I’ve been thinking about all the things that I have to be thankful for today, I have a lot. Between 7:30 and 8:30 this morning, my three children arrived in Edinburgh for a traditional American Thanksgiving holiday in the UK. Exclusive of all else in my life, these three people are the greatest gift that God graced my wife and I with. To be trusted to care for and educate three human beings to be the people that they have become is the highest aspiration and honor one could have. Since February 2, 1985 when my daughter, our first child, was born, our lives have been about doing things for them because for us, what we gain in life is always secondary to the needs of our kids.
We have worked hard to make sure that they are equipped for life. They have been encouraged to explore and to make their own decisions…and to live with the consequences of those decisions. During their high school and college days, they have all worked in one capacity or the other and are some of the most reality based people I know. All three are very bright and highly educated but most of all, they have basic common sense and the ability to see reality for what it is.
They understand that ignoring reality will only postpone a reckoning, in which problems must eventually be addressed and if allowed to fester, they usually worsen and become more difficult, more embarrassing, more expensive and harder to resolve. Ever since they have been responsible for managing their own affairs, we have reminded them that reality is like your electric bill – try ignoring it and see how long it is before there are real consequences…
They are most definitely not post-modernists. If anything, they can be described as Southern Realists, people who accept the realities as they come and deal with them with a polite, deliberate and chivalrous seriousness.
Thinking about my kids this morning and how they differ from what is apparently a large segment of their demographic, I considered what a different world they inhabit than their contemporaries – but after a bit of consideration as we waited for the second flight to land in Edinburgh, I realized that they live in a world different from not just their age group but the half of America that happened to subscribe to some form of post-modernism.
As I wrote the post about racism this morning, I was thinking about what kind of world one has to inhabit to make some of the statements that are being made in defense of the current administration. Adherents to post-modernism tell us that there is no objective truth, that we cannot judge another by our standards because the only meaningful standard is relative to what the individual believes, that there is no good or evil, everything is relative. Hamas and Israel are the same, you are wrong simply because I say you are, something is not a scandal because I don’t believe it is important.
What a hell of a messed up place to be when there is no anchor, no basis for rational decision making, there is only entropy and random Brownian movement. It struck me as to how trying to have a conversation with these people is simply impossible. When one can divorce oneself from reality so much as to say that Hamas and Israel are the same or simply criticizing the performance of Susan Rice is racist while disregarding the true racism directed at Condi Rice less than 8 years ago, resolutions of differences are impossible.
I posted this in a comment:
…but when you think about it, one has to ask: if the post-modernists are right and we do create our own realities, who would want to live in a reality where racism is the dominant motivating force of the day?
When you think about it, construction of this kind of a world where nothing is objective is impossible to sustain because two and two are always going to equal four, a thing either is or isn’t the bill is either paid or it is not and the electricity is either on or off. The kind of unserious debate and rhetoric that has become the stock and trade of the “progressives” in America since Clinton’s Lewinsky scandal simply cannot be supported over the long term.
This kind of “pretzel logic” may win elections in the short term with promises of taxing the other guy to keep paying for largess today, it may satisfy the lazy intellect to claim that there is no need to be concerned about a public debt that exceeds GDP and it may satisfy the incompetent to be shielded by claims that legitimate inquiry and criticism are equivalent to racism but one day the bill will come due. It is inevitable. Even my children understand that.