Well, I didn't vote for Bush, either. And I don't think I really support this war with Iraq. But I also don't feel totally informed enough to outright say that it's flat out wrong, because I know I'm not fully informed about the situation.
So, I admit this. And then I have faith in the system. And I have reasons for it.
Reason 1: We've made it this far
Throughout history, there have always been voices that said mankind was doomed to destroy itself. Someone always said we'd never make it, or we were doing it wrong. And yes, we did do a lot of things wrong. But along the way we got some things right, too. Look where we are now. It's true that much of the world is still behind, people still starve to death, justice is not carried out everywhere, but a percentage has overcome these issues and is really making it. In countries everywhere... the U.S., Canada, England, Norway, Japan... society has been set up so that no one starves to death. There are systems. There are helping hands. There is a civilization set up to provide help, and it gets to where it's needed. We've got a while before the whole world is like this, and we really need to work towards this goal, but I firmly believe that we'll get there someday and we're making progress. We've risen above so much. We will be alright. The system is working.
Reason 2: Idiots are not in charge
Some people will probably debate me on this one, but I think that, as a population, we're actually pretty smart. Yes, we all know stupid people, we joke about them, we're sometimes worried that they're gathering in large groups and destroying all that makes sense in the world. But in my experience, that hasn't been how things worked. I personally know a lot of smart people, and I'm guessing you do to. Smart people want this world to be great. They want it to be better. And even though many of them have different ways of doing it, they do all have the same goal. And they won't let people who are morons be in charge. There are always bound to be fingers pointing at our leaders and people who think they could do a much better job, but the truth is that all leaders make mistakes, and you probably can't do a better job. Just a different one. Because you're not really smarter. So deal.
Honestly, people. Who doesn't want the world to be a better place? Even assholes want this... it's for selfish reasons, and if they're stupid assholes they won't know how to do it without thinking of themselves first, but that's what they want. Since we all agree that the world should be better, it's safe to assume that the system will work.
Reason 3: God
Not everyone believes in God, but I do, and it definately helps me have faith in the system. God gives us free will, but when it comes down to it, He's not going to let us get that screwed up. He's got a plan for this planet, and we're all part of it. He knows the hour things will end, and if it's next year, than it's next year. It's not because we failed as a race. It's because that was the plan, and my worrying about it won't make a bit of difference.
So really, no matter how screwed up people are, none of us control anything. That sort of puts it in perspective, doesn't it? But again, I know not all of you share my religious views, so let's move on...
Reason 4: What's The Worst That Can Happen?
From a personal standpoint, the worst that can happen is never that bad. I could lose my job. My website. My health. My loved ones. Even my life. And I'm not sure about the severity order of those last through. But the point is, I will survive, either in this world or the next. Maybe my faith in God helps me be okay with that, too; it's hard to say.
And even if I lose everything, I've had this life, which I've cherished, savored, and enjoyed. I've loved my life. I've been fortunate around every turn, and so many lucky things have happened. It's really been a gift so far. Even the worst that could happen could not take that away from me.
Reason 5: Life Is Better With Optimism
When judges argued against the pledge of allegiance this summer due to the whole, "Under God" technicality, I honestly heard people freak out. "WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO? JUST... WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?" They were so sure our nation was about to be struck down for this whole allowing-freedom-of-religion stuff we kept shooting for... I was like, "Well, you could jump of a bridge I guess, and not have to worry about it. Or you could mellow out and think about the bright side of this and write a letter to your congressman if you still disagree with the decision." Sounds pretty valid, yes? So, just like conservatives were losing their heads this summer, liberals are losing their heads now. Sadam is a tyrant who tests weapons on his own people. Maybe war isn't the perfect decision, but is it really a terrible one? Can people at least try to sit down, reason this out, and be civilized? There are good things about our actions right now, we've got the support of a few countries, that should tell us something. Everything gets done easier if we all put a little effort into being optimistic.
Conclusion: Control What You Can, And Have Faith In What You Can't
So that's my opinion. I get up every morning, I go to work, I live my life, because I want this world to be better. And I believe it can be, because I have faith in the system we've set up. Faith in democracy and capitalism and all the institutions set up. As a human race some things will go wrong. But some things go right, too.
In the United States, we fought a bloody civil war in the early 1860's. Hundreds of thousands of men died. We did horrible things to our own southern states, to keep them from leaving... burned a path right through them in the end, destroyed the lives of innocent people. And our motivations for that war were purely economic, I dare anyone to argue with me on that one. We didn't want to lose our land. If I had been around in 1860, I would have strongly argued against fighting that war. The south was not worth what we payed. Entire towns lost all their young men. We ruined their economy for years, and the country had to fight an unimaginable fight after the war was over to become the United States again.
But what happened? Halfway through the war, slavery was abolished in this country forever. If you study documents from the time, you'll find that it wasn't the intention of the north to free the slaves, there was still a lot of debate about it. But we realized that would piss off our enemies, and win some foreign friends, so we went for it.
And mankind, in that horrible, terrible, war, because one step closer to being great. To being free. Think about that, if you're scared about what's going to happen to us as a planet. Cling to optimism, and faith.
We've got a ways to go, but we will be great some day.