Who Cares About The Amtrak Crash?


I don’t. Why? Because I didn’t know anyone involved in the crash. Does that make me a callous or cold hearted person?

I don’t think it does. Rather this incident raises a salient question that permeates more than this specific tragedy and transcends the news de jour.

To that point, I ask this question: Does the Amtrak crash really matter? And going a step further, does any one-off tragedy matter?

The honest truth (and one that few want to admit, at least openly) is that from a logical and a public policy standpoint the answer has to be an emphatic “NO!” Don’t misinterpret my words. There are families who are in deep mourning right now and my heart goes out to them.

But the death of eight people in a nation of 315 million is microscopic. I apologize in advance for my lack of originality, but when has the media ever spent this much time denouncing black-on-black violence in Chicago or other cities which claim many more lives?

That’s precisely why it’s deeply frustrating and infuriating that the media and most politicians ignore the life-ending incidents of nameless (to the public) decedents around our nation and the globe.

In many cases, the finality of the lives of these souls are just as tragic as the victims the media uses to boost their ratings and politicians hijack to capitalize on to advance their pet policies.

Think about these stories: Sandy Hook, the Aurora, Colorado movie shooting, Gabby Giffords, Ferguson, Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner. What do they all have in common?

Every incident should have been a blip on the radar. But the media salivates at the anticipated ratings of covering such stories on what seems to be an endless cycle, only stopping when Americans get bored.

And politicians are happy to use such incidents to promote their agenda whether it be restricting the second amendment or stirring up public fervor over unsubstantiated claims of systematic police brutality.

Both parties are guilty. It just happens to be more prevalent among liberal Democrats whose entire goal is to expand the scope and reach of government.

So the question is this: Why are Americans so easily duped into experiencing vehement outrage over each of these events?

Here’s the simple answer.

Conservatives deal in logic while liberals prefer emotionalism. Yes, that’s quite simplistic, but nevertheless true on the broader scale.

Taking it a step deeper, conservatives and other limited government types are susceptible to the allure of storytelling and personalizing tragedies. That’s why marketing is so effective.

But on the whole, they are less susceptible than our friends on the other side. Suffice it to say, critical and analytical thinking isn’t for everyone.

One final note: Until liberals/progressives are persuaded to see the light (something that will likely never happen because as I stated earlier, they lack the cognitive ability for critical thought) public discourse will remain at imbecilic levels of Biden-like proportions. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, dear reader.

J.D. Thorpe is a libertarian writer who has been published in Townhall, the Daily Caller, the American Thinker and The Washington Times. His first book, Libertarianism and Christianity, is set to be released in the fall of 2015.