THE SAPIENT SPARROW: conservatism for commoners

"What has always made the State a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven."–Holderlin

MAPQUEST-ARE WE THERE YET?

I have a lousy sense of direction.  When traveling, I arm myself with a map, two sets of written directions and a list of landmarks.  I still lose my way.  Exits beckon to me.  Road signs confuse me.  Assuring remarks like, “Trust me, you can’t miss it”, terrify me.  I can panic even when I am not lost.  So, maybe being “directionally challenged” has made it difficult for me to follow the maps produced by the Obama Administration.  Am I lost?  Or, as I see each landmark pass, am I simply panicked for no reason?

During the past year, Mr. Obama and his comrades have manufactured a lot of maps.  Maps for the economy, healthcare, energy, housing, jobs, education, climate change and National security.  Although attractive in presentation, they appear to lack crucial elements.  Large areas are marked, “Unknown Territory” and “There Be Dragons Here”.  Compass points are skewed—true North is always oriented leftward.  Roads meander aimlessly and often reach a dead-end at a deep gorge marked, “Bridge Out”.  Nevertheless, the urgent message is that these maps must be followed or we will be hopelessly lost.  (I think I hear, “Trust me, you can’t miss it”—excuse me while I shudder).  Where do these maps really lead?  Where are we going?

Here is the most exasperating aspect of these maps.  They include no avenue leading to factual, rational discussion of how they have been drawn.  If one points out that such-and-such a road does not correspond to reality, or that a particular feature does not exist, or that there is no bridge spanning that river the response is to criticize the critic.  The cartographers will not engage in a meaningful analysis of their efforts.  Nor do they have an attitude open to correcting their mistakes.  Instead, they defend their maps with twisted statistics, partial truths and downright lies.  In the end, they are reduced to reiterating that failure to follow their roads will lead to ruin.  Moreover, we are promised that pursuing these paths will lead to a utopia filled with human goodness.  The way will be “difficult”, it is said, but nothing really worthwhile is easy.  For my part, I fear that these map-makers are related somehow to the Pied Piper!

It seems to me that the inability to deal with facts and specific details in an honest manner should alarm us.  Not only does it signal bad charting, it indicates even worse leadership.  Those who will not clearly articulate what our destination is to be, nor explain in detail the roads that will take us there, are either ignorant, or worse, diabolical.  I mistrust these maps.  More and more I believe that they mark the way to totalitarianism and slavery.

I see an exit marked “2010”.  It is beckoning me.  It doesn’t appear on the map.  That’s why I’m taking it.

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