Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Truth At Any Price

In today's Wall Street Journal opinion page, Shelby Steele has an insightful article on both President Obama and the result of political correctness in our society. I've been following Steele's writngs and thoughts for a while now, having bought his book, The Content of Our Character in the early ninety's. Ironically, his most recent book is titled, A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win.

The point of the article is that the President has rejected any firm principles in order to maintain his bargaining position. Unlike Ronald Reagan who throughout his life made choices that put his popularity at risk and grew a core set of beliefs that in the end made him a decisive and overall beloved leader, President Obama has cultivated a politically correct core which leaves it empty in order to maintain popularity. This in turn has led him to be a weak leader because he has no core principles. Steele's criticism is aimed at our society as much as it is aimed toward our President. We, in our desire to be seen as politically correct, never demanded any explanations from this man when he was a candidate.

We are left with a rudderless leader, because we would not face any inconvenient truths about him. C.S. Lewis wrote of his wife, Joy Davidman, that she wanted "Truth at any price". I am in complete sympathy with her desire. When we will not face up to truth for whatever reason, to seem sophisticated, to avoid conflict, or simply to take the easier path, we end up with more problems and pain than can usually be imagined. As painful as it may be, it is at truth where real love, forgiveness and good will must begin. Otherwise, our personal relationships and our society are based on a sham and cannot continue in any healthy functional way.

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