January 3, 2011
Unpalatable Truths and Delicious LiesBy Sibyl West
If you want to insult someone, then tell him something he doesn't already know, even if it is true and for his benefit. If you want to gain approval and successfully use people, then cover your intent with familiar language and ideas that are dear to them, things they believe they know well.
Our leftist in chief cloaks his efforts at demolishing the foundations of our representative republic in platitudes and false promises. He plays the Bammy Boppers like a Stradivarius. He lulls them like a hunter who plays the flute so that the deer will hold still as they listen, making the target that much easier for the killer to strike.
On moderation and moderates
Moderation is good when it comes to most personal behaviors -- eating, spending, sports, sex. Too much of any good thing -- even something as life-giving as sunshine -- can be detrimental.
But there can be no moderation in regard to moral principle. Since what is good leads to success and what is evil leads to failure, in any compromise with evil, it is only evil that wins, bringing failure a step closer. Witness the direction of American society in the last fifty to eighty years as the moral guidelines of the Ten Commandments and U.S. Constitution have been marginalized and then rejected.
A moderate is someone whose chief goal is to be included and liked by everyone. Invariably, he ends up being respected by no one, a reality that he studiously neglects to notice. A moderate is someone who is so open-minded that his brain has fallen out, whose singular distinguishing characteristic is his inability to take a stand, whose chief virtue is a complete absence of the instinct of self-preservation.
Moderates do not play to win. They are playing not to lose, or else they pretend to be just playing by moving their arms and legs, creating a new committee or having another meeting, keeping the minutes but losing the hours. (Richard Harkness' observation -- "A committee is a group of the unwilling chosen from the unfit, to do the unnecessary" -- comes to mind.)
In other words, moderates hold back. Why? Because becoming an individual, living out their God-given nature to the fullest, is just too damned scary to even attempt.
There is a term in Sanskrit for such as these: praja, those who are born. The leader is called Prajapati -- literally "father," but also one who takes care and protects like a father those who are born. (I feel the need to explain this because government has attempted to make fathers obsolete.) It is an observable fact that most human beings on this planet cannot think, but can only feel. They need and even prefer someone else to make decisions for them -- an attitude which has a bonus advantage in that if anything goes wrong, they can easily put the blame on someone else.
The impersonal moderates have obliterated that one problem if nothing else. The inherent virtue of a committee is that no one identifiable person is responsible for anything.
On the vanishing American spirit
The strange phenomenon I discovered upon my return to the U.S. is that all Americans are opinionated, but seldom as the result of their thinking through problems logically. Instead, many seem to have bought their ideas and conclusions prêt-à-porter, ready-made and off the rack of the modern media factory. Yes, regular Americans seem "self-confident," but theirs is more often than not a conviction based upon hype, imagination, and lack of confrontation in their peaceful, and what many perceive as stupendously boring, lives.
People in general crave change and excitement because 1) the nature of the uncultivated mind is fickleness and dissatisfaction, and 2) excitement has been touted as fashionable. And the misery that always accompanies excitement is a ready cause for sympathy and attention from others, which is always welcome.
Will we let it be said that the only thing Americans are exceptional at anymore is a peculiar species of pathetic, self-absorbed whining?
Personal responsibility, with all the uncertainty it brings, is the inconvenient fact of life for those who have chosen what Samuel Adams called "the animating contest of freedom" over "the tranquility of servitude." Freedom to choose; freedom to give and withhold consent; freedom of voluntary and therefore wholehearted participation; freedom to try, to fail, and to ultimately win, to create a new and improved version of something already existing and to claim ownership -- all these constitute the brass ring, the prize reserved for those whose motto is "In God We Trust." This I perceive, in my more than half a century of observation and experience, as what constitutes the American spirit.
Sibyl West blogs at ramparts360.com.