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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Talk Is Usually Cheap

 Going Up or Coming Down?

Donald Trump wants to make America great once more.
His supporters respond to that message, and they fervently wish to make America great once more. The devil-in-the-detail is how does one go about doing such a thing as "making so-and-so great once more"?

How do we go about making anything take on a moral quality? How do we re-claim a virtue or a good quality?

In the past few weeks, I have read that our society needs to learn humility again. In the aftermath of certain Supreme Court decisions, I have read that certain segments of the population may need to withdraw into a "Benedictine" virtual cloister to be able to live in a world of same-sex marriage and ObamaCare.
There was also some nonsense about universal service in various capacities on the theory that The Selective Service System of World War II was a paradigm for the teaching and learning of the virtue of loving one's country and one's society; a bit of nonsense that omitted the role of unspeakable evil's ability to call forth an opposition of self-denying feats of strength from us, the common men of the world.

I do not criticize a call to virtue, but I do think that such appeals fail to realize that being virtuous is a long-term experience that requires a lot of time and effort.

Furthermore, if our country is no longer "great" or lacks some other old-timey virtue it once had,  we should ask ourselves how it came about that those wonderful qualities were lost or lapsed. Can such virtues, once in abeyance, be switched on again within seconds? Are we ourselves in any way responsible for the diminution of virtue, or was it all due to other people who are lazy in a moral way?
And no matter how intensely we want something, if that "something" is Virtue, it takes years of commitment on our part.
Remember the old saying "Whatever does not kill us makes us stronger"?

That pretty much can sum up how Virtue is learned: we face the worst, and we emerge intact, yet we are changed.

Mr. Trump has recommended fighting ISIS by bombing the heck out of Iraq's oil fields.

I think that interesting suggestion makes it clear that Mr. Trump believes that Greatness is a virtue that,
(1) someone else caused to lapse, and
(2) is somehow still floating around in our souls fervent with desire, and
(3) can be decisively re-invigorating by quick actions, and
(4) the ends justify the means...

for since "bombing the heck out of so-and-so" is not in itself a virtuous act, it is the fact that WE bomb the heck out of so-and-so that is the Virtuous Act.

If Trump is elected, I will go "short" on this place.


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