The Alternative

Filling a void

    I'm sure to receive a message that girls can't say no to a potential unwed father, or drug addicts have needles jump up and stick them in the arm when they least expect it. But the fact is we don't jump out in front of a moving car. We see the consequence as something to avoid. Then we stay on the curb. If there were magic hands that lift us above the car we might become more careless. It is human nature.

    There was a time when unwed mothers moved away and were cared for by Good Samaritans until the baby could be adopted and then cared for by a mother and father in a loving family. Or dope addicts got hungry and found they couldn't survive unless they quit or sought help.

    Turns out, the consequences of irresponsible behavior create business opportunities for law enforcement and drug dealers enriched by inflated prices of unregulated poison. There's too much profit in keeping addicts coming back and families ruined to ever consider giving them the choice to straighten up and carry their own weight.

    There's a mother in Chicago grieving over her murdered child because human nature is ignored while the simple reaction to "do something" obliterates logical thought.

    It's funny how the Cubs winning The World Series hasn't produced the elation for me that it seems like it should. We took a trip to Wrigley Field every summer through the little league years. We and the kids were in a city that, 28 years later, has more murders than New York and Los Angeles combined. Apparently the community had been organized in such a way to reduce the threat of overpopulation.

    I remember parking the car in someone's front yard a few blocks from Wrigley and feeling perfectly safe as we walked to the park.

    Then one year, the White Sox were building a new stadium. We had to see the old Comiskey Park before it was gone, even though the pitchers don't swing a bat. We headed south on the interstate from our usual pilgrimage site and mistakenly went one exit too far. This was different from the North Side.

    A cop pulled up alongside the confused looking white people and asked where we were going. Then he offered to lead us through town to The Museum of Science and Industry where we could be safe before the game with the “A's”. The South Side felt like a foreign country.

    During the game, Dave Henderson broke his leg hustling in the muddy outfield. What a contrast to high-priced slugger, Jose Canseco, who trotted over to watch an easy fly ball drop to the ground.

    Henderson and Canseco epitomized society before and after the 1960's birth of The Great Society programs. The comparison is a good illustration of what brought Chicago to be the murder capital of the country. While Dave Henderson did his best for the team, Jose coasted along on reputation. When given a choice, someone will always take advantage of others, while someone else won't feel right about doing that.

    In our quest to be compassionate caring people, and with the help of vote seekers in the capital, our compassion has evolved into a war on responsibility. The result is a general erosion of our sense that we have a duty to deal with the consequences of our actions.

    Our compassion has led to a government that has more to offer than a father and husband. And criminals are more likely to come from fatherless families. But on top of that, the lack of commitment of a father to help rear children establishes a precedent of walking away from what should be considered a duty.

    The war on drugs, after eighty years has done nothing but re-establish the gang violence of the prohibition era. As soon as booze was legalized, crime rates plummeted. But on top of that, the blame for the bad consequences produced by drug abuse is assumed to be the availability of drugs, not the dereliction of responsibility to one's self and community. Overdoses and turf wars are the result of intrusive government, not the lack of it.

    A well managed society sounds nice until we figure in the Cansecos. The cost of controlling the supply of drugs and the care of fatherless households is far greater than what is reflected in government budgets. As George Washington said, government is force. And with the present deification of government, we will see more Cansecos and less Hendersons.

    Eighty-five percent of all youths in prison are from fatherless homes. But the answer is not subsidizing households with fathers, it is making fathers more valuable than government programs by eliminating the programs. It will take time.    

    Ye who wage war on responsibility, the blood of Chicago is on your hands.