War on Flipflops (and “isms”)

1200px-Flip_flops_-_just_pick_one_upI am starting a war on flipflops, don’t hate me if you wear them. I know what you are thinking, how can you have a war on a type of shoe?  But it’s no different than a war on drugs (a thing) or a war on terrorism (a violent political act), and it has about the same odds of success.

I didn’t always hate flipflops, especially when used for their originally intended purpose, hanging at the beach sipping a margarita, or protecting your feet from some strange fungus at the gym shower. But now they are being worn everywhere in every situation; weddings, bar mitzvahs, airports, churches. I know, I know, Jesus wore sandals, but he DID NOT wear rubber flipflops on long flights. The last thing I want to smell on a 4-hour flight is someone’s feet.  And what if fate was not on your side and the plane crashes and was surrounded by burning fuel, do you think it’s wise to run through that in flip flops?  Those flipflops would melt like marshmallows at a bonfire.

And have you seen people’s feet; they are not pretty? Why would anyone want to expose them to the view of others? Somethings are better left covered and out of sight, like cellulite and politicians.

To fight a war my military training says you must develop a campaign plan that focuses on the 4 elements of national power: diplomatic, informational, military, and economic. Us military types like to find an acronym for everything so we refer to this construct as DIME. If your DIME plan does not work, you end up FUBAR, like we currently are in Afghanistan. For my diplomatic line of effort I would get the Department of Homeland Security to prevent anyone from entering the country who was wearing flip flops, we’ve stopped good people for less. If they didn’t have the good sense to wear practical shoes when travelling how can we trust them with important things, like recycling.  For my informational campaign I would hack Facebook and Google and spread disinformation on the ill effects of wearing flip flops, (i.e. hammertoe, hoof and mouth disease, and Ebola). And I would plant fake news stories in the National Enquirer like flipflopgate, about a baby kidnapping ring led by crazed flipflop wearing pedophiles, or a secret society of flip flop wearing Masonites running the country from a cave in West Virginia. After that I would revert to our national strength and for the military element of power I would call in F-35 precision airstrikes on all flip-flop factories across the world. And I would also enlist Seal team 6 and some Delta Force special operators to take out the CEOs of flipflop manufacturing companies, (It would make a great movie). Lastly, for the economic element of power I would install an expensive “leisure” tax on all flip flops, and huge tariffs for foreign firms wanting to import them. Nothing kills global trade better than a tariff. Before I execute this plan I would of course invest my life savings in traditional sandal making companies and upon the successful completion of my flipflop campaign plan and the decimation of the flip flop market I would cash in my investments and retire to a South American country and buy a nice beachfront property where I could sip margaritas and wear flips flops on the beach, as originally intended.

I can guess what you are probably thinking at this point, “Roger, I know a good therapist you should see”, or maybe “Roger, why don’t you expend your energies tackling a more significant issue.” You’re right, so I gave some thought about conducting a War on War and it does have a good acronym (WoW). But isn’t a war on war kinda an oxymoron, like military intelligence?  And besides, taking on the Military Industrial Complex is an incredibly daunting task, like dieting or exercise or giving up bourbon. So, I puzzled and puzzled until my puzzler got sore and realized that maybe I should start a war on hatred and “isms”. By “isms” I mean things like racism, sexism, alcoholism, capitalism, chauvinism, communism, misogynism, narcism, nazism, radicalism, etc. To quote the great philosopher Ferris Bueller, “It’s not that I support fascism or any ism for that matter. Isms in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.”

I must admit there are a few good “isms” that I would like to keep; pacifism – which is defined as the doctrine that all violence is unjustifiable. I am also a fan of the Dalai Lama who follows Buddhism and I also like a similar philosophy Taoism, which is a philosophical system developed by Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu advocating a simple honest life and noninterference with the course of natural events. Lastly, with our current uncivil and intellectually devoid political discourse I think we need to bring back Truism, which is an obvious statement of fact. The absence of facts and belief in science by some of our political leaders and their followers is disconcerting to say the least. It reminds me of the matrix movie series where Morpheus says, “You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.” I’m afraid that too many Americans have taken the blue pill.

Maybe we could bring back Trumanism too, which I define as taking responsibility for your acts. Similarly, the Dalai Lama’s “Instruction for Life” says follow the three R’s; respect for self, respect for other, responsibility for all your actions. That’s really good advice for all. And lastly, the good book says we should love thy neighbor as thyself, also good advice. It does not say only love them if they are white or black, male or female, Protestant or Muslim, straight or gay, liberal or conservative. It just says love them. Period. Dot.

So yes, I have decided to start a war on hate and the bad “isms”.  I haven’t developed a campaign plan yet, or a snappy acronym. But we could call it Operation Love and airdrop food on poor people, and fund better education throughout our country. Because I don’t think that we are born with hate in our heart, it is a learned behavior and we need to stop the vicious cycle of teaching our youth to hate.

Maybe this is an overly ambitious war to take on, it probably is, but it is the right war to fight. But I can’t win it alone, to quote John Lennon again, “You may say that I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.”

Of course the song for this blog is Imagine by John Lennon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOgFZfRVaww

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