It’s winter break, and I’m coming to terms with the fact that, for the time being, my life is not my own. It belongs to husband, children, mother, children’s friends, neighbors, etc. I never even looked at the news yesterday, which left me feeling both bereft and relieved. Bereft because I am a high information type of person; relieved because the news has been nothing but depressing lately.
I spoke with a relative in Israel on Friday. Although she’s a cousin, she’s more than a generation older than I am, she started a family young, and her children started young too. The net result is that several of her grandsons are now or will soon be in the Israeli Army. When I wished her a Happy New Year, she responded dryly “I don’t think so.”
Ironically, I think that, if my cousin had been an American citizen in 2008, she would have voted for Obama in a heartbeat. She was born into the Israeli Left and Leftism is her spiritual home. Like many Israelis, however, she’s a pragmatist, and only a fool would look at Egypt and Syria and Lebanon and Iran and think that Israel can expect good fortune in the short-term. More than that, I think she’s realized that, even if Obama shares the politics that were mother’s milk to her, he has no love for her country.
Thinking of my cousins very real concerns, I periodically try to remind myself that change is inevitable, that it can be necessary, and that it’s often good, at least in the long run. I’ve scoffed so long at the global warmers fear of the earth’s natural cycles, that it’s quite hypocritical of me to fear human kind’s natural cycles.
The problem that I’m facing, and that the global warmers refuse to face, is that change invariably brings death and suffering in its wake. Even if the majority benefit, a minority will always be hurt. That’s true whether most people have more arable land, but some people have their lands flooded; or whether a great nation gently declines without too much pain for its citizens, but leaves the way for minor nations to become explosively violent. Life is not stasis.
The main thing with change is to recognize whether you can control it, shape it, head it off, or do nothing at all. The climate changers think that they can affect the earth and the sun, so they’re making what is, in their mind, a noble effort to save the world.
To me, climate change is a situation over which we have no control. Since we can’t stop it, we shouldn’t waste our energies trying to so but should, instead, bend those same energies to accommodating this change in the best way possible. The resource we’re really wasting is brain power that we could use to surf the wave of change. Right now, we’re expending that same emotional and intellectual energy fruitlessly sweeping back the tide.
Up until the election, I thought that, as part of an intellectual conservative movement, I could change the election’s outcome. It turned out I couldn’t. We’ve now been dealt the Obama hand. We cannot re-do the election, as he won square, if not fair. What we can do, though, is to surf the wave.
One of the things I’d like to do is go off the fiscal cliff. Elections have consequences, and we need to give the people what they want: more taxes and less government. I would have preferred less taxes and less government, but that’s not what the voters asked for. They asked for stalemate, and one of the consequences is that there’s no one there to stop sequestration and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. I hate more taxes, but so does everyone else. And a lot of people may find, to their great surprise, that less government actually is a good thing.
Another wave surfing thing is that I think Republicans should keep the pressure on Hillary Clinton. If she’s too sick to carry out her duties, she should be immediately retired. And if she’s not too sick, her first responsibility is to explain how four Americans, including an ambassador, died on her watch. Although Republicans in Congress seem to have severe backbone issues, I can see them keeping to this one, even as they’re too frightened to tackle big issues like spending, national security, etc. There are always people in Washington willing to engage in personal destruction.
What other waves can we ride? Right now, Obama things he’s riding the gun control wave. Is there any way to stop him or is this also one where we’ve lost control? It would certainly be helpful if this issue hit the Supreme Court before Obama gets the opportunity, for whatever reason, appoint yet another ultra liberal to the Court. Once that happens, we’ve really lost control.
I’m trying to remind myself that being a control freak works only if you can actually control something. So, what can we control now? That is, acknowledging that conservatives lack a sufficient majority to carry out any of their initiatives, how do we surf the oncoming waves (and they are coming) so that we land upright, with someone salvageable left behind and we’re not just left wiped out?
This post is labeled “Open Thread,” so please feel free to overwhelm me with ideas.