Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

State of the Union 2015 depends on state of UN

Jobs, taxes, healthcare, education, war, climate, security, justice, privacy --all rational priorities President Obama spoke about tonight in hopes of advancing Americans interests.  He sometimes alluded to the fact that some of these important issues are linked global factors.  But the fact is, none are immune to global forces.  And each is increasing effected by chaotic or foreign orchestrated influences.  
Halting or reducing the negative impact of global forces on the United States will require more than Presidential leadership and a cooperative Congress.   It will require global cooperation and effective controls.   The United Nations isn’t the only global institution but it is the primary institution intended to prevent or collectively address harmful or murderous global factors.   
Understandably, it was not mentioned once in his address.  Understandably because of three factors. First, the UN as it is, is virtually useless against most of these forces.  Second, those on the left want the passage of treaties that even universally passed, too often prove ineffective in their intent.  From the ICC to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, lack any consistency or enforcement capacity leads to pathetic and even deplorable outcomes.  Last, those on the right want to abandon the UN all together.  Given its virtual uselessness in stemming today’s threats that appears to be a rational idea.  
In regards to Cuba, the President said if you have been doing something for 50 years and it hasn’t worked, perhaps its time to do something different.  The toothless UN structure has existed for over 60 years and the presence of nuclear weapons arguably did more to prevent another world war than the UN.  And it certainly didn’t prevent a Cold war.  Or a global war on terrorism (arguably a byproduct of previous wars that were ended by force instead of global justice) for which there is no rational end.
The president said, “Imagine if we did something different?”   Yes.  What if we recreated the United Nations to appeal to the basic values of all mankind?   Like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights intended to spare future generations of the conditions that lead to war.   What if we had a UN that could really reduce the economic, health, climate and security factors that negatively affect people’s daily lives in every nation? 
“Remaking America” as the President invited us to do is a hopeful and profound request.   But if we really value our security, prosperity, environment, health and personal freedoms an operative remake of our nation is only fantasy without also effectively remaking the United Nations.  
If we really value democracy, separation of powers, accountability of policy makers, the rule of law, voting, and human rights, recreating the UN would actually be walking our talk on what it means to be an American.


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