The Questions We Don’t
Future generations will look back at the Americans of this century and ask many questions about the questions that we don’t ask. They will wonder why we chose not to ask these important, simple and obvious questions. They will marvel at the ease by which we were manipulated, misled, and misguided.
Here are six questions that the vast majority of American’s have chosen to avoid:
1. What evidence does the government possess regarding the assassination of President Kennedy and why has it been kept secret?
2. Who else knew that President Nixon was directly lying to the American people about enlargement of the “Vietnam War”?
3. Why does the Vatican have a library of historical works that it refuses to share with scholars?
4. Does the government possess evidence regarding alien life that it has not shared with the public?
5. To what extent is the government of the United States controlled by “special interests”?
6. Why is there such a large discrepancy between idealism and actuality in public education?
A brief exploration reveals that these questions have been asked and debated by many, and it is clear that most Americans are aware that these questions exist and are significant. Yet, we allow them to go unanswered – or unasked. It is not the intention here to pursue the answer to these questions, but to consider why they are ignored. We will begin by examining the questions and their nature.
The Kennedy assassination remains a hotly debated issue. Attempts to convince us that the issues have all been addressed and resolved have fallen short. On the extreme end of both sides there are some who muddy the water more than they seek genuine inquiry. What is most fascinating about the subject is the wide gap between those most interested and how we have ignored the obvious and undisputed: the government has chosen to hide the most important evidence from the American people and its initial investigation was pathetically inept. Why?
What did our government decide that we were unable to deal with and why would it decide that something less than the truth was best? We simply don’t know. There’s clearly room for speculation and conspiracy theories – and that in itself raises a question: could the truth be more disturbing than the various widespread beliefs? But even that is merely fodder for debate; what is most confusing and remarkable is that the American people haven’t demanded an answer to the basic question:
What evidence does the government possess regarding the assassination of President Kennedy and why has it been kept secret?
We know that the government decided that some key materials should be withheld from us and on the whole we have simply accepted such. There may have been good reasons for that decision, but nobody has explained them and very few have been willing to demand an answer.
Why is an answer important? The Kennedy assassination was more than an important event in American history that changed our nation. The response of the government revealed more than the assassination itself: it was forced to acknowledge that even the murder of our highest elected official wasn’t as important as what goes on behind the scenes – that there were people who wanted and got better protection than the President himself. That is not speculation or theory. It would seem that we really don’t want to know the truth about our government.
Not unlike the first question, history provides another unasked question. Less than a decade after Kennedy was assassinated, Richard M. Nixon lied to his staff, Congress, and the American people in order to wage war in Cambodia. It is difficult to imagine a more egregious action than to secretly use the American military to violate international law, kill innocent people, and wage an unauthorized and unlawful war. Yet, in 1974 the House Judiciary Committee rejected articles of impeachment against President Nixon for the secret bombings/killings in Cambodia (instead, approving articles to impeach for complicity in criminal actions related to the cover-up of the Watergate break-in).
Again, there is no dispute that Nixon lied and unlawfully caused the deaths of many innocent Cambodians by ordering the military to wage war in Cambodia. And, the issue here is not whether that was morally or legally wrong, but why the American people didn’t ask the obvious question:
Who else knew that President Nixon was directly lying to the American people about enlargement of the “Vietnam War”?
There had to be a great many people who either knew or should have known. Both the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force denied knowledge of the bombings and incursions into Laos and Cambodia. Key White House staffers were plainly kept “out of the loop”. Still, there had to be many who had to know and kept this secret. Kissinger knew and also lied about it.
If the American government can wage a war that can be kept secret from the American people, then what other secrets can it keep (as in our other questions herein)? What lack of transparency and accountability must exist for such events to occur? But even more astounding is the fact that even after the lies and conspiracy were discovered, the American people chose not to ask the bigger questions.
Most Americans deem themselves a “Christian”. While most are not Catholic, they have general understanding of the role of the Catholics in church history. The Catholic Church has never made it a secret that they have a “secret library” (http://asv.vatican.va/en/arch/1_past.htm) with over 50 miles of bookshelves. Even the index (reputedly incomplete) is secret. This simply begs the question of what might be within this massive storehouse of texts, letters, and records and why should it be so secret.
We need not guess about its contents – our concern is why Christians don’t seem to care? No other large religious group has such a collection, so we can’t presume that it is just something that everyone expects: my Church should have a massive secret library that virtually no one can access and I shouldn’t even ask about its contents. They don’t. But then, when you get right down to it, Christians tend to be among the least inquisitive people around – apparently because they’re accustomed to accepting things on “faith”.
Hopefully, there will come a day when some Christian asks the question: “Why does the Vatican have a library of historical works that it refuses to share with scholars?”, and we’ll actually get a coherent answer.
Does the government possess evidence regarding alien life that it has not shared with the public? If not, then why doesn’t some seemingly trusted public official (like the President) come out and end most of the doubt – “Ladies and gentlemen, after an extensive investigation by trusted high level White House staff, I can stand here and tell you that the government of the United States does not have ANY evidence related to extraterrestrials or alien life that it has not made public.” Of course, there will always be some out there who wouldn’t believe any politician, but at least we’d have them on record with a definitive answer.
Until such a statement is made, we are left to conclude that the conspiracy theorists are right and that the government has the bodies of aliens frozen away somewhere; that the government doesn’t trust us to deal with the truth (a given); and that aliens are probably the ones really in control of Congress. (How else can you explain their behavior?)
If our government isn’t controlled by aliens, then perhaps there are others who do pull the strings in Washington. Likely candidates would be a cadre of the super-wealthy, a consortium of mega-business agents, or a secret cartel of international power brokers controlled by aliens or the Catholic Church. Who knows? We certainly don’t. Americans are amazingly uncaring about their “representatives” in government. They don’t care how they got onto the ballot, whether they actually have a “platform” or real positions on issues, or their hands in someone else’s pockets (for any number of reasons).
To what extent is the government of the United States controlled by “special interests”? Under the current system, we’ll never know. And, since we simply don’t ask for or demand either transparency or accountability, our politicians have free reign to rain (as in “golden shower”) on us. It is simply pathetic to see such blessed people undermine their own and their children’s future through such apathy. I don’t understand it at all. But then, perhaps the answer to all these matters lies in the final question that we don’t ask…
If you ask 100 semi-intelligent mature people what matters most to them, they’ll mostly say something like “my children’s future” (or “the human future”). If you ask them what it is that is most likely to offer their children the best and brightest future, they’ll generally say: “a good education”. Finally, if you ask them about the state of American education they’ll almost universally say “IT SUCKS!”
That’s not the craziest part – although it is pretty crazy. The craziest part is that EVERYONE has an answer – a solution to our educational problems. In part, that’s because everyone is an expert - having spent over 12 years as observers and victims. But it is equally easy to idealize education. That is to say that almost anyone can come up with ideas about what education should be like and how it should be accomplished. Given this remarkable fact, our question has to be:
Why is there such a large discrepancy between idealism and actuality in public education?
If education is the key to a better future and it’s incredibly easy to come up with ideal ideas for educating, then we can only wonder why the actuality in our system is so much less than those ideals. We can also wonder why more people aren’t asking the question.
Questions deserve answers and bigger more important questions deserve good answers. I’m not suggesting that the questions here are bigger or more significant than others – only that they deserve to be asked. The mechanism by which people avoid the cognitive dissonance that is inherent in such questions is worthy of further analysis and that will be the goal of our next essay on the subject.
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