Idealism Vs. Realism

Ideally, more than a thousand people would read my blog, comment on it and then share it with their best friends. Realistically, slightly fewer than a hundred will read the blog, few will comment and almost none will share. The ideal is based upon my ego and the perception that I have important things to say and want to share those things with as many people as possible. The truth is few people care what I have to say however edge of the sharp blade it might be thus I assume the position, in my mind only, of the prophet in the wilderness crying warnings into the wind. As far as being right I do not have a coterie of interpreters able to take what I write and twist it to fit events that have already occurred and cry, “Eureka!! He was right.” No, I am no Nostradamus nor even Edgar Cayce (who was eerily correct).

But you can see that even I have an ideal world but the difference is I accept the reality of the world as it is and not how I wish it to be. The trouble with idealists is they don’t. Many idealists, no, all idealists believe they can somehow change human nature. They can’t but that doesn’t keep them from trying. So, the idealists led us into a war in Viet Nam thinking we could introduce a democratic government that would become a bulwark against the spread of Communism in Indochina. Then the idealists led us into a war where we would introduce a democratic government into Afghanistan which has never actually even functioned as a coherent nation state not to mention that it existed with a 14th century culture and all that means. We would bring freedom to the women and girls and they would become equals in a society with men and such a society would not allow terrorists to use their country as a safe haven. Those same idealists saw democracy flourishing in Iraq, a country that had a king or dictator for most of history. Many idealists also thought that Iran would moderate its behavior if we treated with the government on a equal footing.

It used to be said that idealists started wars and realists fought them but none of my examples of conflict were directed by realists. No, the idealists started the conflicts and then directed those conflicts with idealized concepts of war. British aristocrats were staged when reporting to the Royal Flying Corps in WWI and then the Royal Air Force in WWII where they were told that because the idealists in Parliament had not armed the Air Force better, the .303 machine guns on their aircraft would not bring down German aircraft so pilots were taught to get within thirty yards of their target and aim for the pilot. This was only way to bring down the enemy. Kill the pilot and if he had gunners kill them first so you could get close to the pilot. “No sir, not I sir. That is a cowardly way of fighting.” said the pilots who didn’t last more than two missions because of the ideal concept that fighting in the air was the last bastion of knightly combat. The Battle of Britain would have been very different if the British Hurricanes and Spitfires had mounted either .50 cal machine guns or 20mm cannon. Many more of the few would have lived not having to close to within thirty yards of their targets to score a kill.

In 1964 the Johnson administration inaugurated the Great Society program where they built, among other things, training centers for all those minorities who wanted to work because ideally everyone wanted the American Dream: A good job, their own house and a family. Dream and Ideal have a lot in common because the latter is an example of the former. But those people did not share the American Ideal nor did they think like the idealists. They had their own existence which had become one of victimhood in which they would be provided for. Not all but many. The idealists built their dream but it wasn’t the dream of those for whom they built. Yet, everyday the realists continue to pay the bills for government programs which go unused.

Now we have idealists in government who want to create a society in which everyone is the same. To do this one would have to change human nature from it’s primary survival of the strongest to one of which everyone was the same strength, intelligence and achievement. This would be to deny more than forty thousand years of human history. No one who has tried to change human nature has ever really been successful without the use of drugs being constantly pumped into test subjects. Sometimes you can change behavior but you cannot change instinct.

According to a recent Harvard poll, fifty-one percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 believe the Israelis are engaged in genocide against the Palestinians and that it is right and proper to “Kill the Jews” for their crimes against humanity. If you look at the age of that demographic you’ll note those are college age children who have yet to venture into the reality of that which is called the “Real World” where human competition is the norm. They have no concept of the true history of the Middle East, the Holocaust, and many of them can’t name the branches of U.S. government nor even how many they are. They are simply parroting what they have been told, and acting in what they believe is their revolt against authority. They, like all idealists, see the world soley in two colors, Wrong and Right. Yet they don’t know how to determine between actual wrong and right nor do they understand all the grays and egg shell white colors that exist.

Of course, we can’t end without mentioning the “idealists” who want to use climate as a tool to gain control of government and tell people how to live their lives. Here, like with those who preach that Hamas is somehow good, I doubt that those who propose really believe in their ideal. They see it as a means of achieving power but they have, once again, that demographic of 18-25 year olds convinced of their cause and vocal in their support. The government pushes the idea of everyone traveling by electricity supplied by windmills and solar panels. Yet, the technology isn’t advanced enough to provide such an ideal world. The electric grid of the U.S. cannot support the electricity needs of everyone using “clean” energy simultaneously.

Think logically, ask questions and you will arrive at the conclusion that idealism can be a good long term goal setting but in the short term most idealism is impractical. Idealists have shelved the concepts of practicality and common sense in exchange for pie in the sky ideals. BTW “pie in the sky” means that the only place your ideal is going to exist is in heaven and that you’ll have to wait until you’re there to get it.

Have you dreams and work toward them but don’t expect they’ll happen tomorrow or the day after. Now, how do I go about getting a thousand readers for my blog who will say, “My goodness, how astute,” and share with others?

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