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Thread: Restoring Fortitude

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    Default Restoring Fortitude

    I like Dan Crenshaw. He says a lot of things I agree with, and a lot of things I don't. Mainly, I like that he's reasonable. He doesn't appear to me to be ruled by his emotions, partisanship, lobbyists, or any of the other things we see from a lot of politicians. It's not because he's a Republican, and I can say the same thing about Tulsi Gabbard or Seth Moulton (both Democrats) - and a few others. I think they're the types of folks we need in government.

    He wrote a piece for the Washington Examiner recently, and I think it generally lays out the two competing philosophical viewpoints between the D's and R's of today's political environment. I tend to agree with Rep. Crenshaw's views espoused below.

    Thoughts?

    OCTOBER 11, 2021 05:38 PM
    REP. DAN CRENSHAW

    Freedom is a worthwhile goal, most would agree. Crucially and more specifically, freedom with responsibility is a worthwhile goal. A libertine society where anything goes and consequences are ignored is less American-style freedom and more a scene from an antifa-led autonomous zone. The American founding is based on ordered liberty. Our sense of liberty is based on the idea that was so well communicated by St. John Paul II: “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.”

    Once you start talking about the need for responsibility as a critical part of freedom, you lose some people. Responsibility is hard. If freedom means charting your own way, taking care of yourself, and living with the consequences of your actions, then freedom is indeed risky. With the possibility of great reward comes great risk, after all.

    Many people are simply not up for the challenge of responsibility and therefore true freedom. This is why it is so easy for politicians like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to manipulate the meaning of the word, and claim that you cannot be “free” unless you are given affordable housing, healthcare, and a decent wage. According to Sanders, to be free is to be able to live off of the services of others.

    Thus, the promise of Utopian socialism: Your basic needs will be met, and you can therefore pursue your dreams. Who meets these basic needs, and how are they incentivized to do so? Socialists never really figured that one out. Many millions died as a result.

    Personal responsibility is more than just a conservative value, it is a foundation for a free society. If you are not responsible for yourself or your actions, then by definition you believe someone else must be responsible for you — and you will demand of your politicians that other, more productive people are forced to take on that additional responsibility so that you may take on less and less. Some might even label this “social justice.”

    And if personal responsibility is a critical prerequisite for freedom, then fortitude is a critical prerequisite for personal responsibility. Courage, strength, resilience — all are increasingly missing from a society that now celebrates victimhood as a virtue. Victimhood has become so celebrated, in fact, that famous and privileged people (looking at you, Jussie Smollett and Elizabeth Warren) are willing to lie about being victims. Not exactly the Greatest Generation anymore.

    It is time to restore fortitude in citizens before it is too late. At present, our country is strong and resilient despite the doomsday predictions of many. Truthfully, this is still the best place to be in the world, with an abundance of strong people: men willing to fight our wars, entrepreneurs willing to invest and create jobs, inventors working on the next breakthrough, and families willing to raise their children to be strong and successful. Much of this is based on a sense of duty that is deeply imbued in the American spirit, the duty to be better than you were yesterday, the duty to pursue challenge, the duty to contribute. But much of it is also due to incentives and the simple knowledge that your hard work will indeed pay off.

    But what if it didn’t pay off?

    Without incentives, our most productive people, our strongest people, will see less and less point to their hard work. The infamous Soviet communist quote comes to mind: “As long as they keep pretending to pay us, we will keep pretending to work!” A free society cannot last long with an increasing number of free-riders and a decreasing number of productive people. As Ben Shapiro recently quipped : “America is faced with a choice. Do we acknowledge what we are — the greatest power in world history, complete with the obligation to defend our interests — or do we sink into a warm bath, eat ourselves into morbid obesity with deficits and welfare spending, and wait for China?”

    Without fortitude, without a sense of duty to be better, without a deep sense of responsibility, more and more people will choose the easier path. The easy path is easy because it is short and leads nowhere but down. It is a quick trip to dependency and free ice cream. But you can’t get out easily once you’ve descended.

    If America is to maintain its place as the shining city on the hill, then citizens must start taking the harder path. This path is hard because it leads up. It is treacherous, and you may fall down at times. You must learn from your hardships here. There is no one to navigate it for you. You must take control of the destination yourself. It is scary, but it is worth it, and there is more than just riches on this path — there is meaning.

    Only a strong person can walk this path. Freedom is scary, and responsibility is even scarier. It takes strength and courage to compete against others in a free society and chart your own destiny. Conservative leaders breathlessly shout of their fight for freedom, "Freedom from government overreach." But this is incomplete. It’s time we stopped limiting ourselves to demanding freedom from government control and begin demanding of the citizen that which is a foundation of freedom: fortitude.
    Be your own tenth man.

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    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    What utter self-ennobling crap.

    "Socialists never really figured that one out. Many millions died as a result." Specifically in Russia? China? Cambodia?

    What about the further millions who've died as a result of colonialism, fascism, and capitalism? Slavery: not a problem?

    This "strong person– freedom is scary" guff is attractive only to the foolish, powerless, resentful, and envious.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    What utter self-ennobling crap.

    "Socialists never really figured that one out. Many millions died as a result." Specifically in Russia? China? Cambodia?

    What about the further millions who've died as a result of colonialism, fascism, and capitalism? Slavery: not a problem?

    This "strong person– freedom is scary" guff is attractive only to the foolish, powerless, resentful, and envious.
    Yes to all 3: Russia (think Stalin's Famine), China (think Great Leap Forward), Cambodiav(think Killing Fields). Millions dead in each.

    There you go again with whataboutism. Can't rebut? Change the subject. Stay focused Chip.

    Want to write about colonialism, fascism, or slavery? Go ahead. Which of those are being actively promoted in the US now? I'll wait.

    I can see why fortitude would be a foreign concept to you, as opposed to the hit-and-run comments you try to pass as analysis.

    I'm thinking Crenshaw's on the right track.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    There is a real danger - nay, it's actually happening in these threads -that the flag of 'whataboutism' is driven up the pole in response to any examples used in a discussion. Not all examples are a means to deflection.



    Freedom is a worthwhile goal, most would agree. Crucially and more specifically, freedom with responsibility is a worthwhile goal. A libertine society where anything goes and consequences are ignored is less American-style freedom and more a scene from an antifa-led autonomous zone. The American founding is based on ordered liberty. Our sense of liberty is based on the idea that was so well communicated by St. John Paul II: “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.”
    And yet this freedom without responsibility is the currently projected image of freedom in the US, and it is being promoted by the average Joe in the street and not specifically or exclusively antifa.

    I'm all for fortitude, and it's the one thing I agree upon from that op piece. Much of the rest is the usual nationalistic chest-thumpery and, as Chip put, self-ennobling crap.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    I’m thinking of examples of fortitude like Martin Luther King, JR. and Joseph Biden.

    Perhaps he doesn’t, but I see lots of people overcoming great pain and set backs to survive .
    And, as MLK said, you don’t tell a bootless man to pull himself up by his boot straps .

    If all it took was being responsible and having fortitude for success, we might not be struggling as a nation to work for a common purpose. There is a place to assist others. Two lessons from Jesus some to mind , the man who was befriended by the man from Samara, and the feeding of the 5000. He also responded to a thief while being crucified.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    Some takeaways I wasn't expecting.

    It really breaks down to one taking responsibility for oneself, or wanting the government to do it. The latter seems lazy and weak.

    I'm reminded of Thomas Sowell's question: "What exactly is your fair share of what someone else has worked for?"
    Be your own tenth man.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    In my opinion, it's not an either/or situation. There are areas where I would expect people to take personal responsibility, and there are other areas where I expect the government to step up. How you decide which bucket to place things in is the tricky bit.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    Of course there are nuances involved, and levels of complexity; but they’re still two competing political philosophies. That creates a dichotomy.
    Be your own tenth man.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    So what? As a society we need to embrace both. Choosing one or the other won't work.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    There is a real danger - nay, it's actually happening in these threads -that the flag of 'whataboutism' is driven up the pole in response to any examples used in a discussion. Not all examples are a means to deflection.

    * * *

    And yet this freedom without responsibility is the currently projected image of freedom in the US, and it is being promoted by the average Joe in the street and not specifically or exclusively antifa.

    I'm all for fortitude, and it's the one thing I agree upon from that op piece. Much of the rest is the usual nationalistic chest-thumpery and, as Chip put, self-ennobling crap.
    Whataboutism may be overused, or even misused, but when a response begins with "What about..." the temptation to tweak the speaker was too much to resist.

    I'm curious about the source of your perspective of the average Joe on the street, and who you think the "average" American Joe is. That's not my perception of the vast majority of the Joes I rub elbows with, but would like to hear more from you.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    You will have to bear in mind that I am not living in the US, and that my opinion is driven by whatever reportage crosses my line of sight.

    My impression right now is that Americans are increasingly using the concept of freedom to justify acting in way that serves themselves but not the good of society. This isn't restricted to specific activist groups but is apparent among regular folks as evidenced by what I have to assume are random street interviews of members of the public. In the current climate this is noticeably centred around the average person holding the belief that they are an expert risk assessor, especially in subject areas they know bugger all about and in which no amount of Google 'research' is going to change.

    This view of Americans may well be wildly wrong or heavily biased because I cannot be sure that the information I've seen/read/heard faithfully draws that picture. Also, this phenomenon is not only seen in the US, but it may be fair to say that elsewhere in the world people may be influenced by this view of American life.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    So what? As a society we need to embrace both. Choosing one or the other won't work.
    So what? You tell me. You brought it up.

    Envision if you will, a spectrum with finite ends. Opposing positions along a continuum. Recognizing the ends does not limit you to them. There's still a whole range in the middle.

    Are you done with the navel gazing? Is there some other pedantic point you would like to argue?
    Be your own tenth man.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    There is a myth that exists for some Americans. That is, their success was the result of their hard work and effort. The fact is, everyone is not equal in opportunity, skill set, talent, health, intellgence, family support, and generational wealth. Thomas Sowell was mentioned, he had a very difficult beginning, but the military (a tax payer supproted system) and his academic ability propelled him forward. So, can we say he is a self made man? I don't and I doubt he would either. What if Sowell lacked intellegence? Would we have ever heard of him?

    It is in every American citizens interest to have healthcare and that heathcare be available to all. We've seen the benefit of free vaccines and testing for those who were willing to use them. This is good example of why we need government and the infrastructure in place.

    Americans benefit when children have good schools, learn skills, and have upward mobility. This allows for generational wealth to build and ensure the next generation does not require social benefits.

    We overgeneralise in these types of conversations. The fact is, most recipients are happy and thankful to have received support from the American tax payer.

    I could brag that I was a self made person because I had little parental involvement or encouragement. I begin my career as a meat cutter, later sales, and then landed a very good job against all odds because a man saw something and believed in me. I didn't finish my degree until I was 52. However, along the way, there were mentors, but more often there were people that I noticed and decided to emulate. Americans need more mentors and models to follow. A friend said he noticed a middle class family and wanted to be like them. He went to the military and gained tuition for college. It has not been easy for him, but he is highly succesful today. Besides his own children, he and his wife have adopted three children. He would be the last person to suggest he is a self made man.

    If I have to pay taxes, I would rather help a child get a leg up than support a war in the Middle East.

    Older American men who complain and yearn for the good old day are a scourge. They have nothing to offer, but anger. They drive $80k retirement pickups they cannot back into a space. They feel entitled. What is sad, they could mentor someone and change the world.
    Last edited by Chuck Naill; October 15th, 2021 at 12:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post

    Are you done with the navel gazing? Is there some other pedantic point you would like to argue?
    Still being the dick, I see.

    You base your argument on a dichotomy and then call it "pedantic" and "navel gazing" to point out the limitations of argument via dichotomy? Nice work, there.

    How about you just get smarter? You posted a stupid, jingoistic column full of false assumptions, overgeneralizations, and false dichotomies. You asked for comments and got answers. We could go over every line and show you the flaws, but it ain't worth the time cuz no one really cares enough, and you slander those who actually give you a sincere reply (that you don't like).

    Nothin' new this week.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    There is a myth that exists for some Americans. That is, their success was the result of their hard work and effort. The fact is, everyone is not equal in opportunity, skill set, talent, health, intellgence, family support, and generational wealth. Thomas Sowell was mentioned, he had a very difficult beginning, but the military (a tax payer supproted system) and his academic ability propelled him forward. So, can we say he is a self made man? I don't and I doubt he would either. What if Sowell lacked intellegence? Would we have ever heard of him?

    It is in every American citizens interest to have healthcare and that heathcare be available to all. We've seen the benefit of free vaccines and testing for those who were willing to use them. This is good example of why we need government and the infrastructure in place.

    Americans benefit when children have good schools, learn skills, and have upward mobility. This allows for generational wealth to build and ensure the next generation does not require social benefits.

    We overgeneralise in these types of conversations. The fact is, most recipients are happy and thankful to have received support from the American tax payer.

    I could brag that I was a self made person because I had little parental involvement or encouragement. I begin my career as a meat cutter, later sales, and then landed a very good job against all odds because a man saw something and believed in me. I didn't finish my degree until I was 52. However, along the way, there were mentors, but more often there were people that I noticed and decided to emulate. Americans need more mentors and models to follow. A friend said he noticed a middle class family and wanted to be like them. He went to the military and gained tuition for college. It has not been easy for him, but he is highly succesful today. Besides his own children, he and his wife have adopted three children. He would be the last person to suggest he is a self made man.

    If I have to pay taxes, I would rather help a child get a leg up than support a war in the Middle East.

    Older American men who complain and yearn for the good old age are a scourge. They have nothing to offer, but anger. They drive $80k retirement pickups they cannot back into a space. They feel entitled. What is sad, they could mentor someone and change the world.
    Great post, Chuck. In one of my classes we read the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and have this same kind of discussion: to what degree did Franklin earn his own success? Could anyone/everyone have succeeded having his start? What advantages may he have had? What support? To what degree was his success a direct result of his decisions, efforts, or talents? What degree was luck? How evenly, in a society, is what we call "luck" distributed? Was his society a level playing field? How did he feel about assisting others? That he was a great success is clear, and the easy part of the story (straight plot). How and why and in what kind of playing field he fought for his success is another matter.

    We also pair this book with the Autobiography of Frederick Douglass and ask all of the same questions. I have a historian friend come to class and tell us the story of Jane Mecom, Franklin's favorite sister, for another contrasting tale.


    Thank you for sharing your story.
    Last edited by TSherbs; October 15th, 2021 at 01:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    [QUOTE=kazoolaw;339625]
    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    I can see why fortitude would be a foreign concept to you, as opposed to the hit-and-run comments you try to pass as analysis.
    What a cheap, nasty little shot.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post

    Are you done with the navel gazing? Is there some other pedantic point you would like to argue?
    Still being the dick, I see.

    You base your argument on a dichotomy and then call it "pedantic" and "navel gazing" to point out the limitations of argument via dichotomy? Nice work, there.

    How about you just get smarter? You posted a stupid, jingoistic column full of false assumptions, overgeneralizations, and false dichotomies. You asked for comments and got answers. We could go over every line and show you the flaws, but it ain't worth the time cuz no one really cares enough, and you slander those who actually give you a sincere reply (that you don't like).

    Nothin' new this week.

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    Curious response. Let me check my troll trap and see who was ensnared... EOC, Chuck, Chip and you. Says a lot.

    But even more curious is one who explicitly stated they were not interested in a conversation with me can't help themselves but to rush to the defense of a fellow troll, leading off with "still being the dick..." Glass houses and all that.

    Get smarter? I'm not the one who is unable to derive principles from Rep Crenshaw's piece and discuss the merits or lack thereof. That would be the same people in the aforementioned trap.

    So indeed, nothing is new this week. Thanks for playing, and maybe you should see someone about your anger. It's getting worse. Should some miracle happen and Trump be re-elected in '24, I don't think you will be able to cope with it. "Brandon" doesn't appear to be up for a second term.
    Be your own tenth man.

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    <rolls eyes>

    As long as you're proud!



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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    What utter self-ennobling crap.

    * ** * *
    This "strong person– freedom is scary" guff is attractive only to the foolish, powerless, resentful, and envious.



    Quote Originally Posted by Chip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kazoolaw View Post
    I can see why fortitude would be a foreign concept to you, as opposed to the hit-and-run comments you try to pass as analysis.
    What a cheap, nasty little shot.
    But Chip...
    Was it utter crap?
    Was it scary guff to you?
    Did it describe you as foolish, powerless, resentful, and envious?
    Or, did it hit the bullseye on your commentary?

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    Default Re: Restoring Fortitude

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    So what? As a society we need to embrace both. Choosing one or the other won't work.
    So what? You tell me. You brought it up.

    Envision if you will, a spectrum with finite ends. Opposing positions along a continuum. Recognizing the ends does not limit you to them. There's still a whole range in the middle.

    Are you done with the navel gazing? Is there some other pedantic point you would like to argue?
    Actually it was you that brought it up, and I merely responded. I see you're back to your regular broadcast of insults.

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