Think On: “The greatest enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and realistic.” JOHN F. KENNEDY, U.S. PRESIDENT
Like so many folks concerned about the ever-metastasizing Federal government “swamp,” Tumbleweed has observed that the often-manufactured divisiveness of politics layered atop the bloated bureaucracy defies credulity. As JFK noted, myths abound. If the myth suits your beliefs du jour, you fly to it like a moth to a lightbulb. Our President refers to these politically-oriented myths as “fake news.” But tumbleweed contends that its not really about politics and the accompanying myths, lies, exaggerations, half-truths, and sleight-of-hand, but an underlying paradox. There is a major philosophical contradiction at work in our nation.
First, let’s consider compromise. Compromise is the finding of some middle ground that two politically disparate parties can support. Recall a definition of diplomacy as “the knack of letting the other person have your way.” Think about if you accept a compromise on an issue that in some part contradicts your core beliefs, you thus have become party to something that thereby compromises your own morals.
Politicians are used to compromise, as they quickly learn to check the latest opinion polling (or convenient nearby lobbyist) and test the political winds of the day rather than reach into their own set of core beliefs. “There are liars and there are politicians, but I repeat myself.” So, goes the quote often attributed to Mark Twain. Don’t we find it refreshing if not surprising, when a politician actually comes close to keeping campaign promises?
Tumbleweed contends that the United States has become a fertile breeding ground for lies and deceit, often cloaked as “news” but actually promoting seditious agendas that would totally undermine the founding principles of our nation. We dare not lose sight of Adolph Hitler’s “social justice” reforms, Josef Stalin’s ethnic cleansings, or Pol Pot’s genocidal madness, as we listen to wet-behind-the-ears students, elitist academics, and leftist progressive politicians espouse their own agendas of reform that would rip our founding principles asunder in the name of some bumper sticker worthy issue.
Today’s real-world outcomes of progressive socialism-oriented entitlement culture that eschews compromise of their radical agenda, such as found in California, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Rhode Island, and more, find themselves in horrific social and financial trouble. A socio-economic divide of their own making! Big government entitlements require ever-higher taxes to maintain that safety net that fast becomes a spider web that then envelopes its victims. Myths of global warming (no such thing as “settled science”), one-size-fits-all education (like failing “Common Core”) rooted in an archaic Prussian model, racism that simply no longer exists, urban “plantations” that enslave the poor of all races, “social justice,” and the plight of women purportedly downtrodden by a male-oriented culture are all fodder for the radical agenda. Compromise isn’t in the radical lexicon, as it defeats their divisive purposes.
The amoral “anti-establishment” radicals of the 1960s and 1970s sowed the seeds for today’s morality-compromised generation of progressive professors, politicians, lawyers, and cultural absolutists. Often as followers of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals playbook for the left, these demagogues live by those persistent, persuasive, and realistic myths of which JFK spoke. They have spurned absolutes of right and wrong. Little wonder that it seems as though America has lost its way. As Christian apologist and author Ravi Zacharias notes, “the power to harness rebellion through media and technology is much easier. One statement in one minute can reach one million now. And evil people will harness that.”
Those who ascribe to the U.S. Constitution as the guiding principles for our nation have compromised for so long that they’ve nearly given away our freedoms. It’s high time that freedom-loving citizens got some backbone. Compromise is indeed paradoxical; call it absurd, abhorrent, enigmatic, or whatever label we choose to more accurately define it. The paradox is that in ascribing to compromise, we give away some pieces of our principles. Do it enough, and we soon discover that our principles – the ones that protect our freedoms – are gone.
Tumbleweed believes that political compromise is a game in which there are no winners but certainly losers. It boils down to ideology versus core philosophical principles. Ideology refers to a set of beliefs or doctrines that back a certain social mindset. Philosophic principles refer to looking at life in a pragmatic manner and attempting to understand why life is as it is what principles govern it. Leftist progressives see principles as a metaphoric straightjacket rather than as standards for protecting freedoms. When you compromise your principles, you have lost.
Recent politics have offered a serious lesson in backlash. Pushed to the brink by years of political compromise and its impact on our daily lives (e.g., sprawling invasive government, loss of freedoms, etc.), frustrated angry Americans elected a non-politician president. We might take issue with his colorful Bronx style, but love the way it offends the condescending elitist leftwingers. They call it “Trump derangement syndrome, or TDS. Draining the swamp, deregulating business, freeing energy resources, cutting taxes, appointing an apolitical judiciary, and hardline foreign policy have answered the prayers of the political right while throwing the political left into pangs of apoplexy. The president has given hope that the nation might yet be saved from the brink of failure-prone European-style socialism.
Tumbleweed has shared an unusually long post wrapped around a complex subject. BUT, our nation was founded on important bedrock principles. Any further compromise will most certainly destroy the freedoms those principles protect. Just sayin’.