The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

When You Treat Only the Symptoms and Ignore the Cause

with one comment

When it comes to our health we’re taught not to ignore symptoms of illness and get them treated quickly so they don’t develop into something more serious later.  If we visit a doctor he or she will attempt to learn the cause of the symptoms we are experiencing, find the root of the problem, diagnose and treat.

Done right, we get well and our symptoms disappear.

However, if the diagnosis only treats the symptoms in an attempt to only relieve pain or discomfort, the root cause will get worse and if left untreated can result with far worse or even fatal results.

Using this analogy, our nation has been suffering with painful symptoms of corruption, crime, debauchery, to name a few, for decades. Some will argue these problems have plagued our country in all generations, but I would suggest not at the magnitude or frequency we see today.

hippocratic-oath-medicineThe doctors in this analogy are our civic leaders, elected to govern, to prevent societal ills if possible and treat them when discovered and to provide laws and regulations that work but are not overreaching or infringe upon the rights established in the constitution.  Like a doctor, our leaders should have the knowledge and skill to diagnose the root cause of a problem and attack it with the proven methods to solve it. The doctor uses medicine, the politician uses principles.  Without these tools the prognosis of a cure in either case is bleak at best.

The skilled physician who is altruistic in his approach can diagnose and treat disease with high levels of accuracy and success and with permanency.  The not-so-skilled doctor or the doctor who may be less concerned about the patient than the pay, may only treat the symptoms prescribing treatment to provide temporary relief but certain to require return visits and more prescriptions. Regardless of intent this is not an uncommon occurrence in the medical practice today. president-barack-obama-takes-oath-office

The skilled politician who is altruistic in his approach and true to his oath of public service will look to long-standing principles that have worked to the benefit of all segments of society throughout history to diagnose and treat the ills described and attack the problem at its source through legislation that is enforceable, fair, and specific.  The politician who seeks office for reason of fame, fortune, power, or anything outside the core values of public service will too often treat only the symptoms through appeasement, redistribution, giveaways, cronyism, deficit spending, inequitable taxation, and a litany of procedures to distract the public from the root cause and thereby avoid the more difficult task of actually solving the problem.  Regardless of intent this is not an uncommon practice of political leaders in government today.

For an example we need only look at the current gun control debate.  Too many elected officials are focused on a symptom, guns, when regarding the problem of violent crime specifically that of mass public shootings amplified by the recent school shooting in New Town, Connecticut where 26 people were shot by a mentally deranged man, 20 of those killed were children under age 7.

Indeed, guns are used to kill people, which is abhorrent to nearly every human being and because it is such a horrible thought it incites an immediate and powerful emotional response.  But decisions made in the heat of emotion are almost always wrong.  History, crime statistics, gun crime statistics, and common sense overwhelmingly discredits the current political diagnosis and prescribed treatment of the problem of violent crime in this country.  Yet the emotional response being pushed by politicians and media is to ban entirely the weapons used in the commission of these crimes which infringes upon the rights of all people not just the criminals who voluntarily abdicate their rights the moment they commit a crime.

Emotion doesn’t recognize logic and emotion is driving the debate.  Imagine your doctor making every decision on your behalf based on his or her emotional attachment to your malady. It doesn’t work in either case.

Until our elected officials recognize the root cause of most or our societal ills, moral decay and the blurring line between right and wrong, the disease will get worse and at some point it will become fatal.

I’ll punctuate my argument by sharing a video from the ongoing public hearings in Hartford, Connecticut concerning gun control, where Henson Ong issued a passionate defense of the Second Amendment with irrefutable facts and historical data. Exclamation point.

Advertisements

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] When You Treat Only the Symptoms and Ignore the Cause (longversion.wordpress.com) […]

    Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: