They Confuse Chaos with Compassion

September 3rd, 2020 Posted by Susan's Musings 20 comments

You have most likely heard the adage, “If you’re not a liberal when you are young, you have no heart. If you aren’t a conservative at forty, you have no brain.” The quote, in various versions, is attributed to many people ranging from a Frenchman in the 1700s to Edmund Burke, King Oscar II of Sweden, Georges Clemenceau and (seemingly incorrectly) Winston Churchill.

The opening half of the sentence makes sense in some circumstances, but it can also cover a multitude of sins. Yes, compassion is a wonderful trait in younger people as it is in older.  But it is a poor roadmap for making important decisions in both private and public life.  As the young grow and mature, they ideally become wiser and discover that feelings do not necessarily translate well into policy. They shouldn’t lose their heart but, instead, learn to channel their emotions towards endeavors that actually yield results.

But young people have other things tugging at them as well. Among them are hormones raging in their bodies, the insecurity of discovering that they haven’t yet conquered any mountains and the strong desire to be part of a crowd. All those things make them susceptible to joining mobs.

It is not compassion that is motivating those cursing and threatening their neighbors or destroying property and looting. Kind hearts do not wish police officers dead or want to subjugate those of a certain color. Kind hearts do not break the windows of shopkeepers and steal their goods.  They don’t behead statues of saints in Catholic churches or deface historical monuments. Those rampaging in Portland, Kenosha and many other cities, are more akin to those who uncovered witches in the 1600s, tracked down escaped slaves in the 1800s, betrayed hidden Jews in Nazi Europe and enlisted in Mao and Stalin’s ranks in the 20th century. They are high on power and disorder, not on empathy.

They are also the natural outgrowth of the adults in their lives, parents, teachers, university administrators, reporters and government officials. Some of these older people know exactly what they are doing and benefit from manipulating hordes. Others have no idea that they are being used, naively trusting the same players they have trusted for decades, unwilling to recognize that the world has changed.

Ancient Jewish wisdom describes with horror a world where those in leadership are compared to dogs. Just as dogs seem to be run ahead of their owners, these “elder statesmen” and “opinion-makers” want to believe (or at least want us to believe) that they are the ones setting policies and running things. In reality, just as the dog turns his head occasionally to make sure he’s going in the right direction, so too have those who should be older and wiser abdicated their responsibility as adults, taking orders from those they should be leading.

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20 comments

Hope R says:

Kind hearts don’t keep your knee on a man’s neck to crush his wind pipe and then lie to say it was a drug overdose.

Ty Steward says:

Unfortunately you’re repeating a lie. The officer did pin Floyd George down with his knee on the side of George’s neck and it was obvious it wasn’t across his windpipe. Now information has come out the most likely cause was an overdose of fentanyl and perhaps a heart attack. You do know about George’s criminal record don’t you? It’s pretty horrifying.

Hope R. says:

If it was someone you loved it would be wrong but it is some random person you care nothing about I am telling a lie. I wonder if George would be walking around today if the officer did not pin him down for 8 minutes. Something for an elementary mind to think about.

Gidon Ariel says:

Hope, I don’t think you are hinting that Susan disagrees with your statement.
But the existence of one or a few criminals on one side of the issue does not justify or equal hundreds of law breakers in the other. Do you disagree?

Hope R. says:

Of course. I don’t agree at all that business should be burn to the ground and people lose their income and cannot take care of themselves and family. I believe in peaceful protest which the Constitution gave citizens/residents the right to do. It just doesn’t look good all those people loose their lives, for what?

Flayer1 says:

That’s not what happened. Bearing False Witness is an affront to G-d.

Fran F. says:

I agree, but not all policemen and women are like that. Dont roll all of them in the actions of one officer. No excuses but why all the hatred against innocent people and businesses. Does not make sense.

Anita says:

Please explain how this comment has anything to do with this week’s Susan’s Musing?

Susan Lapin says:

Hope, let’s start where I assume we both agree. Police abuse is wrong. Looting, whether it destroys a small business or means stealing from a large one, is wrong. Those out of control in Portland are doing nothing to make the world a better place. They are either ideologues trying to destroy civilization or they are caught up in anger and emotions. Adults control children who are throwing tantrums, keeping them and those around them safe. When the supposed adults, the mayors, allow the violence, they are abdicating their responsibility. There are many wrongs in the world. One wrong does not excuse another one.

Hope R. says:

Of course. I don’t agree at all that business should be burn to the ground and people lose their income and cannot take care of themselves and family. I believe in peaceful protest which the Constitution gave citizens/residents the right to do. It just doesn’t look good all those people loose their lives, for what?

Hope R says:

Mrs. Susan Lapin, I believe a psychologist would have to evaluate me if I think it is correct to burn down those businesses. I have taken extensive courses in business and the amount of time and money put into organizing a business and the cost. To have it burn down in a few minutes, I cannot imagine how that owner/owners must feel. It doesn’t matter if they have excellent insurance, it is wrong. Oh we are here praying for all those people who were touched by the violence. I am still feeling sorry for George’s daughter because I cannot imagine my life without my dad.

Susan Lapin says:

I’m glad you explained your words more clearly, Hope. Have a lovely weekend.

Jean says:

And kind hearts (or civilized minds) don’t burn down one or more cities, destroy the property of those who were blameless and threaten lives of those who wait for actual evidence rather than forming mindless lynch mobs in response to an alleged misdeed. The coroner’s report states without question that George Floyd would have died with or without Chauvin’s restraint – fentanyl, weed and uppers were found in his system, he already had a bad heart, and he also had COVID which further compromised his breathing. Lives matter, and science matters too.

Mark says:

The medical examiner determined that the knee on his neck, awful as it looks, was not the cause of his death. There was no damage to his windpipe at all. It wasn’t “crushed.” The cause of death was determined to be likely a combination of a variety of drugs and several medical conditions. It was a horrible incident, but let’s stick to the facts of the autopsy.

julie a hungerman says:

Thank you for your post. For once, I am reading something that is simply put, easy to understand, but for some reason, continues to confound a significant portion of this country. I don’t know who first said this, but, “They can’t see the forest for the trees.”

Richard says:

It’s unfortunate that one man’s sin resulted in the death of another .It wasn’t kind or right . But is it a kind heart that lays guilt at the feet of all those who are innocent police officers , or other Americans . To do so is to label others as evil , to do so is to show a prejudice.

Kristin Grose says:

As always a prescient piece!

Pat harrington says:

What a well written piece. All so true. Thank you for your wisdom.

Sandy Elliot says:

Can’t speak for all of them, but these “misbehaving child-adults” are products of a coddling environment that has no, or low, expectations for their behavior. Perhaps their fathers were missing during rearing years, their single mother worked, permissive child psychologist/psychiatrist entered lucrative “complacent” diagnosis and prescribed drugs , poverty – all symptoms that too many people overcame in order to make opportunities for themselves to do well and yet use as The Blame for these mob-members. In my opinion and experience on a SchoolBoard, this current climate can be laid at the feet of the institutions that hold sway over kids’ lives eight hours per day, five days a week, for at Pre-K through twelve to sixteen formative years. Those years of taxpayer funded free education could be devoted to helping The Child learn and perfect their I-T-T, Interest-Time-Talent —- IF the dedicated Teachers were hired and permitted to teach to that inventory With legitimate academics rather than a State proscribed Social-engineering Test/Assessment . Instead we support a system that allows and rewards indoctrinating charlatans to steer our kids toward the socialist-Marxist-progressives agenda to eliminate all semblance of independent, self-sufficiency. Shame on US for falling for the VERY expensive charade that created these Monsters.

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