Politically Incorrect New Year’s Resolutions
We live in an expanding culture of victimhood fueled by identity politics. Americans are supposedly saved from themselves by a new hipster generation of Silicon Valley zillionaires, socially aware techies, progressive government bureaucrats, crusading liberal journalists, and cranky, mostly irrelevant academics. So why do they not address the need for politically correct self-policing? Here are five examples of how postmodern do-gooders could help the nation in 2016.
The left believes a corporation or business is ultimately financially responsible for the unanticipated consequences of using its product. Smoke too many cigarettes and the tobacco companies are sued for knowingly having tar and nicotine in their products. We go after fast food and super-sized drinks for inundating unaware Americans with trans fats and processed sugar. Design flaws earn auto companies billions of dollars in recalls and fines.
But why do we ignore smart-phone companies? Studies supposedly reveal that texting or net surfing while driving is a greater impairment than is driving while under the influence. How many of us have seen 20-ton semi-trucks weave down mountain passes, as a 20-something driver is glued to the opiate-like device on his lap? Doesn’t Apple know how its product is being misused and causing death and mayhem—or has it commissioned some secret study showing that its devices are as addictive as painkillers and therefore essential for expanding sales?
Shouldn’t a benevolent government agency in 2016—in the fashion that it regulates less-lethal handguns—go after iPhones to block their use while the user is in motion? Cannot Obama’s consumer protection bureaucrats put an “automatic motion shut-off app” on every smart phone? In one day last week, a vagrant with shopping cart walked into my bumper at a crosswalk while texting, a young woman slammed on her brakes in front of me during a bottleneck while texting, and a driver went off the road into the gravel. Again, all were texting. How about a microchip to turn these gadgets off once they are in motion? Wouldn’t that remedy be as humane and socially aware as trigger locks on new handguns? Could we register lethal iPhones?