Did you see Obama’s DNC speech? What are your impressions?
I was very impressed by how different today’s Obama is from the guy we saw win the elections four years ago. He has matured a lot and it’s obvious that these have been very hard four years. He has hardened but not in the sense of becoming cold and devoid of compassion. Rather, I perceived this new almost desperate decisiveness in him. I’m glad to see that he realizes how absolutely crucial this election his, how close we are to a very major transformation in this country, and how different the two pathways that this transformation can follow are.
I have read many (Liberal) sources that say the speech is boring, unexciting, and uninspired. I think what these commentators are missing is that we are not seeing a presidential hopeful in front of any more. We are seeing an acting President who is working hard and stays in control of things. The speech was realistic and didn’t promise the Moon and the Sun. And that’s how it should be.
The best thing was that Obama said very forcefully that the Republicans are planning to raise the taxes on the middle class. If this is repeated often enough, it will win him the election.
Honestly, I didn’t expect to be as impressed as I am with this speech. It is the most reassuring of all Obama’s speeches I’ve heard.
I’m really looking forward to the debates.
In class today I was explaining how Franco’s dictatorship imposed a very strict dress code on women.
“The kind of dress I’m wearing today, pants, short shorts, sleeveless blouses, open-necked shirts – all that was considered indecent by the dictatorship,” I say. “Now, why do we wear short skirts and dresses and shorts?”
“To look pretty and attract men!” a male student blurts out.
Female students roar with laughter.
“Believe it or not,” I smile, “I don’t come here to look pretty or attract anybody. That’s really the last thing on my mind when I come to teach. But let’s ask our female colleagues. Women, why are you wearing T-shirts and shorts today?”
“Because it’s +92 degrees F,” a female student explains.
“Ah!” says the male student who had advanced the “looking pretty” theory. “That. . . makes sense.”
I’m always happy to challenge the worldview based on the idea that women exist to look pretty and attract men and for no other purpose whatsoever.
The kind of worldview that I hate with a passion and despise with a vengeance is the one that is based on fatalism.
The idea that everything in the world happens by pure chance, that you can in no way control anything that happens to you, that no matter what you do the outcome is completely beyond your control is, in my opinion, wimpy and pathetic. It is a very good excuse never to do anything with your life, never to address your issues, never to solve any problems. Why make an effort if it’s all useless by default?
Of course, I don’t think that we are in complete control of everything that happens to us. There are forces beyond out control that mold our lives. There are influences that we neither requested nor welcomed that have a deep impact on our psyche, an impact that can be profoundly negative.
Ultimately, however, I believe that it is the duty of every rational, thinking human being to try as hard as we can to solve our problems. If you tell people around you, “I will not do anything to address my issues because it’s all useless anyways,” you are engaging in a deliberately abusive behavior where you force others to pay the price of your intellectual laziness, emotional sloppiness, and profound self-centeredness.
A fatalist very easily slips into the role of an emotional abuser.
P.S. This is not a post on politics or economy. This is a post on interpersonal relationships and individual psychology. So if you have an urge to blame me for promoting a “lift yourself by the bootstraps” mentality, you are wide of the mark.
Self-reliance used to be one of my favorite words. What a beautiful concept it could have been had it not been co-opted by so many unintelligent people!
Now the word has been killed for me by my blogroll. Don’t believe me? Read the following:
You have to ask yourself whether you want a culture of dependency or a culture of self-reliance. What is so offensive about Obama and his ilk is their undermining of such traditional American values as self-reliance. And as I said yesterday, many of these same liberals such as the “race troll’ Chris Mathews got where they did in life precisely because of such virtues as self-reliance. And yet they refuse to promote them and pass them on. It shows the contempt they have for their clients such as blacks who keep them in power. If it hasn’t happened already, some liberal will now besmirch the beautiful word ‘self-reliance’ as racial code. There is just no level of scumbaggery to which a leftist will not descend.
Now, whenever I hear this word, I immediately imagine a mean, spiteful curmudgeon who just sits there judging everybody all day long.
The most beautiful part of the word “self-reliance” is “self.” And it only makes sense when you cultivate this virtue in your own self without lecturing others on it. You can’t “promote” it or “pass it on.” A person who can’t exist without lecturing other on self-reliance is not self-reliant for the simple reason that s/he needs others to confirm his or her point of view as valuable.