donald trump (las vegas rally1)

*Donald Trump wants the United States to impose a moratorium on Muslims coming to America, because they are the only extremist group in America who plot to kill and destroy!

Of course, that’s not true! But since most people are led by fear instead of educated decision-making – and Muslim extremists are the latest face of our fears – Trump is going to ride that wave, possibly to the Republican presidential nominee position.

The facts never are as attractive as a lie. The truth is the number of Americans killed by terrorism in the last decade (since 2005) is less than fifty, if you include the fourteen people killed by Islam extremist Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, in San Bernadino two weeks ago. The number of Americans killed by gun violence in the same time is more than 280,000. That includes shootings in the workplace, at malls, movie theatres, churches and college campuses. In fact – despite the number of shootings that have occurred at colleges around the country – Texas is just one state that still allows licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons in most public campus buildings.

So if – God forbid – somebody starts shooting in a classroom and somebody else shoots back in self-defense that increases the chance of innocent people getting killed. And it will be harder for police to determine the good guy(s) from the bad. But I digress.

Controlling gun violence should be addressed long before a moratorium is passed.

And what about the lack of jobs presidential candidates keep talking about. The U.S. Labor Department reported more than 425,000 jobs were created since September. Clearly there are jobs to be had, that’s not the problem. America has a talent management issue. That’s the problem. The question is what kinds of jobs are they and how much do they pay?

In the spirit of allowing people the freedom to choose military service or college and what career path to take America has allowed a dearth of computer scientists, engineers and technology-savvy people. It has led to these jobs being filled abroad. And it’s that freedom of choice that has led most Americans to less challenging career paths and lower wages.

Instead of using standardized tests just to determine whether students pass onto the next grade or graduate from high school, test results could be used to determine students’ vocational strengths and best suited career path. That’s how China does it. Instead of allowing students to pick their own careers, China steers children to certain careers based on the needs of that country. It might seem undemocratic or draconian to take away a child’s freedom of choice. But if doing so consistently will produce leaders in industries where they’re needed, decrease unemployment and improve the economy with better paying jobs the means would be worth the end. And in the end those same children most likely would end up happier adults.

Or we could keep doing it like we always have: Let people just follow their hearts, let their emotions be their guides and figure out on the back-end why there aren’t enough good paying jobs for a disappearing middle class.

Whoever ends up being president should appoint me U.S. secretary of education.

Steffanie Rivers

Steffanie Rivers

Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist who lives in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Email her at [email protected] for comments, questions or speaking inquiries.