Inevitably in every recent election, one word always seems to pop up usually close to the election. That word is apathy. There is almost an obsession.
Always mentioned as a negative and normally connotes a warning about bout being complacent. Not caring or not caring enough to vote, along with not caring who to vote for. It sets off a red flare about priorities. It is meant to shame and even inflame citizens.
So let’s take a look at the definition. According to Merriam-Webster:
1 : lack of feeling or emotion : impassiveness drug abuse leading to apathy and depression
2 : lack of interest or concern : indifference
i.e. political apathy
First if all, I empathize with the passion or appropriateness of using the word. But again, it is always considered a negative. Is there a positive use for it? Maybe there should be.
For a change, I wondered about using some of that righteous apathy toward our allies and European friends. What could be wrong with that? Now just hold on there, lilly liberals.
So take the textbook definition of apathy (#2) and apply a good healthy dose of it toward them, basically the whole lot, allies included. Lack of interest or concern, indifference to them. But wait, isn’t that treatment what we already receive from them and have for a long time? I mean they do treat us that way. When was the last time they made domestic or foreign policy based on what we Americans or the US thinks, or will think of it?
Get it? It seems to work fine for them.
I see a good apathy, liberally applied. Why should it always be a negative? Why not put it to good use? It is not like we get something different than that from them. If people have practiced their apathy, then why not sharpen it a little to where it is appropriate?
I can hear the liberals screaming on both sides of the Atlantic now. Except can they give a valid reason why not? I don’t think they can. Yes, I know all the standard talking points about allies and treatment of how we want to be treated. And all that gimmichery about what’s in our interest is what is in their interest too. Sure we have common desires. But this is only a one-sided thing, you do realize. Each of those countries gives us no consideration on what actions they take. They look out for themselves.
Yes, we share some values and technology and security issues. But where is the reciprocation, as Trump calls it, from them? We’ve certainly been doing this for a long time now. When was the last time they took our advice? Oh, right, we restrain our advice. Though they freely give us unsolicited advice, don’t they?
Here’s one illustration: CNN regularly has pundits, academics or intellectuals, commenting and lobbying our policies and politics from Birmingham (UK), London and Belgium. They are some of the biggest critics of Trump and the administration. But we have enough of those critics right here. Do we tell them what they should do at home? We don’t need their pontifications. What should we care what they think, let alone provide a platform for it.
Sure we just want to show them we care. Again, what does that matter when it comes down to it? What do we get in return? Maybe it hasn’t been such a great idea to consider the impact on them in our every move. I mean they have leaders and governments to represent their interests, and they do. In most cases quite well.
Why are we always thinking about sensitivities of others? It baffles me. Was this in the founding of America? No, we had our hands full thinking for ourselves about ourselves, looking after our interests because no one else on earth will. Do we now think all these countries look out for our interests? Hell no. They expect us to do that ourselves.
What happened to “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none?” We’ve self entangled our dream with their selfish realities.
Washington instructed in his Farewell Address:
” In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur.
“As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.
Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.”
“The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.
Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns.”
…“Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation [as ours is]? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?”
The other sweet spot factor liberals always point to is human rights. We need to influence that or this. But we don’t need to make our decisions based on our desires for them.
What I’m saying is that the reality is more stark. We have gone so far over to the international, globalist, bent over backward (and forward too) for people who generally 1) don’t appreciate it, or in some cases don’t want our help and; 2) aren’t considerate at all of us. And we don’t expect it. Shouldn’t the latter have changed if it was going to change?
What I am also saying is that it was never started out this way. Now I do hear critics of America’s every policy about a big footprint of US imperialism. I don’t agree with much of their emphasis but there is something to this one sided, lopsided, foreign policy (if that is what it is). The problem is it is not just in foreign policy but in domestic policy too, that we are influenced by their concerns.
No, I don’t buy the America is the big bully and aggressor argument. We bend over trying to make our policy based on their whims and desires, for or about us. We have to stop empowering those who never had our best interests. You know the Obama lesson on being an appeaser or slave to our enemies, empowering them and weakening ourselves.
However, we never see any signs of this consideration returned from abroad. They only have their hand out to receive not respond in kind.
This is not a case for protectionism or “isolationism”. But the affect may be protectionist.
I’m not sure what an official policy of apathy would look like or what it would do. But I dang sure know what our default doctrine has left us with. What did we get?
I wouldn’t mind being accused of it from across the globe. I might consider it a compliment. And maybe they would stop dishing out their helpful advice to us, too? Incidentally, applying some indifferent apathy to our friends and allies might also decrease the popular use of it in our election process. Apathy gets a pretty bad rap.
Whether consciously or not, we haven’t been making decisions on our own merits for our interests. They’ve been parsed down to p/c and sensitivities about what others think. Others have become proxies in our decisions. We could be a little apathetic, even rude.
Or in other words: quite frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!
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