Critical Thinking: Character Values vs. Political Correctness, Leftist Views, and Self Esteem

Critical Thinking:

Character Values vs. Political Correctness, Leftist Views, and Self Esteem

 

“Does it Do Good?” vs. “Does it Feel Good?”

Why socialist policies are so popular—but so harmful

 

keyThese [leftists] are using a technique that is as old as the human race,—a fervid but false solicitude for the unfortunate over whom they thus gain mastery, and then enslave them. ~ David O. McKay

 

Dennis Prager

A fundamental difference between the left and right concerns how each assesses public policies. The right asks, “Does it do good?” The left asks a different question, [as shown in the following examples].

1) Minimum Wage

1987

The New York Times editorialized against any minimum wage. The title of the editorial said it all –“The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00”

redistsocialismillustrated              There’s a virtual consensus among economists,” wrote the Times editorial, “that the minimum wage is an idea whose time has passed. Raising the minimum wage by a substantial amount would price working poor people out of the job market. …More important, it would increase unemployment … The idea of using a minimum wage to overcome poverty is old, honorable—and fundamentally flawed.”

Why did the New York Times editorialize against the minimum wage? Because it asked the conservative question: “Does it do good?”

27 years later

The New York Times editorial page wrote the very opposite of what it had written in 1987, and called for a major increase in the minimum wage. In that time, the page had moved further left and was now preoccupied not with what does good—but with income inequality, which feels bad. It lamented the fact that a low hourly minimum wage had not “softened the hearts of its opponents”—Republicans and their supporters.

 

2) Affirmative Action

Study after study—and, even more important, common sense and facts—have shown the deleterious effects that race-based affirmative action have had on black students. Lowering college admissions standards for black applicants has ensured at least two awful results.

One is that more black students fail to graduate college—because they have too often been admitted to a college that demands more academic rigor than they were prepared for. Rather than attend a school that matches their skills, a school where they might thrive, they fail at a school where they are over-matched.

The other result is that many, if not most, black students feel a dark cloud hanging over them. They suspect that other students wonder whether they, the black students, were admitted into the college on merit or because standards were lowered.

It would seem that the last question supporters of race-based affirmative action ask is, “Does it do good?”

 

3) Pacifism

reagan-peace-strengthThe left has a soft spot for pacifism—the belief that killing another human being is always immoral [unless it is killing unborn babies]. Not all leftists are pacifists, but pacifism emanates from the left, and just about all leftists support “peace activism,” … and whatever else contains the word “peace.”

The right, on the other hand, while just as desirous of peace as the left—what conservative parent wants their child to die in battle?—knows that pacifism and most “peace activists” increase the chances of war, not peace.

Nothing guarantees the triumph of evil like refusing to fight it. Great evil is therefore never defeated by peace activists, but by superior military might. The Allied victory in World War II is an obvious example. American military might likewise contained and ultimately ended Soviet communism.

reagan-quote-appeasement               Supporters of pacifism, peace studies, American nuclear disarmament, American military withdrawal form countries ins which it has fought—Iraq is the most recent example—do not ask, “Does it do good?”

Did the withdrawal of America from Iraq do good? Of course not. It only led to the rise of Islamic State with its mass murder and torture.

 

                So, then, if in assessing what public policies to pursue, conservatives ask “Does it do good?” what question do liberals ask? The answer is, “Does it make people—including myself—feel good?”

Why do liberals support a higher minimum wage if doesn’t do good? Because intakes the recipients of the higher wage feel good (even if other workers lose their jobs when restaurants and other businesses that cannot afford the higher wage close down) and it makes liberals feel good about themselves: “We liberals, unlike conservatives, have soft hearts.”

Why do liberals support race-based affirmative action? For the same reasons. It makes the recipients feel good when they are admitted to more prestigious colleges. And it makes liberals feel good about themselves for appearing to right the wrongs of historical racism.

The same holds true for left-wing peace activism: Supporting “peace” rather than the military makes liberals feel good about themselves.

narcissismThe Folly of the Self-Esteem Movement

Perhaps the best example is the self-esteem movement. It has had an almost wholly negative effect on a generation of Americans raised to have high self-esteem without having earned it. They then suffer from narcissism and an incapacity to deal with life’s inevitable setbacks. But self-esteem feels good.

And feelings—not reason—is what liberalism is largely about. Reason asks: “Does it do good?” Liberalism asks, “Does it feel good?”

 

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Character Education, Social Media, and Earning Self Esteem

Character Education, Social Media, and Earning Self Esteem

Finding Self-Worth in a Selfie World

What if pouring yourself—the good and the hidden—into those around and beyond you afforded you the kind of self-worth you can’t get from social media or one of the thousands of self-help books crowding our shelves?

By Henry Unga

self-esteem-worth-SelfieworldI was 28 years old when my wife was diagnosed with a terminal lung disease. And beyond how many friends I had, how good-looking I felt I was, how respected I was by my peers, how glamorous or rich I was or wasn’t, my understanding of self-worth became how I used my new pain and past experiences to acquire the compassion necessary to truly love someone other than myself. And what if that’s the secret? What if pouring yourself—the good and the hidden—into those around and beyond you afforded you the kind of self-worth you can’t get from social media or one of the thousands of self-help books crowding our shelves? What if outward compassion rather than inward reflection is the barometer with which God measures our intended purpose and value? Well, I think it might be. Or at least it’s a strong component. Because I’ve never felt more worthy as a son of God than when I first started washing my wife’s hair because lifting her own arms to shampoo her hair became too much for her lungs to handle. I’ve never felt so purposeful and satisfied than when I made the obvious choice of disappearing into the full-time care and round-the-clock concern of a most precious and delicate daughter of God.

Maybe not having friends in 5th grade meant I wasn’t being a friend to my classmates. Maybe not feeling attractive in high school meant I needed to step away from my mirror and look out my window. Maybe not receiving the leadership roles I felt I needed in order to really make a difference as a missionary meant that I wasn’t fully serving those closest to me—my missionary companions and the families who were looking to us for gospel understanding. Maybe feeling enslaved to a job that wasn’t the coolest or most lucrative meant that I didn’t yet understand that it would be outside the hours of 9 to 5 where my happiest, hardest, and most sacred work would be done. And maybe feeling cheated by 78 “likes” on a posted picture that I thought deserved a million means I’ve swung too far from what I once understood about self-worth and have parlayed my divine identity into an idea of someone I’m not quite and perhaps never will be.

I’m now 29 years old. And maybe that’s too young to know exactly who or what I am. But being 29 is probably old enough to know what I’m not. I know I’m not merely a resume or a cultural demographic or a body type or a tax bracket or a profile picture. And I know I’m not reduced to those arbitrary things because I know I am more than simply myself.

I am what I am to my wife and to my friends and family and to my neighbors and coworkers and fellow freeway drivers. I am what I am to the 54-year-old server who cleans up after me and thanks me for coming in even though I under-tipped. I am what I am to the person who doesn’t like me and especially to the person I’m not too fond of either. I am what I am to those I should be serving more, to those I should be reaching out to more, to those I should be writing to instead of writing this. I am how I love others because that’s one of the few things I can actually control in this life, and it’s possibly the only way I can tangibly measure my true self-worth. But mostly, I am how I love others because that’s all God asks of me—and because that’s all I can give Him. And maybe that’s good enough.