An absence of critical thinking

“You can observe a lot by watching.” — Yogi Berra

One of the things you can’t help but run into online is some mention of the huge issue of sex trafficking. This is usually in the guise that it is a bigger issue than the virus and we should spend more time on it than we do on the virus. In fact, one person suggested that masks make it easier for children to be abducted, so we need to be ever vigilant or they could be snatched in the grocery store parking lot.

Let’s get one thing straight from the outset. Sex trafficking exists. No one is denying that. The question is how big of an issue is it really? So, in order to do that I’m going to practice a little bit of critical thinking. I know, it’s a crazy thought, but let’s give it a shot and see if it sticks.

How many of you know someone that has been abducted? I’m not even getting into the sex trafficking portion of this yet. We are just talking about kidnapping here. Mind you, I’m not even busting out numbers. This is pure common sense. If you don’t know anyone that this has happened to then how could it be that widespread?

If you do know someone that has been adducted, who was it that abducted the child? I don’t need to bust out numbers. Again, this is common sense. The majority of child abductions are done by non-custodial parents or someone the child knows. What is the likelihood that the non-custodial parent is selling the child into slavery?

Finally, for the folks that think masks make it easier for children to be abducted in the store parking lot, have we seen a rash of child abductions since March? Is this a serious situation that no one is talking about? Again, I refer you to the first questions I asked. Ignore media coverage (or lack thereof) for a moment. Do you know anyone that this has happened to?

The media coverage is the next angle where we’re being asked to go down the rabbit hole. See, the mainstream media isn’t reporting this. Why aren’t they reporting this? Well, if we are to believe the conspiracy theorists then it is because they are in on the conspiracy. So, their silence makes them complicit. If you aren’t trumpeting the cause then they must be a sex trafficker. Suddenly, nearly all of the ex-presidents are in on it too. The only one that isn’t is the only one that has ever been directly accused of raping a child. See, that’s a part of their plan. It’s an elaborate scheme to discredit the guy that is trying to fight this massive conspiracy.

Let me show you how this works. I think all of us can agree sex trafficking is wrong. We can also agree sex with animals is wrong. If that’s the case then why aren’t we seeing people in the halls of Congress, state legislatures, and Hollywood breaking down our proverbial doors to warn us about the huge problem that is beastiality? There are two conclusions that can be reached. See if you can see which one is more reasonable. Either, those groups (and the media) have determined that while horribly grotesque and obviously immoral, beastiality is not a widespread issue. The other possibility is that there is a huge conspiracy of people covering up beastiality. They are all doing it. Maybe there are Hollywood orgy parties where everyone brings their own goat.

This isn’t to make light of sex trafficking (or beastiality). It’s about putting things in their proper perspective. A part of figuring out proper perspective is figuring out the scope of the problem. This is not only the numbers, but more specifically who. We aren’t talking about Sally being taken from the HEB parking lot when she got temporarily separated from her mother. Again, put down the Q drivel and ask yourself this question: do I know anyone that this has actually happened to?

If we aren’t talking about Sally then who are we talking about? I would wager we are talking about girls (primarily girls) that have been brought in from other countries illegally. Maybe they were trafficked against their will or maybe they were trying to get here and this was the means they needed to do it. Either way, it is a horrible existence. It also doesn’t involve George W. Bush, Tom Hanks, or any of the Clintons.

Imagine you are a reporter. You have credible information that involves any of those people and a sex trafficking ring. Either they were directly involved or you have direct evidence that they had direct evidence and did nothing about it. Aren’t you reporting that? Wouldn’t that make your career? Everyone wants to be the next Woodward and Bernstein. Everyone wants to have those guys working for their paper, station, or website. They aren’t holding the story out of fealty to any of those ex-presidents or celebrities or because some overlord in some luxury cave has told them to do so.

Again, this is about critical thinking and common sense. We are rapidly seeing a chalk line around common sense and a number of us can’t even identify the victim. Some may reasonably ask what it hurts to concern yourself with a more minor issue like sex trafficking. It doesn’t. As long as we come to the issue with open eyes and a firm understanding of what exactly we’re talking about. In an earlier post I did say we are able to concentrate on more than one issue at a time. Still, everyone has a certain amount of bandwidth. If I choose to tackle the “beastiality problem” then there is another problem on the list I can’t tackle. That problem is a bigger problem in all likelihood. That’s one of the issues here. The other problem is what I like to call lazy thinking. It is the jumping to conclusions that when someone doesn’t give a full throated response to sex trafficking then they either support it or are sex traffickers themselves. Again, does that make any sense?

As someone pointed out, most people are simply copying this from a post they saw and thought to themselves, “damn straight!” See, there’s not a sane person that could be for sex trafficking. So, you see it and nod in agreement without stopping to think about the particulars of the argument. It is classic “whataboutism” or what I called “yeah…but”. Whenever talks about a big issue we either shift the discussion to a more minor issue or we try to impeach the integrity of the person involved in the other argument by suggesting they are complicit

Author: sbarzilla

I have written three books about baseball including The Hall of Fame Index. I also write for You can follow me on twitter @sbarzilla.

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