I have written quite a bit about the gap between the real world and the Utopian construction that “progressives” favor. I guess that I have been rooted in the “hard” sciences like engineering and mathematics for far too long to have a appreciation of living in a world where actions and results don’t matter. I have also been exposed to the softer side of organizational dynamics because in my career, I have had to learn to be multilingual in business – I have a degree in finance and economics which allows me to speak sales, marketing and accountant, mechanical engineering which allows me to speak tech, and a general business education which allows me to speak the project management and administrative lingo. My postgraduate degree allows me to understand international business interrelationships and cultures – but just like the “hard” sciences, these have rules as well.
Granted, I have been trained and worked in the operational end of several manufacturing businesses in my 30 some odd years in the workplace and in every case results have mattered – sometimes to the very survival of the company, so maybe I’m just too sensitive to the execution of plans to comprehend the idea that our purpose is simply to “be” and be taken care of by a benevolent government and that requires no “doing”, that having an idea is as good as putting one to work.
I do believe that ideas matter…but simply having an idea is not enough. An unrealized idea, something that yields no result, is worthless. It is the same in business as it is in politics. I just read this article in BusinessWeek about innovation, it states that:
Creativity, by itself, is not enough. As I’ve previously written in this space, inventions that aren’t commercialized—no matter how creative—remain inventions, not innovations. To be commercial, an invention needs to matter enough to a customer to be worth paying for. And what matters to most customers is not the invention itself but what job it enables them to do that they couldn’t do, or do well enough, before. The microwave, for example, when it was first introduced, was a terrible oven, but it was fantastic defroster—and to many customers it was worth quite a lot to be able to keep food safe in the freezer until moments before they cooked dinner rather than have to think about it the morning or the night before.
So, results matter. That’s why I simply cannot grasp the post-modern idea that there is no objective truth, that the rules must change to fit the situation and that intent matters more than results. I admit it, I simply do not accept that documents of principle, like our Constitution were meant to be “interpreted” to mean anything that the current political and social class wants or to avoid things that they find inconvenient.
That’s not quite true, I am quite capable of grasping the idea of an alternate reality, I simply reject it as illogical and a waste of time and resources.
If I claimed success where there was none or instituted policies or actions that damaged our company or were counter to our stated values, I would be fired – and deservedly so. We have rules, our mission statement and goals are our constitution, our policies and procedures are our laws. We don’t “interpret” them to create an alternate business where failure is success or trying is equal to doing. As Master Yoda said to Luke:
“Do, or do not. There is no ‘try.'”
There will be those who say that my beliefs are “prehistoric” or that it means that I don’t want women’s suffrage or I want slavery back – that’s just pure obfuscation. That position, like that taken by our friend Diane Reeves of Panama City, is something that “progressives” construct as a straw man to set up and knock over so they can avoid the real debate – which is the damage and unintended consequences that are rendered by virtue of their end runs around the Constitution in attempts to deny natural law and shape the world in the image of the fantasy land that they idolize.
I actually do believe that the Constitution can and should be changed and that there was a specific and deliberate methodology prescribed by the Founders to do it. I am a strong proponent of what Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence:
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
I know of no classical liberal or conservative who wants to return to the evils of history; however, I do know many like myself that are opposed to creating new evils by ignoring the lessons of the past and circumventing the clear and universal truths of our Constitution though processes like administrative law and judicial activism.
It is an eternal battle of textualism vs. intentionalism.
In the real world it is do or do not. There is no try.