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The problem with 'Do something!'
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Americans - Time - Fact - Today - Sheer
Americans are afraid… perhaps more than at any time since 9/11. It’s understandable. Despite the fact that most of us are safer today than we think, the sheer evil that’s behind a mass shooting or a violent attack is put right in our face by the 24-hour news cycle.
And then, of course, there’s the whole uncertainty of it all. Since El Paso and Dayton, there’s been a deadly knife attack in California, a highway shooting in Houston, and an armed guy in fatigues who walked into a Missouri Wal-Mart with 100 rounds of ammo.
People - News - Media - Something - Anything
When people are afraid, they either lash out (just watch the news or go on social media), or they look for something, often anything, that can save them from what they fear.
The public outcry in the last few weeks was articulated by what protesters demanded of the President during his visit to Dayton last week: “Do something! Do something!”
Warren - Smith - Discussion - Friday - BreakPoint
As I said to Warren Smith in our discussion this past Friday on “BreakPoint This Week,” I find the command to “do something” troubling on two levels. First, “do something” is a cry for help. It’s not a strategy or tactic. Doing something isn’t helpful if it’s the wrong thing or if it’s an irrelevant thing. Doing “something” might even be the worst thing to do. We have to know what to do, and that requires being clear on what the problem is.
The only thing made clear in all the debates since the most recent shootings and violent outbursts is that we’re not clear about what the problem is.
Demand - Something - Government - Demands - President
Second, the demand to “do something” is almost always addressed to the government. The demands are almost always directed to the President, the governor, or Congress. That says something troubling about us...
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