It’s that time of year when we clean up the remnants of Christmas and set about to deal with various personal issues, known popularly as New Year’s Resolutions. It’s a way of greeting a new year with a new idea, one that will benefit us in some way. We resolve to lose weight or stop smoking, or ask that hot blonde out on a date. Usually though, it’s the smaller resolutions that we wind up keeping. The goal is personal improvement.
A resolution is merely a facet of your own personal philosophy. Philosophy is one of the four “P’s” here, although another “P” remains the most popular, namely Pulchritude, as the post on Carla Bruni is still number one on the all-time hit list.
Hey, all work and no play make a dull Boy. Now, where was I?
We all have philosophies. While they might not reach the historic heights of a Plato or a Socrates, philosophies direct our lives in less lofty ways. Everyday tasks are guided by them, such as raising children, getting the best deal at the grocery store or being kind to an irritating coworker.
Philosophy is so tightly woven into our lives that we hardly think of it. We take notice most often when we observe someone else’s philosophy, especially when it runs counter to our own. When it comes to the big issues, oh, say, politics, philosophy becomes extremely important, especially when it runs counter to our personal and national spirit.
Last November’s mid-term election was a good example of competing philosophies. For two years, we’ve had one political party in control in Washington, progressive Democrats. Actually, they’ve been in control of Congress and the nation’s purse strings since January of 2007 when Democrats gained a majority and Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House of Representatives. I remember then-President Bush welcoming her with an attitude not unlike the leader of the band aboard the Titanic. He looked to be accepting of her position, but I think he knew what the country was in for.
It was all political theater. Had Bush done his duty to the country, he would have warned us of the dangers we faced by electing someone with a progressive political philosophy. He would have told us that we could look forward to skyrocketing debt, record levels of unemployment and people on food stamps as a direct result of progressive philosophy. He would have told us that progressives favor governmental intrusion into previously ignored parts of American life. He would have told us that Washington would take over large sections of the economy in their zeal for power and control, with the resulting loss of personal freedom. He would have told the country that their philosophy ran counter to the ideals ingrained in American culture such as personal responsibility, self-control, fiscal restraint and common sense. He would have told us that progressives are America’s domestic enemies.
But he didn’t.
What led to their ascendency in the elections of 2006? Before then, Republican progressives were in control of Congress, busy implementing governmental intrusion into previously ignored parts of American life, albeit more slowly. The nation, alarmed by what they saw as a government out of control, decided that Democrats could somehow do a better job. Again, hindsight proves to be very illuminating.
We screwed up, grandly and gloriously.
It’s very important for us to establish a political philosophy as a nation, and use it to guide our decisions and pick our leaders. Here are our two choices,
1. Progressives who want an ever-expanding role into our lives, ignoring the limits of our Framers, with the resulting loss of freedom and accountability.
2. Conservatives who want a decreasing role in our lives, with the resulting increase in personal responsibility, freedom and opportunity.
In other words, either we can or we can’t. One restricts, the other one doesn’t.
One of these ways is our heritage. The other is new to us, literally foreign in concept and anathema to our national spirit. We’ve always had a “can-do” attitude. That spirit has served to define us as a country because it dwelled in our hearts. However, the rise of the revolutionary 60’s birthed a completely different spirit. Contained within that youthful rebellion against authority was also a spirit that rejected everything that made us what we were. Intellectually impressionable youngsters were taught (improperly and on purpose) that somehow, because America had a few warts, the whole concept of America was somehow flawed, that we were unable to correct our societal shortcomings. In fact, our history is filled with examples of us righting our wrongs by ourselves.
Other countries have tried central planning through an all-powerful state, and it has never proven to serve the people it promised to serve, always resulting instead in needless suffering and misery. Socialism, (or Marxism, or Communism, it’s the same soul-destroying philosophy of “no” with a different name), never fails to fail. Our short two-year experiment in extreme government has also been a disaster. Results do matter.
The reason why the philosophy of “no” fails so spectacularly every time it’s tried is that the human spirit seeks to be free. Governmental restrictions on our good nature for no reason breed a well-earned contempt. A mature adult, grounded in reality, needs no such artificial restrictions. Indeed, that person won’t even need a government at all, since he or she has the self-control that renders government superfluous. That type of perfection comes from within. Any effort to impose it from the outside runs into resistance, as it should.
So, gentle reader, as you enter this upcoming New Year, resolve to be your best. The rest will fall into place in a peaceful and natural way.