The Morality of Confronting Evil: Donald Trump’s Indiana Jones moment

I’ve listened to the critics of Donald Trump’s Syrian airstrike for several days now and it’s time to put some clarity to the matter.  While I’m an America first kind of guy, the solution to many of the world’s problems is not to live and let live the failed cultures of the globe, but to impose on them our values for the sake of our own preservation.  Many would say “who are we to do such a thing when those places are sovereign countries?”  But here’s the reality, when people want so badly to come to America to the point where it might threaten our own sovereignty, then we have an obligation to confront evil around the world so that it’s effects don’t spill over our borders into our country.  Put another way, when you are the best and everyone wants what you have—you must expand your territory not only for your own preservation, but for the assistance of those who would love to join the American team only from their own homelands.

I have many times gotten myself into a lot of trouble “getting involved” in other people’s business for the sake of confronting evil.  When I know something bad is going on around my house, like drug sales, abused women, neglected children—or just scum bags living as parasites against others—I do get involved.  I’m not going to say what I do obviously—because that would be stupid to put down in writing.  But in short—bad guys don’t do well near my home.  If I see some dude beating the crap out of a woman—I don’t care how interventionist it might be to stop him—I do it and have done that for as long as I’ve been alive.  It’s a morality situation that does not fit well under the written laws of our societies.  The need to do the right thing does not fit well under the umbrella of the law because such a thing requires context and context can vary depending on what culture we are talking about.  What’s good for one culture may not be so for another.

Yet, there is a morality to the human race that is well-known at our most biological instincts which is perceived rather than learned under institutions of law.  When I saw what Donald Trump had done in Syria I thought of a scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where a little child was being whipped.  Jones sees what is going on and even though he could have served himself well by minding his own business and leaving with his treasure he instead threw a rock at the villain not thinking of what might happen next.  This is an instinctive element to heroism which we all have and the Indian Jones movie articulated it well at a primal level.  Obviously Donald Trump was having his Indiana Jones moment and he was doing what was obviously right without thinking about what the world might say about it.  Kids were harmed by the Syrian government.  Trump had a rock to throw to stop it—so he did it.  I would have done the same thing.

When you walk down the street and you see a couple being robbed, do you just keep walking to mind your business?  Of course not, you step in and beat the shit out of whoever is doing the robbing and you save the people from harm.  That’s what human beings should do for each other.  That doesn’t mean you become a busy body always poking into other people’s business, but when you are confronted with evil as it is defined within our biological essence—you must fight it wherever it appears.  If I’m in a position to help someone I do it 100% of the time.  If you live under a code of valor—which everyone should—you can’t just turn your back to evil just because our laws don’t have a good way to define the context of how evil moves from culture to culture under the umbrella of sovereignty.  If America is generally accepted as the most moral country on earth—not defined by religion, but by individual values—then we have an obligation to spread that influence to those not so lucky to live in North America—because honestly we can’t support the whole world.  But we can teach the world to support itself.  That means that tyrannically charged regimes that stand in the way of that freedom will have to be deposed so that good people can live freely.

So how do we go about determining who is good and who is bad?  Well, it’s really not that complicated.   In Assad’s case, under no circumstances should chemical weapons be dropped onto innocent children.  The kids didn’t do anything to deserve such a thing and there is no way to justify it.  I often get accused of being judgmental regarding other people’s families who obviously don’t put as much into life as I do—and I really don’t care if it pisses them off.  If adults are openly ruining the lives of their children by putting stupidity into their heads, then I make it known my disdain and if those kids want my help—I help them.  I’ve gotten into a lot of trouble over that kind of thing but I never regret helping.  It is my moral duty to help those who cannot help themselves if through my actions I can improve their “individual” state.  Ultimately, I want people to be able to thrive as individuals no matter where they come from, so I always help if the situation arises—even when it’s not convenient.

In Syria, if people are so desperate to leave because Assad is such a terror, then his problem becomes Europe’s problem and America’s problem because refugees will flood our borders trying to get away.  If you turn them away as we must because we can’t risk terrorists hiding in their midst’s then you must stop the evil they are trying to run from.  If you see a robbery, you have an obligation to stop it.  If you see a 14-year-old girl prostituting herself out on K-Street—you have an obligation to hunt down her pimp and end the threat to her.  If you know a drug dealer is ruining the minds of kids down the road from your house—you have an obligation to stop the behavior—by whatever means—preferably legally.  And if a country is killing its people for some collective cause—America is the only place on earth capable of making a moral judgment on the matter—and it must step in and act.

The Syrian situation was clear.  There was no reason children should have been attacked with nerve gas. Trump did what I expect him to do—he attacked the evil that perpetrated the villainous behavior.  Yes, Rand Paul is right; congress must give permission for war—“legally.”  But sometimes when you see evil being conducted and you have access to a rock and can stop it—even temporarily—you do it.  Because it’s the right thing to do.  Doing what’s right isn’t always “legal.”  But it is always right.  And helping kids have a potential for a good life is always right.  In those cases you have to live and let die because there is good and evil in the world, and you must stand for what’s good.  There is no middle way in such matters.

Rich Hoffman


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