The question is what brand of common sense we choose to adopt. One trait we humans all share is the unquestionable fact that we have common sense. We’re able to spot the lack of it in others whenever it’s out of sync with our own, which frequently happens.
Among other things, it seems to me common sense ought to be manifested in personal and public choices about what’s worth getting excited about, being afraid of, and what is not.
For instance, I read somewhere recently that in the entire history of terrorism, beginning in Russia in the 19th Century, fewer than 10,000 people have died.
Common sense would seem to argue terrorism’s not a large enough issue in the world to lend much weight to private and public decision-making.
The war on drugs has been waged since the Reagan Administration. Countless millions of dollars have been expended in the effort. Today, forbidden drugs are as available on the streets of America, perhaps more available, than they were when Reagan declared war.
Common sense would seem to argue it was time to look at other alternatives about five years after it all began, rather than spending more on it, building more prisons, hiring more cops, judges, prosecutors.
We’ve known since the early 1970s that foreign energy dependence was a threat to the well-being of this nation. Petroleum and other hydrocarbons were going away. From Nixon onward, US presidents pledged and waved the bloody flag pretending an effort to free the US from foreign energy dependence by development of alternative energy sources.
Common sense would seem to argue we’re more dependent on foreign energy today, 40 years later, than we were when our elected chiefs first made public acknowledgement of the threat to national security and well-being. Which is another way of saying they lied, made meaningless gestures to an actual threat to national security and well-being, while devoting their attention to waging bloody wars on top of soil where the old-fashioned energy sources lay hidden.
Whatever common sense is, you and I certainly have a lot of it.
If we could ever discover how to inject it into the gray matter of the men we elect to office, we’d have to change the definition to something less common. Which is the reason I stay the hell away from knowing the current news events and don’t pay any mind to politics.
Common sense tells me history testifies to the futility of common sense and the futility of worrying about political matters. Common sense tells me life’s too short to fire up my ammunition at targets I can’t hit.
John Prine– Illegal Smile