Jeb Bush said “Stuff Happens” in response to a mass shooting; I wish he and other politicians would say it more often.
Jeb Bush is low on the polls, which I assume explains why he is speaking such common sense lately. The CNN headline tells us, “Democrats pounce as Bush defends ‘stuff happens’ remarks.”
Jeb Bush is defending a comment he made Friday afternoon in the wake of the Oregon college shooting, when he said “stuff happens,” and argued that officials should fight the impulse to react to tragedies with more government.
“We’re in a difficult time in our country and I don’t think more government is necessarily the answer to this. I think we need to reconnect ourselves with everybody else. It’s very sad to see. I resist the notion,” Bush said at a campaign stop in South Carolina. “I had this challenge as governor, ’cause we had, look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis. And the impulse is always to do something and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”
For a career politician, this was a brilliant insight. The entire engine of politics is convincing the public that everything bad that happens in life is the result of politicians not “doing more.” Without politicians “taking action” life is not worth living. It is full of pain and frustration. But politicians treat every single bad thing that happens as a call to make new laws or implement new policies (with new spending, or at least mandated spending on the part of local governments).
We would be immeasurably better off if, instead of saying he would violate free market principles to “save” the free market, George W. Bush had said “stuff happens.” While it would not have been completely true, because the financial crisis was caused by irresponsible action by the Federal Reserve and other parts of our government, it would have been a much better way to deal with the crisis.
Likewise, a policy of discouraging “gun-free zones” (which are never gun free when a shooter decides he doesn’t care what a sign says) would result in a huge increase in the security and safety of people. It is not strictly true that “stuff happens.” Rather, when you allow criminals to know where they can find “soft targets” you increase the chances of “stuff happening” in those areas.
Naturally, politicians typically don’t think about “taking action” by walking back political rules (or discouraging the derivative social rules that are adopted mainly due to political propaganda). They want new rules and new spending. Everything bad that happens is because we don’t have another law or another policy and more spending.
Thus, Democrats are using Jeb Bush to restate their political superstitions.
Democrats were quick to hop on the language as tone deaf, and President Barack Obama indirectly criticized his remarks when asked about it during a White House briefing.
“I don’t even think I have to react to that one. I think the American people should hear that and make their own judgments based on the fact that every couple of months we have a mass shooting,” he said. “And they can decide if they consider that ‘stuff happening.'”
Yes, Americans should make their own judgments. Hopefully their judgment will be based on rationality, not Obama’s religious faith in political action to “save” society.
Of course, one element in the superstition is to exaggerate how many people are endangered by mass shootings.
The main element in the superstition is that the solution to social problems is to empower politicians and their organization (government) by making society more helpless and dependent. All we need to do is disarm more people and everyone will be better off.
Sadly (though it isn’t surprising), Bush pulled back on his comment and claimed he wasn’t talking about the Umpqua shooting.
It is worth nothing that Donald Trump said something similar about a government response to mass shootings earlier:
“You’re going to have these things happen and it’s a horrible thing to behold, horrible,” Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“It’s not politically correct to say that, but you’re going to have difficulty and that will be for the next million years, there’s going to be difficulty and people are going to slip through the cracks,” Trump added. “What are you going to do, institutionalize everybody?”
But that is essentially the Liberal solution to all problems in society. Whenever stuff happens, they use it as an excuse to institutionalize. There is no other result possible than institutionalizing everybody. After all, an institution is simply a place where people have no freedom and no privacy. The liberal agenda is simply to turn the world into an institution.