deal with this problem is to first secure the borders to ensure the flow of illegal immigrants is stopped, and then solve the situation of what to do about the illegal immigrants that remain within our country.
The truth about illegal immigrants is that for the most part they only desire the opportunity for employment in this country and have become pawns between willing employers and lax government enforcement. As a result, they remain in limbo within our country while trying to earn a living for their family here in the United States. The decent and humane way to deal with this situation is to offer illegal immigrants an opportunity to identify themselves and register with the government. If a background check confirms they have no criminal record, they can then pay a fine, learn English, register their children, and receive guest worker permit cards that allow them to remain in the United States for a period of time, say three years – and apply for a path towards citizenship.
Once this process is underway and the criminal elements are identified and deported, the country must then turn its attention to the issue of illegal drugs – both entering and within the United States. Securing the border will have helped, but illegal drugs are only the symptom – not the cause. The reason we have illegal drugs in our country is because there is a demand by our citizens to consume them - plain and simple. If the demand went away the criminal involvement would cease, due to the lack of a profit motive. The problem is that for all demand there will eventually be a source to satisfy that demand. Prohibition didn’t work, and today the sale and use of alcohol is regulated by law – and the same for cigarettes – and both are highly taxed as a result.
The only workable solution as long as the demand exists, is to regulate the production, manufacture, sale, distribution and dispensing of these currently illegal drugs by the states and the federal government. Drugs should be regulated by potency and at a certain cutoff become the realm of the medical community requiring a doctor’s prescription - just as other controlled narcotic drugs are today. In this way the illegal element is removed, the production and manufacture can be controlled and the people who use these drugs can be under proper medical care and supervision – and the government can tax the entire process as a source of funding for drug treatment programs and for general revenue. It’s not a perfect system but the drug activity is taking place within society anyway, and it’s better to tax and regulate it like alcohol, cigarettes and gambling - where allowed.
The same argument can be made concerning prostitution, which is also the result of a demand that prostitutes simply fill. Prostitution is the symptom and the demand is the cause. Like pornography – arguably the largest industry on the internet – it is demand that is the cause of the issue, and supply is the symptom. For both prostitution and pornography the answer is the same – regulate the industries, provide medical care and treatment for prostitutes and porn workers, while taxing everything to provide treatment programs and general revenue.
The alternative to regulating and taxing these issues is that otherwise the country becomes a police state where building prisons is the only growing area of the economy. Legalization takes these issues out of the realm of the shadow world of violence and illegal activities, while providing tax revenue to provide treatment programs, medical care and general revenues for the states and federal government. Only an honest and fact based approach to our problems today will bring solutions, and if everyone sat down at the table and made an honest effort – we could provide workable solutions for our country and provide opportunity for everyone. Only by taking the middle road of love together as a nation will we learn that – Love Changes Everything.