We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Shamefully stolen from Samiz. It's about the Americans the Left has never met, and does not know:
I am not going to talk about religious beliefs but about matters so obvious that it has gone out of style to mention them. I believe in my neighbours. I know their faults, and I know that their virtues far outweigh their faults. "Take Father Michael down our road a piece. I'm not of his creed, but I know that goodness and charity and loving kindness shine in his daily actions. I believe in Father Mike. If I'm in trouble, I'll go to him. My next-door neighbour is a veterinary doctor. Doc will get out of bed after a hard day to help a stray cat. No fee - no prospect of a fee - I believe in Doc. I believe in my townspeople. You can know on any door in our town saying, 'I'm hungry,' and you will be fed. Our town is no exception. I've found the same ready charity everywhere. But for the one who says, 'To heck with you - I got mine,' there are a hundred, a thousand who will say, "Sure, pal, sit down." I know that despite all warnings against hitch-hikers I can step up to the highway, thumb for a ride and in a few minutes a car or a truck will stop and someone will say, 'Climb in Mac - how far you going?'
I believe in my fellow citizens. Our headlines are splashed with crime yet for every criminal there are 10,000 honest, decent, kindly men. If it were not so, no child would live to grow up. Business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news. It is buried in the obituaries, but is a force stronger than crime. I believe in the patient gallantry of nurses and the tedious sacrifices of teachers. I believe in the unseen and unending fight against desperate odds that goes on quietly in almost every home in the land. I believe in the honest craft of workmen. Take a look around you. There never were enough bosses to check up on all that work. From Independence Hall to the Grand Coulee Dam, these things were built level and square by craftsmen who were honest in their bones. I believe that almost all politicians are honest. . .there are hundreds of politicians, low paid or not paid at all, doing their level best without thanks or glory to make our system work.
If this were not true we would never have gotten past the 13 colonies. I believe in Rodger Young. You and I are free today because of endless unnamed heroes from Valley Forge to the Yalu River. I believe in - I am proud to belong to - the United States. Despite shortcomings from lynchings to bad faith in high places, our nation has had the most decent and kindly internal practices and foreign policies to be found anywhere in history.
And finally, I believe in my whole race. Yellow, white, black, red, brown. In the honesty, courage, intelligence, durability, and goodness of the overwhelming majority of my brothers and sisters everywhere on this planet. I am proud to be a human being. I believe that we have come this far by the skin of our teeth. That we always make it just by the skin of our teeth, but that we will always make it. Survive. Endure. I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching, oversize brain case and the opposable thumb, this animal barely up from the apes will endure. Will endure longer than his home planet - will spread out to the stars and beyond, carrying with him his honesty and his insatiable curiosity, his unlimited courage and his noble essential decency. This I believe with all my heart.
Barrister ... Thanks for this lovely quote from one of my favorite authors. Can't remember it from back then [a Senior Moment I guess]. My own "aching oversize braincase" is pretty well stuffed with facts and theories by now, so much so that they are tumbling over each other. But my fact sorter still works, if slowly.
The elites have spent most of their lives jumping through hoops. They have been trained to value themselves only by relative standards of competitive academic or material achievement. Their narcissistic parents have modeled a largely selfish world in which self-fulfillment trumps loyalty.
They don't believe in their neighbors because they don't believe in themselves.
The thing is, Heinlein was terribly conflicted by his strong libertarian/individualist emotions and concepts and the inclination towards being a statist.
If there was ever proof of this, it was "Starship Troopers". "The Great Lecture" scene in which Rico is schooled by Col. Dubois about individual responsibility, moral choice and the state's rights clearly demonstrates that. It's fairly obvious that Dubois is actually Heinlein speaking on his ideas. The whole idea of a "full Citizen" with voting rights after Federal service is rather statist - those who choose not to enter Federal service have full rights except the right to vote. Votings rights are conferred by the state for service to the state. If that isn't a statist concept then I don't know what else is.
This idea also occurs in other novels of his - "Stranger in A Strange Land" is a good example of the individual as part of the greater whole as is "Friday" and even ealier in "Moon is A Harsh Mistress".
Not that I'm compaining about Heinlein - he was a major influence on my concepts and ideas of freedom, service and equality as I grew up. In particular his concept of service to the State conferring voting rights to the individual is one that particularly appeals to me. The whole idea of one being deaf, dumb and blind and still being of service to the state in some way is one that still appeals to me - and that the service is rewarded with one very special ability just makes it even better idea.
But the idea that Heinlein was some kind of rugged individualist just doesn't mesh with his writing.