Beware The Crusaders

Crusader has a dynamic ring to it.  It speaks of a person of action,with a cause, driven by passion.  Someone who does good.

Everyone has a favorite crusader. Before becoming president, Theodore Roosevelt was a crime-buster. He was police commissioner of New York where he not only fought departmental corruption -he personally patrolled the streets in the middle of the night!

Ghandi was a crusader for the independence a nation.  Using peaceful means such as civil disobedience, he galvanized millions and won liberation for India.

Susan B. Anthony’s committed efforts were pivotal in gaining the right to vote for women.

And then of course there’s Batman.

But there’s a dark side to the crusader game that ranges from  annoying to intrusive to outright unjust.  And upon closer inspection, many of the people bearing the standard of their cause, blowing trumpets and beating drums, are kind of… pathological. Some of these men and women are on a mission “raise awareness,” to save us from ourselves, to restrict our  rights “for their our own good”.They raise the alarm of crisis, build fear, play on emotion, create an emergency,  capitalize on ignorance, and eliminate alternatives, and make big promises.

The insidious problem is that on the surface,their goals seem sensible.  Noble, even. To argue against a moral ideal would be wrong.  So we are inclined to go along with their program, or at least give them a pass.  When the crusaders true motives and agendas are brought to light, a new and disturbing picture arises.

For example: Clean Air and Renewable Energy Crusaders.  Sounds good, right? Bring on the “bio-fuel”! Because the general population gave a shrug of tacit agreement, the government has mandated that the gasoline in your tank be diluted with ethanol. Ethanol is more expensive to bring to market, creates more smog than regular fossil fuel, decreases gas mileage by 30% or more, and is highly corrosive to your engine.  The diversion of grain away from the food market has been the largest contributing factor to the global food shortage.

A big win for the crusaders. A big loss for everyone else.

There are the health crusaders.  (A private business owner should be able to decide if he wants to allow smoking in his bar or not.  And I don’t want to pay a ‘fat tax’ on my fast food.)

The public safety crusaders. (I’m tired of insipid warning labels ruining everything. I say let natural selection remove the idiots who try to iron their clothes while they’re still wearing them)

Animal rights crusaders. (PETA and their pals want to eliminate all dietary meat, leather products, and even liberate your family pet!)

Global Warming crusaders. (Possibly the biggest scam in history. The climate of Earth has fluctuated forever.  Based on faulty / misleading data, and hyperbolic forecasts of doom, this crew is organizing the largest re-distribution of wealth ever.)

Political agenda crusaders. (If you feel strongly about an issue, by all means,get the word out.  But don’t hold a rally on the main street during rush hour and choke traffic for hours.)

Anti-drug crusaders.(How did Prohibition work out? Exactly.  Right now, the United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other civilized country in the world, largely on drug offenses.  It’s shameful)

Religious crusaders. (Every day in the news, Muslims are setting off bombs that kill and maim scores of innocent civilians.  Most of whom are also Muslim.  The murderers are lauded as heroes by their community)

And in my small corner of the world, there are “anti bully” crusaders.  For the most part,these crusaders fall into two camps: 1)  Politicians & 2) Damaged People.  The politicians are looking to score easy points. Anti-bullying is a popular cause, and there’s a ready made enemy to unite against.  With no opposition, they’re free to talk tough and push for action.

Sometimes, the damaged people have lost a loved one due to bullying (a tormentor takes the next step and actually kills, or their child commits suicide to escape from the cruelty of their peers).  I can’t begin to imagine the depths of their pain, and I can understand why they would need to devote themselves to doing something positive.  Seeking a way to find meaning in personal tragedy and spear-heading legislation intended to prevent another family from suffering so horribly makes sense. (Although I can’t see how it makes any measurable difference).

Often, the damaged crusader was the victim of bullying.  Their traumatic experiences have left deep scars that have never healed.  Inside, they harbor all the fears, the self-doubts, loneliness and rage of the bullied child they were. It comes through in the programs they create, too.  Sadly, being hit by a car doesn’t make you an authority on driving safety. You have to feel pity for these people who’ve never gotten themselves “sorted out”.

What about me? Well, I don’t claim to be the smartest guy in the world.  I haven’t invented some amazing new technique to transform bullies into best friends, or zap them instantly or any other such nonsense. There have been a lot of wise people throughout the ages that have discovered practical ways to decisively stop bullies. What I’ve done is assemble the best, most effective methods, organize the information, and streamline the process.

I am NOT a crusader.

The Caped Crusader

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