Reality May Be Optional
This column by ACRU Policy Board Member and Professor of Economics Dr. Walter E. Williams was published April 15, 2015 on Townhall.com.
One of the wonders of modern times is that reality is often seen as a social construct and therefore optional. Thus, if one finds a particular reality offensive or inconvenient, he just “changes” it.
Say that one is born a male or a female but believes that nature made an error. Some believe that nature’s “error” can be corrected by calling oneself another sex. Possibly a medical procedure on one’s genitalia can correct nature’s error. However, Mother Nature is ruthless. Sex determination is strictly chromosomal. Females are XX, and males are XY. There is no medical procedure that can change that. Once a male or female, always a male or female.
What about the chant “Hands up; don’t shoot,” echoed during street demonstrations and rioting and even in the halls of Congress? The lie was that Michael Brown had held his hands up to surrender to a white racist Ferguson, Missouri, police officer, Darren Wilson, who then shot him in cold blood. Even after it was proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the reality was entirely different, it didn’t matter. “Hands up; don’t shoot” became the chant across the land.
“More women are victims of domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the year.” That’s the lie produced by feminists in 1993. It received a boost at this year’s Super Bowl game in a 30-second, multimillion-dollar ad co-sponsored by the NFL, currying favor with women’s groups as a result of a few players’ misbehavior. Regarding the grossly bogus study, feminist writer Christina Hoff Sommers concluded, “How a belief in that misandrist canard can make the world a better place for women is not explained.”
When President Barack Obama swapped five Taliban terrorists for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, now charged with desertion, he gave us some historical insights. Obama said, “This (exchange of prisoners) is what happens at the end of wars.” He added: “That was true for George Washington. That was true for Abraham Lincoln. That was true for FDR. That’s been true of every combat situation, that at some point, you make sure that you try to get your folks back. And that’s the right thing to do.”
There was a bit of a history problem with Obama’s claim. George Washington did not become president until 1789, six years after the Revolutionary War’s end in 1783. There were no prisoners for him to exchange.
Lincoln was assassinated April 14, 1865. The Civil War ended June 2, 1865. Lincoln was dead and didn’t have the opportunity to exchange prisoners at the war’s end.
Franklin D. Roosevelt died of a stroke April 12, 1945. The war in Europe ended May 8, 1945. The Japanese empire surrendered Aug. 15, 1945.
The historical fact of business is that none of the presidents Obama mentioned was in office at the time that his war ended, so how in the world could they make prisoner swaps as Obama asserted?
Gun control advocates argue that stricter gun control laws would reduce murders. They ignore the fact that Brazil, Mexico and Russia have some of the strictest gun control laws but murder rates higher than ours. On the other hand, Switzerland and Israel have higher gun ownership rates than we but much lower murder rates. These are realities that gun controllers ignore.
Another reality completely ignored in the gun control debate is the reason the Founding Fathers gave Second Amendment protections. Alexander Hamilton wrote, “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government.” Thomas Jefferson wrote, “What country can preserve (its) liberties if (its) rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.” I leave it up to you to decide what representatives and rulers the founders were talking about.