|Power Still Matters||Another Vote for Homeschooling|
by Christopher Chantrill
May 15, 2004 at 8:00 pm
I LOVE this job! crowed President Clinton as he performed across the country on his Presidential Farewell Tour in 2000. No doubt he did, and now we know why. After the mid-term elections of November 1994, he decided that his lifes goal was to be President, rather than lead the nation.
The eccentric genius John Boyd couched this presidential decision in more colorful terms. A man has a choice, he proposed. He must decide either to Be or to Do, to be somebody or do something. He can go up through the chairs of his chosen profession, making friends and influencing people, and end up being president of a college, or being president of a great corporation. Or he can decide to Do. When he makes this fateful decision, he has probably waved goodbye to a comfortable life, the approval of his superiors, and the adulation of the multitude. But his work may make a difference.
We cannot know what was in President Bushs heart when he ran for President in 2000. But we do know this. In four years, he has aged ten. The embarrassingly boyish look of 1999-2000 has been transformed into the face of a man on whose shoulders have been heaped all the cares of the world.
Not for President Bush is the luxury of submitting to the emotional roller coaster of media frenzy, to freeze in panic during a desert sandstorm only to exult days later when our boys entered Baghdad, to cower in shame when the media exhibits our warts to the world only to sizzle with rage when they fail to condemn with equal outrage the cruel assassination of an American businessman in Iraq. He must stay cool and stay on task, directing once more, as American presidents have already done three times in the last century, the war against the eternal gang of ruthless men.
As the battle of Iraq reaches its climactic stage, the moment in every great contest when it seems as if the decision could go either way, we are tempted like the coward Falstaff to wish the day over and all won. And we cannot know if President Bush is the Prince Hal of Shakespeare, who wasted his youth in dissipation and surprisingly turned out a hero, or the real Prince Hal, who won his spurs the hard way in years of bloody fighting on the Welsh marches before helping his father defeat Glendower and the proud Percys.
Was the settlement in Falluja a humiliating defeat for the U.S. or a cunning way to pitch the Iraqi Sunnis into responsible self-government? Is the turmoil in the Shiite south a strategic quagmire or an exquisitely timed operation to marginalize the reckless al Sadr and swing the Iraqi Shiites behind their moderate leaders? Will the Abu Ghraib scandal decide the election against Bush or will the Blame-America-First Democrats rile up the Republican base into a patriotic rage? Are we witnessing the decisive moves of a brilliant strategy or the clumsy blunders of incompetents overtaken by events?
Stay tuned, because it aint over till its over.
We may hope that in a hundred years, when the American empire has passed away and the two great world cultures of India and China have regained their old places at the head of the human family and the derivative culture of Islam has obediently subsided into its place as satellite to the Indo-Chinese condominium, that people will say, as Churchill hoped, that this was our finest hour, that we bravely did outface the dangers of the time.
Even if the battle of Iraq ends in messy failure and President Bush is defeated, the objective threat of Islamic terrorism will remain, and the Democrat John Kerry would probably continue the grand strategy of Bush and his team.In Boydian terms John Kerry has lived his life as a man who wants to Be: a camera-hungry political activist, a United States Senator, a husband to rich women, and now, perhaps, President of the United States. Who knows what the future holds in store if he were to get to Be president? One day he would come to a fork in the road. He would have to decide whether to be somebody or to do something. He could be like Bill Clinton, who decided he wanted to be President more that he wanted to reform health care, and ended up using his great political talent in a virtuoso escape from impeachment instead of in changing America. Or he could be like George W. Bush, who may yet end up changing the world. The history of the United States is filled with lightweights transformed by the office of president into decisive national leaders.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists
conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family.
Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is merely relative, is asking you not to believe him. So dont.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy
Paul Dirac: When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated
by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that
I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion.
However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and
inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he
suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.
John Farrell, The Creation Myth
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization