Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Growing Up From Oz
There is a famous quote attributed to Winston Churchill, “"If you're not liberal when you're young, you have no heart. If you're not conservative when you're older, you have no brain." Churchill never uttered those words, but even so, they do make a point.
I remember thinking thoughts and voicing opinions as a high school and college student that now seem utterly naive and ill-informed. I grew up in the Nixon and Vietnam War years. I remember the shooting of the demonstrators in Ohio and weeping after seeing the assassination of Bobbie Kennedy as it happened. I listened to the Beatles and dreamed of playing in my own four-piece group singing songs of peace and freedom while sticking to the man. Now I am the man. What happened?
What happened is I grew up. There is a great Zits cartoon strip where Jeremy receives his first paycheck and notices all of the costly deductions removing a stiff percentage of his hard-earned wages and transferring them to the government. Oh, the humanity! The father opines, “We just witnessed the birth of a Republican.”
Michael Savage, the less than cordial talk show host, started his intellectual life as what can be best described as a long-haired, socialist liberal elite in New York. He moved to Berkeley and discovered that he, in spite of his intellect, did not fit the politically correct affirmative action protocols for success in the east bay. His backlash is still causing reactions of horror in the liberal ranks. He called liberalism a mental disorder. Well…yes and no. It is an emotional rather than a mental state which is why so many young people start out that way and slowly, over the growth cycle develop conservative tendencies. The, “I’m my parents!” scream of realization is commonplace for a reason.
David Horowitz, once a 1960’s radical and an avowed communist, is now a conservative. This link will take you to a page detailing his biography. One of the most shocking revelations for the liberal left is that John Lennon, the ex-Beatle and the writer of the mantra, Imagine, had become conservative prior to his murder. This link discusses that controversy.
The examples are legion; covering nearly every aspect of the life I used to believe was right and proper over 40 years ago. Is it not interesting that today’s media finds this ever-growing fact of life such a non-story? Interesting yes, surprising no, that is because in order to grow every organism must encounter a certain amount of stress. An athlete develops additional strength by pushing against ever increasing weights. It is the same with our emotional development. If we grow in a well-insulated and protective environment where we never find our comfort zone challenged by new and conflicting ideas and realities, we never mature. So it is with the progressive pundits of MSNBC, CBS, TBN and the rest of the alphabet soup media. In many cases new employees who challenge the liberal orthodoxy are removed as quickly as any weed. It is the same in the realm of academia. One would have to be existing with blinders on not to have seen the stories, quashed as rapidly as they are published, mind you, of students chastised and even failed because they challenged a professor’s anti-American opinions.
Both the worlds of the main stream media and tenured academia have gone to great lengths to eliminate any taint of opposition to their youthful opinions. I say youthful as a term of immaturity because in those arenas there has been no debate, no contrary information allowed in the discussion, and this is why it seems that these areas, which tend to dovetail with the elite in Washington, are so far removed from our reality. A person like Chris Matthews and Ed Shultz can say the outlandish things they say and get away with being so utterly wrong because those with whom they live, work and socialize hold those wrong opinions to be sacrosanct. There is a very close comparison to the interactions of a media empire and a Buddhist monastery in that both have a dogma that may not have any bearing in reality, but has total sway within their group.
Media, Academia, and Politics, these three arenas have the ability to shelter their elite from the stresses of life and consequentially prevent their emotional maturity. So in essence, people like Matt Lauer, Chris Matthews, Ed Shultz, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barrack Obama could honestly be called emotional infants, and almost every single tenured Ivy League professor could be added onto that list. It is good to care about things with all your heart when you are a kid, but eventually the ruby slippers have to be put away and an adult has to go to work.