Friday, September 30, 2005

In Defense of Bill Bennett's Virtue

Once upon a time, President Ronald Raygun had a Secretary of Edumacation named Bill Bennett. Billy is no longer in the Cabinet, in part because Raygun is in a "cabinet" (so to speak) in the cold, cold ground. Thus, Billy had to go on to other projects, like gambling compulsively while writing books about Moral Virtues. Nowadays, little Billy has his own radio show, and occasionally makes guest appearances on Faux News and other cable-TV propaganda outlets.

Wednesday, little Billy said,

I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky. — radio host William Bennett, 2005-09-28
Okay, it was an incredible case of foot-in-mouth, but let's look at the context.

The caller had suggested that if abortion had remained illegal in 46 states from 1973 to the present, that the revenue from taxes paid by all those fine, upstanding citizens would have been enough to save Social Security, balance the budget, and give everyone ice cream for dessert at lunch and dinner. Bennett's point, however oafishly made, was that the caller was creating a ridiculous "what if" scenario. He did not in any way advocate aborting all black babies. He simply placed that on the table as an equally reasonable what-if scenario to time-travelling back to 1973 and undoing Roe v. Wade.

We could really lower the (violent) crime rate if we simply executed everyone who made less than a million dollars last year. People that rich are much more likely to commit "white-collar" crimes than armed robbery or aggravated rape or failure to yield to a pedestrian in a school crossing. If we killed off the poor and middle class, them rich folks would get along just fine, at least for a while. While we're out killing people, we could end the strife in the Middle East simply by declaring it a wilderness preserve with all human habitation removed. We could put the Jews in Canada and Sweden, the Palestinians in Bangladesh and Nigeria, and the other Arabs (including the Iranians, who just don't like admitting that they're Ay-rabs) in Sudan and Ethiopia. Then everybody would be happy, because Democracy would be On the March (of Tears). Each refugee would get to decide between two host countries! Every human conflict has a simple solution if you but look hard enough.

In the spirit of William Bennett, I therefore propose the mandatory forcible relocation of all residents of any territory that remains in armed dispute for a period of ten consecutive years, or any twenty out of 50 consecutive years.
√ Bosnia
√ Chechnya
√ Darfur
√ Sri Lanka
√ Northern Ireland
√ most of Central America, South America, Africa, and Asia
There ya go. Now just think about it: you could spend the weekend watching foo-ball and drinking beer, or you could work for world peace by resettling people from war-torn lands. Which is a better use of your free time?