Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Fear of Failure Guides Them

In the interest of full disclosure, and so that there is no confusion about my point of view, I am what most would describe as a Libertarian with a life long (43 years in 2010) absence of any religious following. I believe the power of life, love and creativity lies in the individual and that those things are ground up and die in the gears of the collective. Having established that… If there is a god, please help us.  Now.  Please.

I just read this New York Times opinion piece off of a link at JammieWearingFool. The Times article is written by Gail Collins and can only be described as a newspaper sponsored public relations piece for current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In fact, she begins the article by suggesting that we “sing a song about the wonderfulness of Nancy Pelosi.” I realize that the Times is considered a Liberal media outlet but even I was surprised at how many commenters gushingly agreed with Collin’s assessment/ringing endorsement of Nancy.

My conclusion, which leads to a fundamental explanation of the Liberal mindset, is that there are a substantial number of people that are not willing to take a head on look at reality. There is no doubt that reality is sometimes a brutal, unkind, unfriendly and unpleasant thing to stare strait into. But avoiding it, putting it off, or worse, creating a faux alternative reality is ultimately self defeating. Reality and time are inextricably connected and they wait for no one.

For example. Are we engaged militarily in the middle East because of oil? Some would say no and claim that we are there to liberate the people of these subjugated countries from their oppressive leaders and governments. And, while this statement might not be completely false it also ignores the reality that our entire way of life has been fundamentally built on the petroleum that is supplied, in large part, by countries in the middle East. Which, in reality, is why we are trying to bring stability (militarily in this case) to the middle East. It may be easier to think that we are militarily engaged (bombing and killing) in the middle East for noble and humanitarian reasons. But, that is not reality and everyone knows it. The reality, as brutal it may be, is that we are militarily engaged in the middle East because we want to protect the market place that provides us with the oil that our entire way of life (whether you are a Liberal or a Conservative) is based on.

Does running huge deficits which lead to a staggering national debts hurt individual citizens of this country? Some would say that these deficits are healthy for a growing economy and that going into debt to invest is the right thing to do. The reality is that reasonable people know this is a losing strategy, particularly when politicians are the ones managing the money being borrowed. In 2010 the interest alone on our debt is approximately $230 billion. The harsh reality is that $230 billion goes to the countries that own our debt and won't pay to fill one pot hole, one teacher's salary, one hot meal for the homeless, one prescription for a senior. Nothing. We will pay $230 billion and get nothing in return for it. This is the reality of the situation.

Why do some do it? Why do they avoid reality? Indirectly it is because they are uncomfortable, and, in some cases, possibly even mentally unfit, for reality. Which, is why they invest unbelievable amounts of energy building an alternate reality where they feel comfy and warm.  You know.  Like the reality where Nancy Pelosi is “ethical”, “transparent” and “productive”.

So let's get back to Gail at The New York Times and the direct, root cause reason people like her avoid reality. People like Gail have to live in an alternate reality for one primary reason. They fear failure.  I'll give you an example of what I am talking about but I will need you to use your imagination for a minute.

Imagine being in the middle of a majestic, deep forest brimming with beauty and life. As with any system (eco or otherwise) in order for there to be success (beauty and life in this example) there also needs to be failure, erosion and death. In this forest the dense tree growth is only possible through the death of last cycle’s animals, leaves and trees that died, fell to the ground and decayed (many before their full potential) providing nutrients to other life in the forest including the beautiful trees that now thrive. There is no life without death, no success without failure. Newton said it best: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Liberals are fixated and fearful of this natural part of life. They try with all of their (and your) resources to compensate and hide the ugly side of life always selling themselves, and anyone else who will listen, on the idea that failure and death are an unfortunate consequence of a lack of government/system oversight.

The Liberal wants the comfort and convenience of automobile transportation but doesn’t want the pollution that is required for that convenience. Can the efficiency and method of propelling our automobiles be changed and improved? Of course it can. Everything can always be improved (within obvious natural/universal limits). But, it is hard not to get the sense that the Liberal is less interested in reducing the carbon foot print left by automobiles than they are interested in ensuring that everyone drives the same tiny little (equal) vehicles. If you’ve looked at most of the vehicles that Liberals would have everyone driving you would have to at least wonder.

The Liberal wants good health care, education, etc. for everyone and will sacrifice the quality of all of it to ensure that everyone has it. This is true even, in the end, if the quality of whatever program offered is so poor that it would be better not to have the service, whatever it might be, at all. To a Liberal, fairness, or even the appearance of fairness, is more important than success if that success would have to come at the expense of an equal amount of someone else’s success or failure.

What a synaptic melting conundrum sports must be for the Liberal. A number of years ago I was standing next to the very Liberal wife of a friend of mine at our kid’s soccer game. Our two kids played on the same team. She commented to me that she didn’t like sports and that she thought they were too competitive. What she really meant is that she wished her daughter, and everyone else on both teams, could always win.

She fears failure so intensely that she wishes it away forgetting that the only thing that makes winning glorious is opportunity for loss. How many tickets would any major league franchise sell if the outcome were a tie game every time? Zero.

This intense desire to cancel out (socially engineer around) failure is the dangerous alternate reality that I am talking about. When we ignore reality by replacing it with what we wish life to be we borrow only a temporary reprieve from the responsibility of our contribution for a truly good/real life. There has to be a loser for there to be a winner. Fighting this rule of nature (and probably the universe) is a futile waste of human energy but explains the plight of the Liberal and all those they seek to “fix”.

God, if you’re there and listening, it’s time to help Liberals. Help them to see and enjoy reality, the excitement of life's struggles, defeats and wins. I don’t think that anyone else is qualified or up to the task.

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