Cliché policing: Putting answers before questions
As Gertrude Stein lay on her deathbed, a friend asked her, “Gertrude, what’s the answer?” Gertrude replied, “What’s the question?” In our media driven world, politicians and bureaucrats are addicted to the answer-before-question quick fix before taking time to really understand a problem. The result is that often the solution does more harm than the problem itself.
This rush to solution-before-problem is a primary flaw of politics and policing. Examples: In the United States, Prohibition in the 1920s; Rodney King, Waco and Ruby Ridge in the 1990s. In Canada, the Firearms Registry, which was supposed to cost $2 million but ended up at $1 billion and growing. In the process, 2 million new criminals are created because many law-abiding gun owners refuse to register. In all cases, the overkill solution caused many times more social and financial harm than the problem ever could have. The first place bureaucrats look for solutions to their problems is the public’s pocket. Rarely do they suggest working harder or smarter themselves as the solution...