he number of times people say to us, “The simple truth is …”
Whoa. Not so fast.
It seems that truth is not so simple anymore, despite the fact that so many people, so many voters wish it were so.
A recent Non Sequitur cartoon in the Austin American-Statesman shows a long line of people going to an “answers” booth. To the left is the sign “simple but wrong”. To the right is “complex but right”.
Surprising, but true. Most of the people in the cartoon strip are heading to the “simple but wrong” side, while only one or two take the “complex but right” side.
And so it seems to be in politics, in education, in world policies, in our healthcare.
Nothing is simple anymore – and probably never was.
When looking at politics, take the recent Sarah Palin endorsement of Donald Trump. Both of these politicians espouse “simple, black-and-white” answers. Their supporters want an easy answer to a very complex world.
Certainly, Palin’s recent speech fit the bill. Her bizarre speech, which included made up words, was simply a bit incoherent and didn’t follow a theme. It was just a bunch of sayings thrown together.
“Quit footin’ the bill for these nations who are oil-rich,” she said. “We’re paying for some of their squirmishes that have been going on for centuries.” (Yes, she said squirmishes.)
Well, if that doesn’t say simple, does Trump’s idea that he is going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it sound any better?
Simple sayings that rally their supporters but mean nothing in the real world – that’s the drivel that voters are being fed.
Jeb Bush has tried to give more complex answers, but, by and far, he has been pushed by the wayside as Trump and Ted Cruz, who also speaks in one-line quotables without anything behind them, take over the top spots.
Is it better on the Democratic side? To a bit, but the real person who spoke in complex truths – Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has all but dropped out – or rather been dumped out – of the race. Bernie Sanders has some ideas that make for good sound tracks, and Hillary Clinton is just too complex, for the most part, for the wide range of voters.
Because they all want simple, black-and-white answers.
Move on to science and medicine and vaccinations and more.
Obamacare? It’s complex. Period. Who ever said that trying to cover everyone in this country would be easy? It takes a lot of people working together on actuarials, putting together a lot of numbers to make this work.
But too many politicians promise that they will “get rid of Obamacare.”
Okaaayyy … And they will replace it with what?
Obamacare has opened up healthcare to more people than ever before. Yes, prices continue to go up. But they are leveling out. According to the Health Research Institute, U.S, medical inflation is expected to drop to 6.5 percent in 2016. While still an increase, it is much less than the high-inflation medical years before 2012.
There is no easy answer, just a complex system that seems to be oh-so-slowly working.
Move on to the world stage and we get people putting their heads in the sand, trying to avoid the truth that refugees are fleeing Syria.
Again, it is not a simple answer. There is constant fighting, with ordinary people caught in the middle, only wanting a better life for their children.
They want jobs, a home, food, education. It’s what everyone wants.
But the answer to how to solve this world crisis is difficult. Europe is being inundated with refugees. Denmark is instituting a policy of taking some of the funds and property that refugees bring into its country to try to stem the tide and discourage more people from coming there.
Turkey, Greece, Italy, Germany, Sweden … look at any country in the path of Syrian refugees and you will see that they are talking about how they can help the refugees, protect their country’s economy, and figure out a way to get Syria under control and more.
Complex issues require complex solutions.
So, the next time you tell someone to just give you the simple answer, figure on a long explanation.
The world is inter-connected these days, our lives are part of a bigger picture.
There are not simple truths. There are complex problems.