Thursday, October 28, 2010

The most forbidden word in politics: triage

Beyond political correctness, beyond sacred cows, there's triage. That's what they do in a battlefield hospital when they get more people than they can treat. So they figure out who's a lost cause and just give them painkillers--palliative care--while they work on the ones they can actually save.

But Democrats believe--as an article of faith not subject to discussion--that we can and must save everyone who happens to be within our borders, and, if possible, everyone else on
Earth as well.

And Republicans believe--equally as an article of faith not subject to discussion--that principles are sacrosanct, and we must adhere to them, regardless of consequence.

Thus Democrats won't let teachers expel "students of color" even if they've got fetal alcohol syndrome (which is untreatable) and are preventing any other students--of color or not--from learning anything in a classroom where they're disruptively present.

And thus Republicans won't vote to legalize Marijuana because it's WRONG--even if it can be proven that doing so would benefit society overall, and even if keeping it illegal while having alcohol legal is and is perceived by marijuana users as total hypocrisy, thus reducing people's respect for our laws and law enforcement people.

Thus both sides reject anything that smacks of triage out of hand. Neither wants to deal with the world as it actually is.

And the social cost of this idea-lism is enormous from both sides.

1 comment:

msantanna said...

There’s always a cutting line with how much triage a society can put up with. More of it makes society more efficient, but too much of it pisses people of – for whatever reason.

For instance, they do things in Germany that would send people ballistic in Brazil or the USA, like selecting the destiny of people at the ripe age of 10. That’s when you are selected to attend one of very different kinds of schools. At the top is the gymnasium for the gifted, which guarantees a college education and is the *only* way to the top colleges. Then there are other schools for bank tellers and garbage haulers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Germany