At the White House Summit for Global Development, President Obama is quoted as saying, “So it is worth reminding ourselves of how lucky we are to be living in the most peaceful, most prosperous, most progressive era in human history.” “Because the world has never been less violent, healthier, better educated, more tolerant, with more opportunity for more people, and more connected than it is today.”
That is quite an optimistic statement!
Here are a few examples of peacefulness and safety:
Yesterday in France, an elderly priest was beheaded during mass.
That in an Orlando nightclub, 49 people were killed by a man who vowed allegiance with ISIS. That Sunday a teen dance club had a shooting that claimed 2 lives last Sunday.
That five Dallas, TX policemen were gunned down as they did their jobs protecting citizens during a protest. That a domestic situation lead to a shooting in the Dallas, TX airport.
Another man claiming ISIS connections drove a delivery truck through a street full of al fresco diners in France, killing 84 and wounding numerous others.
A small, but significant selection, considering the violence that is reported on the daily news.
So much for peaceful and less violent, it cannot be if this is happening in the world.
How about healthier? There is some merit in that as people in industrialized countries do live longer due to healthcare and improved drugs for once fatal diseases. Of course, the Zika virus is now running throughout South America, and there have been cases reported in the United States. However, Congress could not pass funding to study this virus and develop a vaccine.
Ebola was a real fear last summer, having cases pop up in the United States. It is about 50/50 on healthier. Let’s not debate the healthcare debacle and its effect on the United States.
More opportunities and more prosperous, seems a bit far-fetched. There has never been a lower number of those in the workforce than there is now. Manufacturing is down, most nonexistent, there are high tech jobs available, but require a specific education level and aptitude that not all are able to obtain. Wages are at an all-time low, unable to keep up with rising inflation.
There are a great deal of people with higher education. This is evident with the student loan crisis. Higher institutes of learning are recommended, but a college degree does not insure that one is truly educated. Some get their credentials, but struggle with application.
More tolerant, that is a joke. In the past, debate was entertaining and informative. People could agree to disagree. Not anymore, read the Tweets, Facebook, and the local news. Such verbal spew of pure hatred when one has a disagreement or is of another opinion of an opponent or colleague is truly appalling. Calling for someone to kill themselves, or commit some other vile suggestion is rampant.
How about more opportunity for more people, is that true? It is not true for coal miners, auto workers, middle management or the arts. Perhaps, more opportunity for more people implies people the president keeps company with on a daily basis.
More connected, you ask? Yes, that is a fact.
The comedienne John Oliver had a great skit about how the United States learned imperialism from the best teacher, The British Empire. He said that the British Empire was horrible when they conscripted unwilling soldiers and sailors, destroyed infrastructure and overthrew kingdoms. He said the difference was that during all this imperialist activity, the Empire was not encumbered by CNN and other 24-hour news sources. Watercolors of massacres details that were “sketchy at best.”
This is true. Between the internet, You Tube, Twitter, Facebook, camera phones, smart phones, we are never disconnected from each other. There are cameras on every corner, nothing is anonymous anymore.
Communication is first rate, no doubt, except when you see four people sit down to dinner in a restaurant and pull out their phones immediately rather than talk to each other.
After debunking this presidential quote line by line, the assumption has to made that the quote refers to those residing in Unicorn / Rainbow Land.
A more realistic quote from a very blunt President Harry S. Truman would be as follows: “My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And, to tell the truth, there is hardly any difference.”