I realize that this space has been silent for the space of more than three months. After posting on some South Dakota budgetary matters, I realized that my heart wasn’t in it. Oh, I enjoyed going through the material and doing a brief analysis, but it didn’t seem to be of much value, either to me or anyone else who might have come across it. As I have personally come to know in a most visceral fashion, life is too brief to spend on matters of little consequence.
Being human, however, I fully admit to having regular trouble knowing the difference between those things which are important and those things which are not. And, I’m fully aware that importance is relative. As an example, being told that a medical procedure will cost me many thousands of dollars, but could arrest my life-threatening cancer — well, the cost is of secondary importance, and by secondary, I mean it came it at 2 on the scale of 0 to 9. 🙂 On the other hand, being told that continued quarterly checkups post-cancer will also cost me thousands of dollars, the cost itself ranks more importantly at present than the spectre of recurrent cancer, if only because one has to budget for these things more carefully now that the immediate crisis is past.
Where was I? Oh yes, matters of consequence.
As Andrew Breitbart has noted “Politics is downstream from culture.” Given that, the recent elevation of a bombastic blowhard to contention for the position of the President of the United states should tell us something about the culture. Having as his competition in the general election either a truth-challenged socialist-light, or a full-on socialist who still seems to believe that everything will work out if he can help us do socialism the “right way” this time should also tell us something about the culture. The list goes on, but the bottom line is would seem to be that we (conservatives) may be able to do some small good fighting a rearguard action at the political level, but the return on our efforts is much greater the further upstream we can go.
I don’t yet know in detail how I’ll turn my writing in that direction, but that is what I believe I should do. Does this mean that I’ll put forth dry and boring pieces on things like how little Johnny can understand the principles of capitalism by proper explication of the themes in The Velveteen Rabbit? I sincerely hope not. I do, after all, have to live with myself–and my family. At the same time, there is much that can be learned from rabbits–velveteen or furred, as the case may be.
But before I go, if culture is upstream of politics, then what is upstream from culture? I believe that the answer is the individual, and ultimately the heart (spiritually speaking) of the individual. Solomon addresses it here:
Keep (protect) your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.