From: Gene Thiele


In America, we tend to focus on the symptoms of social/political problems rather than addressing the core of a problem. Treating only the symptom leaves the core, and therefore the problem, unattended.

We treat drunk driving (the symptom) by fining and restricting the access of the drivers. These drivers appear to have an alcohol problem (the core). If the driver’s alcohol problem is not addressed we are destined to have repeat offenders.

Nationally, around 92 percent of abortions (the symptom) are due to inconvenient pregnancies (the core). Around 1 percent of abortions are the result of rape or incest. Yet the debate continues to revolve around the legality/morality of the abortion itself. If we could eliminate the inconvenient pregnancy, we might solve 92 percent of the problem.

In dealing with mass shootings we focus on the gun (the symptom) and seldom delve into the violence (the core). Why do some people think it’s OK to kill people? It appears these killers are almost exclusively anti-social young men with absent fathers. If we could reduce this group in our society perhaps law-abiding citizens could actually keep their guns.

While discussing the massive influx of illegal immigrants (the symptom) we often ignore the economy/society in Mexico (the core). If Mexico were a more pleasant place for its citizens to live, and not just for tourists, strides could be taken to reduce the problem. And comparing a wall to stem illegal immigration to a wall used to confine people within a despotic state is profane.

If we don’t start looking beyond the symptom and seek a solution to the core of the problems we face, they will continue to plague us.