The job was titled Outdoor Wilderness Counselor. As “basecamp” was located in the Northern tip of Idaho it was indeed outdoor and in the wilderness which was fine with me as I’d grown up in the mountains of Northern California. For those of you who’ve read Late Bird you will recognize this setting and “uncomfortably” remember the usage of the “stump”.
I was tasked with teaching a workshop to a collection of the teenagers in camp. Handed a small folder I perused the material I was to cover over the next hour. The kids, glad to be out of the elements for a bit, gathered in the canvas covered area and although happy to not be sitting on stumps, were still not pleased with their current predicament.
None of them were there by choice. In front of me sat a collection of teenagers that would laugh with scorn at today’s millennial.
They knew not micro in regards to aggression and in all reality only knew abuse.
Staring at me now with glazed eyes were the survivors of physical, sexual and emotional trauma. Many had traded their bodies for drugs. Some for security. Others had used their fists, legs, teeth and fingernails to ensure their own survival.
I taught from the material for about ten minutes and then made an adjustment. First, there was nothing in the material that was going to open their eyes and as entertaining as I am I couldn’t make that stuff work.
Second, I knew I had information that would interest them and provide them a porthole if they so chose to gather more information down the road.
I put the text down and asked a simple question. “What is the most important thing to your survival?” Heads popped up. Backs straightened. The frozen glaze started to soften.
I asked again “What is the most important thing to your survival?”
Although I had their attention no one seemed to have an answer.
“Come on guys this isn’t a trick. You are smart young men and women. Think about it.”
After a couple wisecracks of “beer” and “pot” the room sat quietly until a hand was raised.
I nodded. “Go ahead.”
“Love?” was the response in more of question than an answer.
If you care about people in general and specifically children it was a heartwarming and heartbreaking answer all rolled into one.
I nodded and said softly “Great answer but let me ask you this. Have you had a lot of love in your life?”
“No,” came the answer.
“Are you feeling any love right now?” I inquired.
“No,” was the response.
“Are you still alive?”
“Again great answer but really think about it. If you haven’t had love in your life and you are still surviving then love isn’t the most important element to your survival.”
It became silent in the room again as they sat quietly, their minds working. For thirty seconds all the pain, fear and frustration was gone as actual thinking took over. Synapses were firing, blood was flowing. The art of Thought was happening.
Of course the answer is water, and after given the answer, affirmative comments and head nods happened around the room as they immediately knew they were receiving facts. (Do not send me emails about oxygen)
More importantly they were willing to accept facts and make adjustments to their views. Abused, desperate children willing to look beyond their own situations and LEARN.
Something, according to the press, registered adult Democrats seem unable or unwilling to do.
I am willing to grant many Democrats do not understand nor can define Democracy. What I find pathetic is the national media pushing the story line that “educated voters” are primarily Democrats and support Hillary Clinton.
No one who actually has an EDUCATION would ever support Democracy nor be willing to repeat the lie that the United States is one. In fact by making these statements they are proving themselves to be decidedly uneducated.
Let me try and be concise. We’ve all heard of Socrates and Plato although sadly too many are only familiar with Socrates because of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and as stated in the past, too many adults think Plato comes in a can.
Socrates was Plato’s teacher and is considered one of the original voices of western philosophy.
Through Plato’s writings the world was introduced to Aristocracy, which then becomes Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy, and finally Tyranny…in that order.
For the purpose of this column let us focus on the term Democracy and its inevitable arrival, BY DEFINITION, at Tyranny.
No Liberals. Bernie Sanders and Dan Rather aren’t smarter than Socrates and Plato. Bernie and Dan would struggle with Barney and Fred.
Of course I can hear Liberals heads exploding as they read this and start to bloviate a wide variety of nonsensical verbiage including the attacking of, wait for it, Socrates and or Plato.
People people! It’s his/their theory that you have embraced. They named it Democracy. You call yourselves Democrats. It’s not their fault you didn’t finish the story. The one that ends in Tyranny.
It’s not my fault you have chosen to brand yourselves with a mark of stupidity. Not only is no one forcing this upon you, I provide weekly columns on the depravity and disease known as the Democratic Party.
Sadly these “educated” souls, that the press keep mentioning, haven’t any actual education at all.
Politicians simply wash rinse and repeat jargon like Progressive, Liberal, or the new one, Democratic Socialism, and the “educated Democrats” slop it up like pigs at a trough.
Similar qualities can be found at any local sports bar where grown men, who don’t know anything about football, run around with Jerry Rice jerseys on their backs.
Fortunately through Plato’s writings the concept of a Republic was established.
Due to space and time constraints I will fast forward.
The construction of a Republic continued to grow as humans evolved and grasped the idea and possibility of Individual Freedom.
The historical arrival of Jesus furthered the concept of not only the Individual but of Individual Responsibility.
Centuries later Adam Smith used the term “the invisible hand” to explain how the individual was of greater benefit to society by striving to fulfill their own dreams or passions.
This proclamation was quickly followed by a band of “patriots” in the New World where individuals living in Thirteen Colonies decided their freedom was more important than anything else.
With a Declaration of Independence an historic war began that would forever shape the world.
As “Don’t Tread On Me” flags were flown, statements such as “Give me liberty or give me death” and “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country” were made by individuals practicing their independent Free Will. Through the sacrifice of life and limb the greatest beacon of Individual Freedom known as The United States was formed and thus created the need for a document.
A written document known as the United States Constitution.
Through debate, arguments specifically against Democracy and even insults, the culmination of millenniums of human behavior, specifically focused on Individual Freedom and Personal Responsibility, created the Constitutional Republic.
Democracy is about the majority over the minority which Socrates stated leads to Tyranny.
A Constitutional Republic guarantees the rights of the Individual protected by the Rule of Law.
A simple way to verify that Americans implicitly understand the difference (although many cannot explain or appreciate) is the usage of the word Rights.
No one ever states they have Democratic Rights.
It is always Constitutional Rights.
Furthermore for those who like to argue, Article 4, Section 4, requires each State to have a Republican form of government.
The word Democracy was purposely left out of the Constitution as many of the framers, including James Madison, argued vehemently against it.
This was an educated man.
For those who continue to wear the scarlet D one need not wonder anymore why the Donkey is their moniker.
Then again why disparage the donkeys.
Eeyore isn’t to blame.
Lack of an education is, or an even greater concern, lack of a soul.