We should leave diplomacy to the pros and have some faith

We should leave diplomacy to the pros and have some faith

by Matt Morain

With as much criticism as I hurl at the government, I have enough self-awareness to realize that I’ve only taken three or four political science courses at a small, private college and no more than six history courses. This in no way qualifies me to properly assess what should be done about the Saddam problem, Korea, Kashmir or any other problem in the world for that matter.

I am not an expert on the Middle East, Iraqi politics or the correct protocol for regime change. I have a limited but growing knowledge of how the world works. I know more than some, but far less than others.

I’m a federalist before I’m a democrat or a republican, so therefore I put my trust in the belief that the people in power who have been elected to make my governmental decisions for me know a lot more about international politics than I do.

Still, as an American, one of my fundamental, most basic and inalienable right is to speak out against the very government that provides me that right. Seems hypocritical, but if we don’t reserve the right to ask questions and seek explanations, we cease to be the shining beacon for democracy that we were established as.

I ask these questions only when it is truly necessary. If one were to nitpick over every minute qualm one has with government, one would never rest. Furthermore, the more frequently controversy is raised, the less controversial it becomes. Protesting stops being the noteworthy exception when it is done for the sake of doing alone.

Nowadays it seems to be hip to demonstrate against the American government. Ironic that by protesting against the machine in order to prove that people can think for themselves and question the motives of their teachings, they just become part of a different machine altogether.

A minority of Americans do not currently support the United States’ actions in Iraq. A smaller fraction of that 25 percent actually speaks out, and a tiny portion of that fraction of the minority publicly acts out against it. What percentage of that infinitesimal minority of the population is educated enough to present a logical, sensible alternative to our government’s decisions? The decimal is small enough to round off.

The percentage of the majority that does support the United States in Iraq who can logically justify our behavior is just as small. Individuals fall in with one camp or the other because when all is said and done, those who stayed apathetically neutral will be the ones criticized the most.

When history passes by and we can see if what we did was right or wrong, the worst defense you can have is “I didn’t care.” Individuals are smart, but when they join “people” they become ignorant.

The driving motivator behind a protest is to raise awareness. This is accomplished with noticeably greater success when the protestors themselves are adequately aware of all the facts and both sides of the argument. What chance is there that a neutral stranger is going to want to become more aware of an issue when the crowd that is calling attention to it does so with insufficient information? Without adequate comprehension of the other side, a protest turns into little more than a 6-year-old’s temper tantrum.

Trust that banal problems are handled by officials well qualified to do so. Realize that the persons making command decisions have been put in that position for a good reason. There are factors at play that we as the general public are completely ignorant to, and some that we don’t want to know about.

Don’t object just to be different. Do so with as much information at your disposal as possible so you can make educated arguments, which separates you from the rest because you’re able to make a point worth mentioning. Pick a side, but not because you want to fit in or impress anyone else.

Finally, until you are qualified and ready to be responsible for the well-being of roughly 290,554,508 citizens, have some faith in the people who are.