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August 21, 2014

Evening Dump

Gutfeld on Obama's "weird" golf problem.

So, the media does acknowledge, and apologize for, claims of bias-- so long as they're lodged by left-wing agitators.

Erick Erickson: I feel like my politics and my religion are now in conflict.

In the past several months there have been three incidents that have solidified for me that my faith and my politics are starting to collide. While I am a firm believer in the idea of a conservative populism, I see a dangerous trend within the mix of unfortunate shrillness and hostility. That trend is playing out in the comments here at RedState and on social media.

I've said something sort of like this, though my "faith" is of course Nihilistic Materialism.

I don't agree with every detail of his post, but I do think there's too much anger and hostility being let loose out there. Not so much here, but generally; it's more a Twitter thing, but still, the air is just thick with it.

I also know friends who are essentially now enemies due to FaceBook Political Wars.

Obama is a scourge. He's terrible. He's making things much, much worse, and many suspect this is not entirely by chance.

That said, as I said to someone last week: There is what Obama does to us, and then there is what we do to ourselves.

When life hands you a setback -- a disease, a death of a close one, a financial crisis, Obama -- that's bad.

But how we deal with that setback is on us. Whether we handle adversity gracefully, or whether we let it bend us and twist us, that's a choice.

Everyone's angry, and everyone's afraid, and, honestly, they should be. A friend of mine feels it in his bones that another 9/11 is coming, and, while I don't have that intuition, I can't tell him he's just making things up or being silly.

That's certainly out there in the possibility-space.

These are frightening times, and our political leadership's reaction to this is to double down on failure and futility and fairways.

But people don't make good decisions in a state of anger, and they usually don't say useful or correct things in that state, either.

And I see a lot of people following the Left down the road illuminated for them by Jonathan Chait in 2006 or so, when he wrote his (in)famous article, "Yes, I Hate George W. Bush." And then went on to justify his hair-on-fire emotionalism, bitterness, venom, and sheer mental unwellness.

I think people have to be very, very careful when they rationalize to themselves what they know in their hearts (or souls) to be bad behavior with easy, glib, self-flattering excuses like "Well, I'm angry, and justly angry, so every angry outburst is justified!"

It's not. And it's not just that it's unjustified; it's selling ourselves short as human beings.

We all have a thought of ourselves -- an idealized thought -- that we aspire to. Whether that idealized conception of ourselves comes mostly from religious values or, say, secularist philosophy, we know that our better selves are, in fact, better.

I've mentioned this before, but Dennis Praeger made a great point. Dennis Praeger said we have a moral duty to smile and to say pleasant things, and to avoid putting out too much hostility and anger out into the world. His reasoning is that it is moral to do so for the people around us, our friends, our family, our fake internet friends.

Erickson says he's a Christian first of all. For myself, I'd put that differently: Humanity comes first, then politics. A religious man strives to be better because of his belief in God; a secular humanist like me strives (or should strive) to be better out of simple Ego.

Not the greatest reason in the world, I'll admit, but Ego can prod one to do all sorts of good things as well as bad things.

Most people don't really lose weight for health reasons, for example.

However they get to that conclusion, Christians, Jews, Deists, and secular humanists all seem in basic agreement that there are more fundamentally important things than any current political fight; which is not to say that current fight is not important, just that there are things even more important than that.

And we should remember that, even if there are certain people in high positions who seem to wish us to forget.

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posted by Ace at 07:52 PM

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