Time, experience, and maturity have led me to conclude that it is better to be in control of your own destiny than to have it dictated to you. If you control your own destiny, then you reap the rewards of your hard work and of your mistakes.
But what if you are afraid to control your own destiny? What if you have such low self-confidence that you believe it isn’t worth it to even try, that a Steve Jobs is the exception rather than the rule?
The Creation of The Liberal
Think about the people you know who have low self-esteem. We’ll call that person The Patient. The Patient does not see value in himself. He does not consider himself worthy of advancement, of self-transcendence, or self-actualization. Instead, The Patient believes he is a bad person, undeserving of success, love, wealth, or happiness. He comes to believe, therefore, that any effort he exerts on his own behalf is doomed to fail because he is such a bad person and does not deserve any success.
But there is this tiny little voice — the ego — that just won’t stand for this self-flagellation. So the ego projects The Patient’s self-hate onto The Other as a defense mechanism. They project the self-hate onto the person who is happy, wealthy, successful, and loved. Now, it is The Other who becomes the object of hate. “Why should he have everything? What has he done to deserve all this? I’m not the bad person, he is.” As a friend’s Facebook quote said just today, “Haters don’t really hate you, they hate themselves because you are a reflection of what they wish to be.”
Then, as the pathology deepens, the projection distorts further. Now The Other is actually the cause of The Patient’s unhappiness because The Patient’s ego refuses to accept the truth that The Patient himself is the cause of his own unhappiness. Blame cannot be taken! The Patient becomes The Victim. The Other is demonized — literally transformed into a demon, an evil entity. The Other is called names. The Other is dehumanized. The Patient now self-righteously, and in the name of all that is good and just, actively seeks to destroy The Other. To punish It. To take away what It has by force. Because by destroying The Other, The Patient believes the source of their suffering will be removed.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you The Liberal.
Change The World? Not So Fast
Unhappy people become Liberals. People seek out those that are similar. Birds of a feather flock together. An unhappy person looks around and sees two groups: happy people, and unhappy people. Rather than take a page out of the former group, enter the herd and ask for (and likely receive) help and guidance on how to become happy, the person is more likely to choose the path of least resistance — of instant acceptance. “Come to Mumsy, darling, you’re one of us.” And once in the herd, it becomes very, very difficult to leave it.
The Liberal, of course, will deny this pathology. No, they say, they are only trying to make things fair. Liberals are consumed with fixing the world. By eliminating what is unfair, by eliminating the evil banks and the greedy corporations, all the little people will receive what is rightfully theirs! (Subconsciously, then, nobody will be more successful than they are.) So twisted with hate, and so convinced of their own inefficacy, they cannot even rely on themselves to overthrow The Other. They hand over their own power to a third party — the government — to do their dirty work in the form of the confiscatory process of increased taxation and regulation.
Liberals, however, have got it turned around. They seek to heal the world before healing themselves first. They see this as somehow noble, great sacrifice. Well, it’s easy to make a sacrifice when you regard yourself as valueless. Beyond this, however, every major religion, and the mythology across almost every culture, instructs man to take care of himself first, and then attempt to heal the world.
The Jews speak of Tikkun olam, a Hebrew phrase which means, “repairing the world.” Perhaps the most important Jewish commandment is to observe Shabbat, the day of rest. By resting, engaging in the study of Torah, meditating, and so on, Jews thus engage in self-improvement. By further engaging in all mitzvoth, or ritual, Jews thus strive to create a model society among themselves, which will then influence the entire world. Thus, they can take the other six days of the week to engage in repairing the world.
His Holiness XIV Dalai Lama, at a recent appearance at USC, addressed this issue directly, thanks to a question from the audience. His Holiness taught that before we can bring happiness to the world, we must first bring happiness to our community and before that, to our family, and before that, to ourselves. That’s right — you must find your own bliss, your own center, before setting out to fix everything else. To accomplish this, he says, you must approach life with self-confidence, with the inner strength and potential you know yourself to have, and with the calm mind. Don’t have any of those? Then start working on yourself before you start taking on the world.
The Christians, well, most of my readers fall into this category. I don’t need to tell you what you already know.
Teachings of Mythology
Flip through a book on mythology. Watch Star Wars. Read Joseph Campbell. The Hero’s Journey — the most fundamental mythological story structure — is always the same. The Hero begins incomplete and flawed. There is a Call to Action. He attempts to ignore it. He finds he can’t. He accepts the challenge. Through a series of events and challenges, he comes into his own, becomes the Hero, and then defeats the antagonist. Luke Skywalker first learns to be a hero, then he takes on the Death Star. Can you imagine what a stupid movie it would’ve been if he’d just flown his X-wing fighter at the darn thing in the first ten minutes? How about if Frodo just hopped on board a magic carpet, sailed to Mordor, and hopped off at Sauron’s doorstep? He barely survived as it was, and it took him three books!
But Liberals can’t handle the Hero’s journey. They don’t have the self-confidence. They would refuse the “Call To Action,” run and hide, and end up in a white Stormtrooper outfit. Or maybe as an apertif for an Orc.
This is not to say that it is only Liberals who struggle with self-esteem. We all do. The question is what we choose of our own free will to do about it. Do we take responsibility for our own unhappiness or blame it on another?
Self Confidence Begins At Home
Thus, the great challenge facing Conservatives lies far deeper than anything you will read on these pages. My friends, the key to winning the culture war literally begins at birth. You must do everything you can to give your children self-worth, to nurture self-confidence and self-esteem and self-reliance. Even the earliest imprinting will have an effect. If you think you lack self-esteem, then avail yourself of resources to discover it, or it will trickle down to them.
You cannot control the self-esteem of others, such as Liberal parents. Thus, all the more reason to get involved in your local schools and universities and battle the well-documented indoctrination there.
Let me share with you a brief personal anecdote. Like most teenagers, I felt like a total loser. But I remember a day when I was 16, and several things had not turned out the way I’d wanted them to. I remember telling myself that day, “Well, I’m just going to have to do it myself, because nobody is going to do it for me.” I didn’t realize it until many years later, but that was the beginning of my own Hero’s journey.
“You can do it.” The four best words in the English language, with the emphasis on “you.”