The other day, I heard a Christian clergy on the tube getting his people ready for a sudden and unexpected trip to heaven just prior to some terrible event. Earlier, politicians were expounding that their programs would create a utopian environment. Another group of politicians were bemoaning the fact that this nation was loosing her freedom and pre-eminence in the world. In the midst of what was, what is and what could be a commentator identified himself as a realist. He was a breath of fresh air. He reminded the others that one could not change a huge system like one changes clothes. Such massive changes without collateral end in catastrophic consequences. What has become of good and sound realism?
The dictionary defines realism as “the tendency to face facts and be practical.” Jesus put it thus, “First, feed the children then give away the crumbs” (Mk.7: 27). He also said this, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” “Suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?” (Lk.14: 28,31). Jesus was merely suggesting that we look reality in the face before we embarrass ourselves and hurt each other and the nation.
My father did not belong to the wise in this world, but he always kept his feet on the ground. He urged us to make certain that the ground we stood on – at least 25% was ours. Never buy what we could not pay for and never borrow more than we could carry. He was a practical realist. We purchased our first home in 1953. We had to pay down 25%. In 1980, we moved to Washington State and still had to come up with 25% and so did our children in 2000. Then mighty politicians forced loan institutions to accept buyers with no collateral, zero down. These new home – owners were being qualified by how much they earned based on job security. In reality no such security exists. Here too government had a hand in aborting such securities. It keeps cutting the hands that feed us by forcing employers leave this country.
Fifty years ago, politicians began to raise their salaries to be compatible with the private sector to attract more qualified people to work for the government. They did so well that government employees have passed all income levels. Next, government legalized powerful unions that made unreasonable demands and forced their employers out of the world market. This resulted in the massive loss of jobs and a collapse of the economy. It also resulted in the enormous reduction in income from taxation. What is so tragic is that government continues to feed itself at the expense of the rest of us that no longer have a say in the management of our personal and private affairs. It was the individual endeavor and private enterprise that made this nation great and government is reducing it into shambles. Government is no longer serving the people; it is serving itself. It all began when realism died. Now, those with unrealistic expectations outnumber the realists at least two to one. It is ironic that our political hierarchy seeks to impact the world when it no longer can feed this nation’s children, but rob them of their future. We never could have what we could not afford and we still cannot have it. I am not talking none sense, I have lived under three such systems.