Two young men on an “Outward Bound” college vacation were dropped off in the middle of Montana at the edge of Yellowstone. One was a political science major who had applied to several Ivy League law schools and as a backup plan scheduled himself to go to sociology grad school. Work was not on the horizon even though he had college loans to be paid off. The other was a biochemistry major who only knew what was on the near-term horizon—Physical chemistry, anatomy, and physics in the fall. He could barely keep his head above the academic waters. The only road in and out was a two-lane rut that soon ran out over a large cliff. They each had a compass, and one had a GPS. Even with their technology, they soon became hopelessly lost as night was closing in. There were mountains on all sides of them and by 10PM they couldn’t see a horizon.
They stopped to reconnoiter. The choice was to keep going forward or backtrack to where they hadn’t been lost and start from there in a different direction. Which young man wanted to keep going forward and which young man wanted to go backwards? Which strategy would be a “conservative strategy” and which strategy would be a “progressive liberal” strategy? Which student had the instincts and the “reasoning capacity” to find a “way out”.
I believe the answer is —the one with the most common sense, and I don’t know which student had the most common sense. I do know which student’s course of study is the most “empiric” and which students’ course of study is the most abstract and theoretical. The answer may be if one of the students had decided to go to trade school, or work on a ranch or farm, or continue to start, grow, or work a family business—they may be the person who would be more likely to make a good decision.
C. S. Lewis in MERE CHRISTIANITY —and I paraphrase, tells a tale of a person walking down a long hallway with rooms coming out from the side of the hallway at right angles. The hallway is our path through life and the rooms are the many choices we must make. We all will make good and bad choices, but it is very important to not stay in a place where you have made a bad choice—backtrack into the hallway and continue your journey and test out other places that may be more secure.
How many times have the theoretical progressive liberal ideas failed over and again? This is what is important. More people have died from starvation, and genocide under progressive socialist Marxist regimes, than have been killed in the wars of the twentieth century. More people have been put in prison because of their political or religious beliefs in the past 100 years, than there were slaves over 250 years of American History—200 million vs 12 million in North America from 1556-1864 (Henry Lewis Gates in The African American—reproduced on THE ROOT Web Site). I believe when talking about genocide, starvation, or slavery we get lost in the fact that each number adding to the statistic is a life and a soul. Joseph Stalin’s epigram is worth remembering: “A single death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic” And let’s not forget fascist regimes like the Third Reich’s “final solution” or preferably the “holocaust” or “HURBAN”, estimated to be between 8-12 million Jewish souls in Germany, Poland and Eastern Europe.
When we get lost and must decide about going forward and continuing the same failed experiment (socialism and progressivism), or going backwards and finding our roots—conservativism, think about the two lost college boys. Political philosophy—liberty vs mandated tyranny, economics—command and control vs free markets.
The choice for the former has always failed within one generation. Russia, China, Cambodia, Cuba, Venezuela. Compare the standard of living in North Korea to South Korea, China to Taiwan, central America and Mexico to the United States. Where are people living better and have a higher standard of living? Where there is liberty and free markets.
Common sense and empiricism tell us the answers to these questions. The theories have been proven wrong over and again. Let’s “reconnoiter” and get back on the right path. Sometimes it is best to first go backward, before we can move forward. If we choose the wrong room, get out and find another room.
The choice is still ours for now. HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY AND GOD BLESS AMERICA