Perhaps This Dark Time Is an Opportunity

 

Western culture has moved beyond Christianity’s compassion for the downtrodden to leftists’ worship of the downtrodden.  One of the many problems with this, of course, is that many of the downtrodden got that way by making bad decisions, leading Western culture to move from worshipping the downtrodden to worshipping bad decisions.  It only took a generation or two to move from no-fault divorce to glorifying a life of drugs and sexual deviancy.

I’m not the first to notice that the Seven Cardinal Sins (pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, and sloth) are a pretty good summary of the Democratic Party platform.  But I think there’s more to it than that.

I used to think that the Democratic Party was just following the protocol of other leftist movements throughout history – divide and conquer.  Hitler understood that Germans were unified by their families, so he tried to subvert that, by making children more devoted to the Hitler Youth, etc., than their parents.  Hillary Clinton understood this as well, as she demonstrated with “It Takes a Village.”

American Democrats saw the threat of the family and tried to destroy it, and now are trying to take the one last thing that binds us together – love of country – and trying to destroy that.  Since we worship victims now, that means that the downtrodden are virtuous, and successful people are evil.  And since America is successful, it must be evil.  No wonder immigrants are hesitant to assimilate.  They’re not evil, so why assimilate with an evil culture?

It’s important to remember that the abandonment of virtue, and the worship of bad decisions, and the Democratic Party platform; it all leads to chaos and misery.  Which, as leftists understand, is fertile soil for revolutions.  That’s why they have worked so hard to get us to this point.

But it is also an opportunity for everyone to stop and think for a moment.  California has moved from one of the greatest places on earth to a place where you have to step over human poop to walk down the sidewalk.  In just a generation or two.

Perhaps we should stop and think for a moment.  Perhaps people are doing this already.  Perhaps even Democrat voters are doing this already.

Things are really bad right now.  This is an awful time.

But this is also an opportunity.  I would think that all Biden voters (the ones who are not dead, at least) are thinking things over right now.  They might be receptive to an alternative plan.  Perhaps.

The problem, of course, is that virtue is difficult.

You can’t improve a society without improving individual people.  And the only ones who can improve individual people are themselves.  And the process of improving oneself is a difficult and painful path.  Viktor Frankl once observed that, for the Statue of Liberty to make any sense on the east coast, we would need a Statue of Responsibility on the west coast.  P.J. O’Rourke once said that one problem with adopting personal liberty and responsibility was that he found it more difficult to find someone to blame for his problems.

If the government will allow us to take responsibility for ourselves, then we need to take responsibility for ourselves.

So why would anyone choose to do that?  That is a message that won’t sell.  You can’t promote self-criticism and self-control.  Right?

Except Jordan Peterson has become an international phenomenon by promoting little more than that.

We long for security and safety, of course.  But perhaps our longing for virtue and self-improvement is even stronger.

Perhaps.

Republicans have long had to overcome a margin of anticipated election fraud.  That margin, according to 2,000 Mules and other sources, continues to grow.  So Republicans must act decisively.  Simply pretending to be “Democrat-lite” won’t work now.  If it ever did.

We need to offer an alternative.  That alternative might seem daunting.  But Dr. Peterson and others would suggest that there is a desire for even difficult solutions.  When things are really bad, sometimes we are called to do difficult things.  That calling, even if unwelcome, can be inspiring.

Do you really think that the children of the 1930s were eager to go fight Nazis?

Things are really bad right now.  This is an awful time.

This is also an opportunity.

We have little choice but to attempt to take advantage of it.  As best we can.  We do not have the opportunity to choose when we fight back.  We can only choose whether we will do so.

There is not always a second chance.  This may be as good as it gets.

We know there is a better path, even if it appears more difficult in the short term.  The easier path often turns out to be the more difficult path, in the long term.  That message may be better received in this day & age than we might imagine.  Things are really bad right now.

We should be honest and straightforward in these difficult times.

Mush doesn’t sell as well when times are really bad.  And we shouldn’t try.

We should be honest and straightforward in these difficult times.

You never know.  There is always hope.

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  1. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Doctor, this is one of your best on this subject.  I am surprised that I am the only one who likes it, and the only one who has a comment on it.

    The first sentence is honest and serious.

    • #1
  2. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Dr. Bastiat: You can’t improve a society without improving individual people.  And the only ones who can improve individual people are themselves.

    Well, no.  Self-improvement depends on motivation, and motivation absolutely can be supplied by others.

      And the process of improving oneself is a difficult and painful path.

    Yup.  And the motivation can be making the status quo difficult and/or painful, too.

    This would be a good start:  when friends/family/acquaintances end up in a crisis due to their own bad decisions, don’t let them off the hook.

    • #2
  3. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Fantastic post, Dr. Bastiat.

    Thank you for writing.

    • #3
  4. Foghorn Coolidge
    Foghorn
    @Dave Rogers

    Dr. Bastiat:

    The problem, of course, is that virtue is difficult.

    We should be honest and straightforward in these difficult times.

    Mush doesn’t sell as well when times are really bad. And we shouldn’t try.

    We should be honest and straightforward in these difficult times.

    You never know. There is always hope.

    I think you are exactly right.

    Almost verbatim what Bishop Barron’s message is to evangelizing those who claim no religion.

    Don’t sugar coat it, give it to them honest & straightforward and challenge them to live up to it. 

     

    • #4
  5. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Foghorn (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    The problem, of course, is that virtue is difficult.

    We should be honest and straightforward in these difficult times.

    Mush doesn’t sell as well when times are really bad. And we shouldn’t try.

    We should be honest and straightforward in these difficult times.

    You never know. There is always hope.

    I think you are exactly right.

    Almost verbatim what Bishop Barron’s message is to evangelizing those who claim no religion.

    Don’t sugar coat it, give it to them honest & straightforward and challenge them to live up to it.

     

    Don’t do that either, past a certain point. Just live up to it yourself.

    • #5
  6. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    I take hope from the baseball players that refuse to put homosexual symbols on their uniforms, though they weaseled in their public statement.

    • #6
  7. Beatfeet Lincoln
    Beatfeet
    @Beatfeet

    The good Dr. is right – this is an opportunity, and there is hope.  

    The last photo of the two soldiers may illustrate where we are now.  Anybody know the story behind that photo?

    • #7
  8. Foghorn Coolidge
    Foghorn
    @Dave Rogers

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Foghorn (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    The problem, of course, is that virtue is difficult.

    We should be honest and straightforward in these difficult times.

    Mush doesn’t sell as well when times are really bad. And we shouldn’t try.

    We should be honest and straightforward in these difficult times.

    You never know. There is always hope.

    I think you are exactly right.

    Almost verbatim what Bishop Barron’s message is to evangelizing those who claim no religion.

    Don’t sugar coat it, give it to them honest & straightforward and challenge them to live up to it.

     

    Don’t do that either, past a certain point. Just live up to it yourself.

    Example is always the best teacher & the best challenge.

    • #8
  9. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Foghorn (View Comment):

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Foghorn (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat:

    The problem, of course, is that virtue is difficult.

    We should be honest and straightforward in these difficult times.

    Mush doesn’t sell as well when times are really bad. And we shouldn’t try.

    We should be honest and straightforward in these difficult times.

    You never know. There is always hope.

    I think you are exactly right.

    Almost verbatim what Bishop Barron’s message is to evangelizing those who claim no religion.

    Don’t sugar coat it, give it to them honest & straightforward and challenge them to live up to it.

     

    Don’t do that either, past a certain point. Just live up to it yourself.

    Example is always the best teacher & the best challenge.

    If we only try to set an example of  how to live–what means to use–but not why to live that way–live that way for what ends– then we have failed in our mission.

    • #9
  10. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    A lot of good sense and some hard truth as well.  It won’t get better it will get worse unless we can do something to fix it.  I don’t know if we can, but if we can’t we aren’t without choices.  We can leave the 50 state country and form a new Republic.  The only problem is that we have to be prepared for that if they steal the next elections which is highly likely.  Republicans act as if the Democrats were going to run Biden rather than some coherent, attractive person who can adhere credibly to what makes the giant companies and the bureaucracy, not to mention the Chinese,  happy.  I don’t think that’s difficult if nearly half the country has been blinded by cooked up hate.   What will they need?  Fabrication of 5 to 10% of the vote.  Easy they’re in charge this time. .   

    • #10
  11. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    I Walton (View Comment):

    A lot of good sense and some hard truth as well. It won’t get better it will get worse unless we can do something to fix it. I don’t know if we can, but if we can’t we aren’t without choices. We can leave the 50 state country and form a new Republic. The only problem is that we have to be prepared for that if they steal the next elections which is highly likely. Republicans act as if the Democrats were going to run Biden rather than some coherent, attractive person who can adhere credibly to what makes the giant companies and the bureaucracy, not to mention the Chinese, happy. I don’t think that’s difficult if nearly half the country has been blinded by cooked up hate. What will they need? Fabrication of 5 to 10% of the vote. Easy they’re in charge this time. .

    Why would the people controlling Biden and stuffing the ballot boxes with impunity want to put someone else in charge?  Biden is a feature, not a bug to these people.

    • #11
  12. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Doctor, this is one of your best on this subject. I am surprised that I am the only one who likes it, and the only one who has a comment on it.

    The first sentence is honest and serious.

    29  likes now Mark. Give us time. Another great post by Dr B. Also want to know about the photo of the soldiers. Assume its WWII. 

    • #12
  13. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Doctor, this is one of your best on this subject. I am surprised that I am the only one who likes it, and the only one who has a comment on it.

    The first sentence is honest and serious.

    29 likes now Mark. Give us time. Another great post by Dr B. Also want to know about the photo of the soldiers. Assume its WWII.

    I think they are GI Joe dolls.

    • #13
  14. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism in a more grudging way, have said to people ‘I offer you a good time,’ Hitler has said to them, ‘I offer you struggle, danger, and death,’ and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet.”

     

    • #14
  15. Beatfeet Lincoln
    Beatfeet
    @Beatfeet

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Doctor, this is one of your best on this subject. I am surprised that I am the only one who likes it, and the only one who has a comment on it.

    The first sentence is honest and serious.

    29 likes now Mark. Give us time. Another great post by Dr B. Also want to know about the photo of the soldiers. Assume its WWII.

    A quick internet search indicates it is a photo of a couple figures in a diorama made by a man recovering from a TBI.  Nonetheless,  I stand by my comment that it represents where we are. 

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Great post!

    • #16
  17. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Skyler (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):

    A lot of good sense and some hard truth as well. It won’t get better it will get worse unless we can do something to fix it. I don’t know if we can, but if we can’t we aren’t without choices. We can leave the 50 state country and form a new Republic. The only problem is that we have to be prepared for that if they steal the next elections which is highly likely. Republicans act as if the Democrats were going to run Biden rather than some coherent, attractive person who can adhere credibly to what makes the giant companies and the bureaucracy, not to mention the Chinese, happy. I don’t think that’s difficult if nearly half the country has been blinded by cooked up hate. What will they need? Fabrication of 5 to 10% of the vote. Easy they’re in charge this time. .

    Why would the people controlling Biden and stuffing the ballot boxes with impunity want to put someone else in charge? Biden is a feature, not a bug to these people.

    Almost three years?  He’s senile and may be totally dysfunctional, even for Democrats.

    • #17
  18. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Doctor, this is one of your best on this subject. I am surprised that I am the only one who likes it, and the only one who has a comment on it.

    The first sentence is honest and serious.

    29 likes now Mark. Give us time.

    It took me a long time to learn that when making a joke on Ricochet, it is necessary to follow it with an explanation that the preceding was not serious.

    It doesn’t always stop folks from responding by telling the same joke, though. I guess that’s just a dark side of human nature that we must simply learn to live with ;-)

     

    • #18
  19. hoowitts Coolidge
    hoowitts
    @hoowitts

    “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

    Esther 4:14

    • #19
  20. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    hoowitts (View Comment):

    “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

    Esther 4:14

    So is that a joke? Because I think I need an explanation if it is. 

    • #20
  21. hoowitts Coolidge
    hoowitts
    @hoowitts

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    hoowitts (View Comment):

    “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

    Esther 4:14

    So is that a joke? Because I think I need an explanation if it is.

    Not at all Henry. Here’s my sincere attempt at providing some clarity, from my untrained perspective. At a minimum, even with no serious attachment to formal religion, this scripture can be taken as encouragement only. Even with just a passing familiarity with Esther’s story.

    Maybe the most powerful attestation for scripture/Bible, even from a purely secular study: it does a mighty fine job of accurately and completely describing the ‘human condition’. The lives and stories, struggles, failures and successes of individuals and powerful nations throughout scripture, has not just been an encouragement to all who read it but has changed billions of lives and the world for the better. Maybe none more so than our Founding Fathers and their work.

    Even if you look at Esther’s story as pure fiction (which it isn’t) or as Jordan Peterson would say, with a low-resolution lens, there is much to learn, even separated by thousands of years. Every generation must deal with the good and the bad of their times. Esther, David, Daniel; Churchill, Wilberforce, MLK; Salk, Curie, Tesla. The Founding Fathers. No two alike. No two times alike. None could have ever predicted their place or impact on history.

    For me? It is a belief in human purpose.  That humans are designed to make a difference. In their time.  What will motivate them? Sartre, Nietzsche, maybe Marx? I’ll stick with Esther, David and Lincoln.

    It is a belief that matches Dr. B’s chorus: Today is a time for an opportunity. And it battles the worst inclinations of humans toward despair, hopelessness and apathy. Esther (we) must not take the easy way out, remain silent and  surrender. A belief that maybe…just maybe, I was designed for such a time as this.

    • #21
  22. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    hoowitts (View Comment):
    it battles the worst inclinations of humans toward despair, hopelessness and apathy. Esther (we) must not take the easy way out, remain silent and  surrender. A belief that maybe…just maybe, I was designed for such a time as this.

    Another way to look at it:  We don’t get to choose our time or our circumstances.  We only get to choose how we respond to them.

    • #22
  23. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    hoowitts (View Comment):
    it battles the worst inclinations of humans toward despair, hopelessness and apathy. Esther (we) must not take the easy way out, remain silent and surrender. A belief that maybe…just maybe, I was designed for such a time as this.

    Another way to look at it: We don’t get to choose our time or our circumstances. We only get to choose how we respond to them.

    • #23
  24. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    It is interesting the balance  in God’s world. Humans have built in weaknesses by design and require God’s word and laws to rise above those weaknesses. The “seven deadly sins” are not a myth. The Bible not only provides His rules, but is full of history and parables to illustrate what happens when we stray.

    We aren’t expected to be perfect, only to try to be good and ask for forgiveness and repent when we falter. It is the spiritual side that gives us moral values and a soul. Government doesn’t deal in morality but legality. The Democrats are proof that legality isn’t the same as morality. In fact, the left hates morality and therefore must reject God. That is why they always look to government to “just do something.” Government can’t fix what is wrong.

    Perhaps the country has fallen too for to be saved, perhaps it hasn’t. It won’t be saved by politicians. If it ever splits, our side better take the Constitution and Bill of Rights verbatim and not let the politicians and lawyers screw it up. Each sovereign state has a constitution. The country won’t split until it has nothing to lose. We aren’t there yet, but I would have a caucus in Congress that meets to plan such a split, more to deter the left than to cause a split.

    • #24
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