Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Maybe I'm Not Smart Enough To Be On The Left
After a great deal of self-analysis, I may have discovered a serious lack of mental accuity in myself; though I can't say that I find it particularly worrisome. It doesn't appear that it was a lack of intelligence, at least I have been given to understand it, as I've always measured pretty well on the IQ scale. Neither was it a lack of knowledge, as I have loved to study since I was a small child; and have worked assiduously at maintaining the standing of a well-read person. It couldn't have been a lack of education, as I've was given my early lessons in a very good private grade school, spent most of my high school years in the 'first track' (honors program) of one of the finer college prep schools in the city of Chicago, and attended classes at a couple of well-respected seats of higher learning. It don't think it could even be considered the lack of ability to communicate, though many who've been reading the efforts in this blog for any length of time could probably make an argument to the contrary. Regardless of being able to set aside all of these potential drawbacks to my brainpower however, there still seems to be something missing intellectually in my case.
So maybe it's not a question of knowledge but one of maturity instead. As many of you know, I make no claims of maturation, hoping in life to go 'from immaturity to senility without noticing the transition'. This sarcastic pose however does not prevent me from making my own decisions (such as they are), choosing my own career path (when the industry I'm in isn't collapsing around me), cooking my own meals (and doing so quite proficiently if I do say so myself), maintaining my own residence (when not improving it), and paying my bills (usually on time).
Being therefore what could be considered fairly intelligent, well-educated, and well read, it should be no surprise that there's a lot of subjects of national interest on which I have formed strong opinions. These range on a wide variety of subjects from access to abortion to gun control, and I hold them regardless of the level of controversy attached to the subject. None of these opinions if you must know, are based (except perhaps in some small part) on emotion, sentiment, or a 'gut feeling' about the situation; but instead rely on fact, logic and careful analysis of the short and long term consequences. When doubt arises, as it must inevitably, I fall back on the concept of the 'rule of law' as embodied in the second attempt to define this government of this nation in a single document, The Constitution. (I had a friend in Toledo that finally cured me of such things a few years back.) Not surprisingly, you would find that these opinions are logically consistent from one subject to another. I don't use one set of criteria to judge one issue, and its polar opposite on the next; in a pattern of logical inconsistency that hopes to achieve some twisted form of emotional self-satisfaction.
These methods me at odds with some of my acquaintances, fellow pundits, and political opponents from the left however. You see, unlike many of my Liberal counterparts, progressive advocates, mainstream media reporters, and most of the statist politicians of both major parties; I don't appear to be able to make the same kind of decisions that they can. Oh don't get me wrong, I'm more than capable of making decisions for myself; but draw the line at that point. In their minds therefore, I'm suffering from apparent form of intellectual inadequacy that I find myself unashamed of:
I'm not smart enough to make decisions for other people.
Fortunately enough for me, I'm not allowed to make decisions for other people. Unfortunately for all of us, many of those who I've previously described think that they not only have the right to decide for the rest of us, but in fact have the obligation to do so. Someone might get injured, so we'll decide not to expose you to the risk. Somebody else might get hurt financially, so we'll take the risk for you to keep yourself from taking it. Worse still, somebody might make the wrong choices, so we'll take those choices away from you for your benefit. Heaven forbid that you should expose yourself to the potential of poor choices, potential harm, and future regret. After all, that's only life as we know it. No we the smart ones, the caring ones, the ones in political power will make these decisions for you regardless of whether you're capable or not because after all, we're smarter than you are.
Strangely enough, I find that there is no jealousy in my heart for those on the progressive left who believe that they are possessed of such a singular form enlightenment, but in fact a fair amount of pity. Imagine the burden of knowledge that this progressive intelligentsia possesses, believing themselves capable to decide for all. What a trial it must be to find one's self the discerning statist and recognize that one is so smart that they're incapable of allowing others to decide for themselves. What fearful stress and emotional turmoil it must be for far too many of today's legislators, administrators, and of course political leaders to recognize the erudition in themselves that forces them to carry the responsibility of limiting the free choice of so many in order to defend freedom itself.
While I can certainly imagine the kind of progressive self-righteous sagacity must be required to assume the role of mother and father protector to those one barely knows in order to prevent those apparently unwilling or unable to accept the burden of making choices for themselves (lest it interfere with their Reality Show schedule), I certainly don't feel myself burdened with such personal perspicacity. Oh yeah, I consider myself smart enough as far as it goes (just smart enough at least to refuse to use the Tom Hanks line from "Forest Gump"), but it appears that I may not be smart enough to be on The Left.