What do military berets, valedictorians and consumer confidence have in common? Quite a bit. They are emblems of our stupid utopia. In our utopia, we all pretend we can be everything we want to be without all that much hard work.
Take the recent attempt to change a system where special army units, requiring higher than normal standards, wore distinctive berets. Instead, the army wanted to give every soldier the same beret (manufactured in communist China, appropriately enough). Why then work harder to achieve more?
Same thing in high schools, which are no longer naming valedictorians, the person earning the highest grade point average. Why? Because it makes people who don’t get the best grades feel bad. Some perhaps never quite recover. Give me a break. Part of learning how to succeed is learning how to accept and learn from failure. What about consumer confidence?
Some blame President Bush for talking the economy down, as if he could. All the attention paid to “consumer confidence” rests on the notion that we don’t have to be free and productive to enjoy a good economy; instead, smiling politicians can simply trick us into prosperity.
The world doesn’t work that way. Self-esteem and success cannot be mass-produced and handed out like pills. They have to be earned. Politicians have tried to repeal the laws of nature and economics little wonder our society is now repealing common sense, too.
Well, there will always be at least one place where you can find Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob