There are a lot of things folks on the left-side of the political spectrum just don't get when it comes to human nature. I was reminded of this fact just this week as I read reactions to the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare that flooded the Internet. With the spirit of freedom in mind, I'd like to highlight a few important facts young leftists ought to keep in mind:
1. Human beings have free will. No matter how many laws you write, you cannot overwrite free will. It is programmed into our systems at birth.
2. You cannot force good will or compassion. Building off of our first fact, it is impossible to make one person or a group of people "like" or "be nice" to another person or group. Again, just because you legislate or mandate "niceness" doesn't mean you can force a human being to be nice, just like you can't tax "meanness" and expect it to go away.
And while we're on the topic of money, let it be said that the socialists who continually complain about capitalists being greedy are the same folks who have no problem holding money over someone's head in order to get them to do their bidding. So much for economic equality.
3. It is impossible to socially engineer existence. We are not a planet of Barbie dolls with government acting as the puppet-master. Again, that pesky free will thing just keeps popping up. Probably because free will is what drove the colonists to push for independence and millions more to leave regions of persecution in order to seek a better life in a country where they could, indeed, exercise their free will. (Hint: That country has not and never will be Russia.)
The idea that you can somehow force people to do something they don't want to do in order to fit the social order that you've decided upon is the kind of nutbag idea that motivated the creation of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Communist China, Islamist Iran and all of those other lovely oppressive regimes that we've either had to destroy for the sake of humanity or are currently seeking to destroy the free world. Just because you think your taxes on insurance, sugary drinks, or junk food aren't the equivalent of imprisoning thousands of innocents doesn't mean they won't lead down the same path. Stalinist Russia wasn't born in a day.
4. Human beings need to put their faith somewhere, but government ain't it. Don't think you're some kind of cutting-edge hipster because you choose to put your faith in government instead of religion. You're still that lonely person looking for something to believe in; the only difference is, your icon is a political personality instead of a televangelist. What? The toned-down suit and fancy college lingo makes that big of a difference? Keep setting those standards high!
Blind faith in human leadership is the reason America exists. Our founding fathers had a keen experiential understanding of the fact that putting your faith in some untouchable leader had destructive consequences. So, they intentionally set up a government that divorced idol worship from political office. Of course, real leadership is a test in humility. When George Washington was elected President, John Adams suggested that we refer to him as His Majesty the President, a title Washington was quick to decline. But, humility is a personal choice that some leaders have been quick to ignore. There goes that pesky free will thing again. I guess when someone is given authority (or takes it by force) they have the choice to let it go to their heads and even use it to do as they please. And if they please, they will go ahead and usurp your freedoms in the process.
Which makes them worthy of your faith again ...in what way?
5. Ignorance isn't bliss. Most of the leftists who think they are so "in the know" about politics don't, in reality, know much of anything when it comes to law and governance. The Constitution is "old" and therefore not worth reading. Sources of news and information span the range of blatantly biased sources (like HuffPo) to the user-built Wikipedia and user-generated feed Reddit. I can guarantee you that 9 out of 10 leftist hipsters have never heard of Pravda and think the Berlin Wall is something their old history teacher had a chunk of on their classroom desk. Yet, in acts that illustrate their ultimate immaturity, they feel free to make sweeping judgements against anything they've been told is unpopular and place their allegiance the way a teenage girl proclaims their undying love for the latest boy band. When questioned, they call on their arsenal of biased, uninformed media the way tweens recall Facebook posts in he-said, she-said school hallway wars.
The scary thing is, in a world where the Cheif Justice of the Supreme Court can change his mind based on a fear of what popular media says other people think, turning a political discussion into a glorified Facebook fight is perfectly justified. This removes our government from the realm of facts and ethics and into the shallow cesspool of primetime pop culture. (In related news, E! is in the works to produce The Secret Life of the Supreme Court; Kim Kardashian is rumored to break up the Roberts' marriage in the first season, but dump Johnny in the season finale cliffhanger. Shooting will begin in Malta over the next two weeks.)
6. You are the master of your own universe. It is no coincidence that one of the greatest social issues of our time involves mothers breastfeeding grown children: We have an entire wing of our political spectrum filled with young voters looking for an open teet.
A few months ago I ran a seminar at which we were all asked to introduce ourselves and talk about our educational/career backgrounds. Afterwards, our guest speaker came up to me and actually complimented me on the renaissance-like career I've forged for myself since graduating college. "In my day, colleges were about giving a student a well-rounded education so they could graduate into the real world with the ability to do any number of things successfully. Today, they're about pumping out workers for specific jobs and when those jobs aren't there, these kids don't know what to do."
He was right. Generation-Y, by and large, has absolutely no idea how to make it in their world on their own and educational institutions are doing nothing to foster the kind of thinking that leads to success: individualism, integrity, and ingenuity. From the age of five, the majority of these kids have been told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it through public education. They've been pushed through classes for the purpose of maintaining test scores and enrollment by institutions that are more focused on statistics-based funding than real education. The truth is that those federal dollars they crave have a price attached in the form of curricula crafted by political agenda. (What? The leftists in the Department of Education holding money over heads in order to get what they want? Dance, puppet, dance!) And while that agenda has taught Generation-Y that Heather can have two mommies and black people are cool, it hasn't done much in the way of creating productive citizens that can "ask not what their country can do for them, but what they can do for their country." But, hey, at least they can march in a gay pride parade or plant their butts in a city park for a few months. Those contributions are doing a boatload for our economy.
The truth of the matter is: Only you can choose your future. If the fears you have about paying your bills are leading you to put your faith in your government, ask yourself this question: Isn't it funny that the same people telling you to rage against the evils of capitalism are the ones holding money over your head?