|Conservative Fear, Liberal Guilt
Gather 'round, kids... I'm going to explain some of the "facts of life" to you, as you probably never have heard them before...
I came to believe that there were basic "driving forces" which appeared to motivate
or explain virtually all social and political activity.
The two forces drive peoples' beliefs in two directions which are very different, but, in the end, predictable.
The first group, commonly known as Conservatives and for the past decades, exemplified by and represented by the US Republican Party, tends to seek the maintenance of the status quo.
Change is undesirable; change is frightening, unpredictable, something to be avoided.
New trends or events are measured against the past and if they're markedly different from the past, they're met by varying degrees of objection and opposition.
The second group, commonly known as Liberals, has been similarly collected in the Democratic Party in the US. They have a very different tack. New things are called "progressive" and often welcomed and embraced. There is, however, a "dark side" to that group, and it springs from concern about their "fellow human beings." If a person is, for whatever reason, "down and out" or "down on their luck" or in some way disenfranchised, disrespected, or often "just plain poorer" than the rest, this group tends to react in a very different way from the Conservatives. Liberals go to whatever lengths they can to assuage the suffering of the people they see as victims,. whether the "victims" are victims of circumstance or victims of their own ignorance, apathy or flat-out stupidity. Protecting the well-being of those victims is one of the prime motivators of the Liberals.
Bottom Line: Conservatives = motivated by Fear of the Unknown and Change.
Liberals = driven to fix things that might not really need their intervention to survive or recover, but the Guilt of Not Helping is an overwhelming force for them.
Fear and Guilt.
"Resistance to Change" and "Something Must Be Done" seem to be, respectively, their prime motivators.
And in my "not so humble opinion," this leads to a cornucopia of Bad Decisions, Policies and Results for the entire country. Why is this an important consideration? Because not knowing what your "driving forces" are can cloud your decision-making process and steer you towards making poor decisions, even though "they look and sound right" to you.
Let me elaborate and offer examples....
06.07.2008... from Hillary's exit speech...
"I entered this race because I have an old-fashioned conviction: that public service is about helping people solve their problems and live their dreams. I’ve had every opportunity and blessing in my own life – and I want the same for all Americans. Until that day comes, you will always find me on the front lines of democracy – fighting for the future. "
What does that translate to? Another "bottom line generalization" for differentiating Liberals from Conservatives:
And on 11.10.2009, a friend of mine put it this way, and I pretty much completely agreed...
I don't belong to political parties, because I can't find one I agree with.
The Democratic Party has given up on the idea of America and have chosen to focus on hyphenated Americans, ie African-Americans, gay-Americans, female-Americans, transgendered-Americans, illegal-Americans, etc to the exclusion of thinking what is good for the entire country as a whole. If you are a hyphenated American who is politically correct, this is great, but if you are not, you will get screwed to the benefit of one of these micro-groups.
There is no Republican Party. It is searching for an identity among Reagan conservatism (the Hannity and Limbaugh wing), Rockefeller conservatism (the Romney wing, near as I can tell), the liberal conservatives (the McCain wing who think that if you call yourself a conservative but do everything like a liberal you will be loved by the MSM) and the people who are disgusted by the whole mess but still want to be Republicans (the Palin wing). If the party settles on a platform, maybe I will take a second look, but not until then.
Neither of the above parties can be trusted with the reins of government. The Democratic Party will raise my taxes by $x and then spend $10x. The Republican Party will lower my taxes by $x and then spend $8x. The net result of both of those is the same. Both parties demonstrate the idea that "giving money and power to the government is like giving car keys and whiskey to a teenage boy".
There is no party of the center.
The libertarians (which actually comes closest to my position) are incapable of organizing enough to actually form a party, as they are really libertarians and don't believe in organization... :^)
I did actually send in a tea bag, but I didn't know it was an actual political party.
By the way, while I was looking up the "giving money etc" quote, I found another one by PJ O'Rourke that fits very well here, and is an expansion on Obama's fight with Fox News and Deb's analysis of Obama's foreign policy:
"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats".
Words to live by... :-)
From an email from a friend, 03.10.2010...
Jill Edwards is one of the students at the University of Washington who did not want to honor Medal of Honor winner USMC Colonel Greg Boyington because she does not think those who serve in the U.S. Armed services are good role models. I think that this response is an excellent and thought provoking response.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
General Dula is a Retired Air Force Lt Gen (3 Star Gen).
Gen. Dula's letter to the University of Washington student senate leader.
To: Edwards, Jill (student, UW)
Subject: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs
Miss Edwards, I read of your 'student activity' regarding the proposed memorial to Col Greg Boyington, USMC and a Medal of Honor winner. I suspect you will receive a bellyful of angry e-mails from conservative folks like me. You may be too young to appreciate fully the sacrifices of generations of servicemen and servicewomen on whose shoulders you and your fellow students stand. I forgive you for the untutored ways of youth and your naïveté. It may be that you are, simply, a sheep. There's no dishonor in being a sheep - - as long as you know and accept what you are.
Please take a couple of minutes to read the following. And be grateful for the thousands - - millions - - of American sheep dogs who permit you the freedom to express even bad ideas.
ON SHEEP, WOLVES, AND SHEEPDOGS
By LTC(RET) Dave Grossman, RANGER,
Ph.D., author of "On Killing."
Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself. The question remains:
What is worth defending?
What is worth dying for?
What is worth living for?
- William J. Bennett - in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997
One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident."
This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another. Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.
Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation.
They are sheep. I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me, it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.
"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep.
There is no safety in denial.
"Then there are sheep dogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheep dog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf." If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheep dog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.
Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheep dogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.
The sheep generally do not like the sheep dog. He looks a lot like the wolf.
He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheep dog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours. Still, the sheep dog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheep dog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa." Until the wolf shows up.
Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheep dog.
The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them.
This is how the little lambs feel about their sheep dog when the wolf is at the door.
Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero? Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheep dog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheep dog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheep dogs yearn for a righteous battle.
The old sheep dogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right along with the young ones.
Here is how the sheep and the sheep dog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheep dog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheep dogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into "warriorhood", you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference. There is nothing morally superior about the sheep dog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population.
There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language:
Slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself. Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheep dogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheep dogs.
Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- from sheep to sheep dogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.
There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. - Edmund Burke -- Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep.
Sheep dogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice.
But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision. If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay.
When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheep dog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheep dogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheep dog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.
For example, many police officers carry their weapons in church. They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs. Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying a weapon. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.
I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"
Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them. Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheep dog is scorn and disdain. But the sheep dog quietly asks himself, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"
It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up. Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear, helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.
Gavin de Becker puts it like this in "Fear Less", his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling." Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level. And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes. If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself..."Baa."
This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from "sheephood" and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.
First rev: 06.09.2008