What if there’s no solution?

What if there’s no solution?

Rosanne Skopp

It’s a human expectation that we can find solutions to our problems.

What if that’s not true? What if, despite herculean efforts, brilliant minds bonding together, monumental financial investments, and tremendous drive, solutions are not solutions at all?

Just to be obvious, let’s start with a current societal issue, Trump and Trumpism. A serially indicted former American president should now be in the footnotes of history, not launching a terrifying comeback with the support of millions of Americans. That this is unexpected is a gross understatement. We are, after all, in America, a civilized, peace-loving nation.

It is, therefore, totally shocking that so many millions of our fellow citizens commit themselves to advancing the despicable goals of a confidence man. It is clearly not a foregone conclusion that this reprehensible man will not once again be elected to the presidency of this nation. How is this possibly happening when our intelligentsia, our television pundits, our legal scholars, our newspapers and magazine publishers, writing cogently, coherently, and persuasively, are constantly educating us to the fantastic foolish folly of reelecting this man? It is like thre is a runaway train armed with a nuclear weapon and ignorant citizens urge the train to come closer, to detonate. It is an undeniable, enormous problem. What and where is the solution?

Not every problem has a solution.

Talk to me about migrants. This is a problem that is worsening, despite incredibly expensive deterrents. There is a seemingly endless influx of illegal immigrants seeking and gaining entry to our country. They want to be here so badly that their efforts risk their own lives and, often, the lives of their children. Our nation strives to encourage legal entry but that requires years of delay for those who already are living in abject poverty and in life-threatening circumstances. The problem grows exponentially. No solution is in sight. It strikes me as sophomoric to see a great nation with tremendous technical skills resorting to building walls to keep out refugees, knowing that this so-called solution remains ultimately ineffective.

Not every problem has a solution.

Sometimes the problem is more isolated, but continues to be impactful. Has New York City been successful in dealing with its rats? Just ask any rat! They are unimpressed that the city now has a rat czar. They are more impressed with the proliferation of new dining opportunities, since so many restaurants now have outdoor eating space. For a rat, this is true wish fulfillment, an all-you-can-eat buffet of delicacies, czar or no czar. They have found the Garden of Eden, and it stretches throughout the big city.

But of course people and rats have been sparring for space and power for thousands of years. Why expect that now things will improve? No doubt at all that the rats will emerge fatter, fuller, and more fertile, victoriously refusing to bow before the rat czar.

Can we talk about global warming? It seems pretty clear that this is a genuine and awesome phenomenon. It also seems obvious that, unless the world can unite to solve it, it’s going to get worse very quickly, causing endless planetary and human destruction, perhaps eventually even eradicating our species. Not to be dramatic, but ignoring it won’t make it go away, and the land and lives of our progeny are truly at stake. But if you’re fighting endless wars against the powerful in other countries, you have no right to expect that you can put your collective heads together to fight the elements of climate change. And since countries are far more likely to stand their ground on their own turf than to work collectively to alleviate an overwhelming threat to all countries, just forget about it. It’s never going to happen.

This clearly brings us to international war. One problem we have successfully managed to solve is how easy it is to kill vast numbers of people quickly and easily. Amazing, right? People can be destroyed instantly. But can the wars they so readily foment actually be stopped?

If mankind survives to have history at all, historians will have good laughs at the United Nations and its predecessor, the League of Nations. Groups like NATO and other alliances will continue to be ineffective and largely irrelevant. Wars are inevitable, juvenile, immature, and serve only to enhance the egomania of people like Putin and Hitler and their endless colleagues throughout history, throughout the world. Yet billions of people latch onto these despots and die for them.

No solution is in sight.

Is gun control in the United States also a problem with no solution? When the innocence of school children is constantly challenged by lunatics aiming guns at them and when so many of our politicians stand in fearful attention to the insane whims of the gun industry, citing an archaic Second Amendment to the Constitution, where is the solution? The truly obscene rhetoric drowns out the real reason that guns propagate. They are a big money maker!

And what about Israel? Bibi and his gang cannot seem to be stopped, no matter how many demonstrations, highway blockages, and endless sacrifices of time and energy moderate Israelis are investing into the battle. My 80-year-old sister in Herzliya drags herself out every Saturday night to protest the devastating undemocratic government that seeks to end the dreams we all harbor about our Israel. She is, thankfully, far from alone in this unending battle. She is joined by endless masses of average citizens, police, and military, who seek the return to fair and decent government in the land in which they have lived, loved, and sacrificed.

When the name Meir Kahane is cheered, I know this is not the Israel of my heart. When Aryeh Deri, convicted criminal, is again part of the government, something is seriously wrong. And when Bibi himself forms alliances whose goal is to keep him out of jail, a tragedy is unfolding before our very eyes. Are we all so impotent? Obviously we are.

How about old age? In our present generation we are confronted by serial elders who think they can defy and deny their biological clocks. These people, especially including prominent politicians, have latched onto power and are reluctant to admit their own weakness. I am an old woman. I am compelled to admit that I suffer the indignities and incompetence of my own old age, the clumsiness of it, the exhaustion of doing daily tasks, the foggy thinking and the realization that my best days are behind me, that I will never be more energetic, more clear-headed, with the knowledge that the spiral is downward, each day being more demonstrative of the profound truth that I am less than I was, and more than I will be. Understanding it on a personal level commits me to yearning for those realists who can see for themselves that they cannot and should not proceed.

They are all over the political spectrum in the United States. They do not belong in leadership positions. I see with a particularly realistic eye, an eye toward learned behavior, an eye trained to distinguish incompetence. I too put on a good front whenever possible, but I am not entrusted with the power of presidency or the Senate or any other crucially important elected position. How do we get these people to retire gracefully and become elder statesmen? To resign before they do something devastating? Is there no solution to this problem that is constantly unfolding before our very eyes?

Chances are overwhelming that we will again elect people to offices for which they are simply too old. Take it from me. Too old is too old! Too old is frightening and dangerous. And yet we face the unsolvable problem: We have very old candidates seeking the presidency of this nation.

It’s time for us to understand that our battles often are predestined to be lost. That’s the problem. There is no obvious solution.

You can contact me at rosanne.skopp@gmail.com

Rosanne Skopp of West Orange is a wife, mother of four, grandmother of 14, and great-grandmother of three. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and a dual citizen of the United States and Israel. She is a lifelong blogger, writing blogs before anyone knew what a blog was!

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