THE ART OF DEPRESSING OPTIMISM

269739fullOne of the saddest words in the English language is “no.”  You get what you think is a great idea, and then someone tells you:

NO!  You cannot do that.

What do you do?   You can wail a bit.  Then you can go back to the drawing board — maybe.  What you can do depends on where and when you live.

There are various ways to divide governments into classes.  The method I want to address in this post works this way.   The are basically two types of government.

  • There are governments that tell you what you cannot do.   Where such governments exist, men go back to the drawing board.
  • There are governments that tell you what you can do.  Where such governments exist, only the glorious leader has access to a drawing board.

Consider what perhaps is President John F. Kennedy‘s most famous quote.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.  (from here)

Decades ago Kennedy’s words made perfect sense.  The Americans Kennedy addressed were a people who decided for themselves what to do their lives.  Though their fortunes rested in God’s hands, their choices were their own.

In other lands, where People served their leaders — where government held the choices of each citizen in bondage  — Kennedy’s words would have made no sense.  Of necessity, Kennedy followed the quote above with these words.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Where men have choices, they dream.  Where men have no choices, they gape in wonder at those who do.

Why these thoughts?

  • On Friday, President George W. Bush announced a rescue package for the auto industry (see here).   As a consequence, government will become more involved in telling the auto industry how to run its business.
  • I am behind in my reading.  So I just now read George Will’s column in last Sunday’s Washington Post, Same Old New Deal? I suppose Will is an optimist.  He just fears history may be about doing the same damn thing over and over.
  • And I have been reading blogs.

We live in a time of abandoned principles.  That leads to disaster.  When we abandon our principles, it is everyone for themselves.  Who knows what will happen next?

Other Views

Below The Beltway discusses the unconstitutionally of the auto bailout.  See here.  Of course, Bush just did what the Democrats asked him to do.

Crystal Clear Conservative criticizes Bush for abandoning Conservative principles.  See here.

The Mud Pit focuses its wrath on the UAW, GM, and Chrysler.  See here and make certain you click on the link in the Update.

QandO quotes the worst of Bush.  See here.

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About Citizen Tom

I am just an average citizen interested in promoting informed participation in the political process.
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