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The Candid Conservative: Who’s writing your script?
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 22:37
“To have doubted one’s own first principles is the first mark of a civilized man.” 
—  Oliver Wendell Holmes
Special to the Daily Planet


The problem

In the early part of the 20th century, Germany was arguably the most advanced culture on the planet

Though many countries could duplicate pieces of their model, none could claim a higher place on the ladder of social, economic, intellectual, cultural, academic and scientific success. 

Before the half-way point of that century, it would all be squandered on the egotistical insecurities of a vanity-driven hysteric masquerading as a progressive benevolent. Think AOC with a mustache.

If a citizenry of such remarkable strengths and character could be collectively seduced into cultural suicide, it can be well-argued that none of the rest of us are immune.

America’s vulnerability is ironically formed out of our extraordinary blessings. No matter what the naysayers sell, America is exceptional. Not to be confused with the pretense of American perfectionism, our specialness is easily demonstrated by our history.

For the past 200-plus years, no country on earth has had more positive impact on international and even celestial affairs than our own. Next time you look at the moon, remember whose footprints are there.

All of the descriptors used to describe pre-war Germany apply to the United States, but with multipliers. That fact is most surely demonstrated in one truth – people from all over the world want to come here more than any other place in the world. The guy who cooks the best burger attracts the most customers.

 Living in such a special place – especially if one hasn’t tasted the limitations of second- and thirrd world countries – makes it easy to believe our culture can’t fail. That conclusion is as dangerous. In a world under temporary command of the master of darkness, nothing good is immune from rot, rust or ruin.

Guarding and preserving the exceptional vision we call America requires vigor and a functional script.

Don’t look now but there are a bunch of script-writing vanity kings attempting to sell us Barney Meets Godzilla as a sub for Gandhi.  


Bad actors pretending to be good directors

At no time in our history have we had so many dysfunctional people in positions of high-visibility leadership.

Their script is more predictable than gravity – promise something for nothing, generously expel superlatives – positive ones for your side, derogatory ones for others – and attack the opposition for what you duplicate faithfully in your own life.

Obsessed with climate change and the green deal? Travel in jets and black SUVs. Anti-gun all the way? Surround yourself with armed security. Hate the idea of a wall to protect our borders? Build a wall around your house to protect you. Alarmed over vaccination requirements for a child attending public school? Expand public policy that allows for the termination of new life whenever it suits the donor.

People of this ilk are persuasive political phonies covering bad meat with pink slime.  

Targeting the weak and vulnerable

 A dead give-a-way of a predatory nature is the instinct to go after the struggling antelope. Voracious politicians don’t eat people, they kidnap their head and heart and turn them into zombies. Don’t believe it? Rerun the Kavanaugh hearings.  

 We are always going to have weak and vulnerable people – many as victims of their own bad choices – others as unwitting prey for the self-serving confusing an ego fix with munificence.

 Let’s try to make sure you’re not one of them.


Nothing reveals America’s flirtation with self-destruction than our current fascination with socialism.

 It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t work. The fantasy that it can if we just try hard enough continues to swoon those looking for that magic pot of something for nothing at the end of a progressive rainbow.

Yes, we’ve all heard how socialism is magnificently successful in Norway, Denmark, etc.  Those are small countries with a homogeneous society linked to a strong community ethic.  

For a view of how well that community thing works in America, take a scenic ride through the Southside of Chicago. For a view of how its failing Norway, Denmark, etc. talk to someone who lives there amidst an increasingly predatory immigrant population whose concept of mutuality is “I live – you die.”

Distractions, drugs and dogma are dead-end scripts 

We live in a world that confuses being distracted with being happy. Distraction is a temporary escape from reality. The more one runs from reality the more surely one is about to be stomped into the mud by reality.

 Drugs as a chemical form of distraction are enjoying a bubbly reception amongst a broadening percentage of the population. They can be fun and temporarily ease pain – what drugs can’t do is give us a lasting escape from the relentless demands of nature.

 Nature’s end game is killing us. Every moment in drug-induced time out is a moment we don’t grow. Every moment we stop growing finds reality creeping a little closer to that stomp us into the mud thing.

 Dogma is any belief that we cling to out of habit versus good sense. It’s comforting because it cushions us in a cocoon of clarity guarded with artificial certainty. Dogma is like a dam that works well right up to the moment it doesn’t.


Write your own 

People who can’t run their own life shouldn’t be running yours for the same reason you shouldn’t ride in a car with a drunk driver.

Writing your own script begins with noting the difference in reacting and responding.

Reacting has us constantly and instinctively bouncing off the external influences. Reacting puts our script in the hands of whatever it is we’re reacting to.

Responding finds us hitting our pause button and running our behavior through our head, heart, hand, spirit and experience before we act. That team is guaranteed to produce a better plan than running off instinct and reaction. With practice our team is faster than a computer.

 Writing one’s own script takes courage. Most people borrow theirs out of laziness, confusion or fear. It takes courage to be bold, focused and adventuresome. Find your courage button and you’ll have more fun and encourage others with your example.

Embrace the inevitability that people who write their own script screw up.

Achievers and perfectionists aim equally high. Perfectionists focus on what they don’t get done while achievers emphasize what they do. The difference means resisting the temptation of self-rejection.

Life is filled with opportunities for accomplishment and failure. A good script requires we embrace the latter as surely as the former. There’s more learning in a stumble than a success.

Frame your script with good bones. I like King Solomon’s wisdom on the subject. He suggested life boils down to four things built on one thing. The foundation is seeking the will of higher authority – you know, the one we Christians call God and that the rest of the world is pushing us to ignore.

 From there Solomon’s advice is pretty simple. He suggested that good living boils down to four things – labor, love, learn and live (as in celebrate the gift).

 A script built on carrying one’s own weight and putting something back into the world; loving one another; sponging up sources of wisdom; and gratitude for the opportunity sets us up for success. In contrast, lethargy, selfishness, folly and anger guarantee the opposite.

 One last thing on writing one’s own script – anything that’s easy is usually a dead-end. A good script has you working.   

We’re surrounded with false profits selling easy and seductive life scripts. You shall know them by their deeds – and though their faces may smile, in their eyes you will find no joy.…

Carl Mumpower, a psychologist and former elected official, is the past chairman of the Buncombe County Republican Party. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



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