There’s a startling lack of nuance in today’s culture. Folks pick a side — left or right — and use data, studies, articles, posts and opinions, whether they’re legitimate or not, to support their views. Why do they do it? I have no idea.
Maybe it’s always been that way and user-generated content has simply brought it to the fore. More likely, the social Web has reinforced conformity around certain popular viewpoints, pro or con, via the spiral of silence, which I also discuss at length in Chapter 3 of Real Leaders Don’t Follow.
Take the whole debate over how to handle our growing radical Islamic terrorism and gang violence problems. I’m a big fan of the Second Amendment – the right to bear arms – but there are a handful of things that can and should be done to help minimize the fallout and make us all safer.
Unfortunately, our political leaders are far too busy attacking each other to offer any sane solutions.
While I plan to cover this in an upcoming Fox Business column, here’s just a quick preview list. As you can see, these proposals don’t necessarily fall on one side of the heated debate or the other:
It is too easy to obtain a firearm and, to the extent that there are loopholes, they should be plugged. There’s no reason why someone known to have radical terrorist ties or leanings should be allowed to legally own a firearm.
Those found guilty of committing a felony with a firearm should suffer stiff mandatory sentences depending on the severity of the crime.
I’ll probably take a lot of heat for this, but I also favor a ban on assault weapons — an updated version of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004.
Anti-police rhetoric, lack of support, criminal indictments and instructions to stand down in the face of violent illegal acts in Baltimore and other cities (backed by the Justice Department) are hamstringing law enforcement efforts. Can you imagine trying to do your job, knowing that if you make a mistake, you may go to prison?
Political correctness that prevents law enforcement from profiling — identifying and targeting people by various criteria — likewise has a chilling effect on crime prevention. Profiling is the primary strategic tool used by law enforcement and the intelligence community to prevent criminal acts before they happen.
I can go on, but I’m sure you get the point. We owe it to ourselves, our families, our communities and all our fellow men and women to make informed decisions that make sense, not simply because they support a right or left-wing political agenda. Simply put, our culture is far too divisive. Yes, it’s a leadership problem, but it’s up to you and me to solve it.
Note: Paragraph 8 was updated, June 16, 2016 12:50PM PST
Image credit Aftab Uzzaman Flickr