Friday, 18 February 2011

On Being an Optimist

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An optimist is someone who sees the glass half full, not half empty. An optimist is someone who sees the brighter side of life’s many ups and downs. An optimist knows that evil exists but believes that in the end good will triumph. For example, after America was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor and we entered World War II, I believed that we would win. Why? Because America always won its wars. That was the optimist in me.

However, it has become increasingly more difficult to maintain one’s optimism in the face of America’s present troubles. Our federal government is now in the hands of those who want to destroy our great capitalist system and turn this great nation into some kind of gigantic Cuba, where the rich have been wiped out and everyone is equally poor.

We have a president who wants to bankrupt us so that the dollar will no longer be acknowledged as the world’s most stable and acceptable currency. He hates economic freedom and is determined to saddle Americans with more and more government controls over our economic life. But the optimists are fighting back.

His pronouncement that oil is the fuel of the past is a blatant admission that he knows nothing about economics except what he learned from Karl Marx and Lenin. Both men were so full of hatred of the human race that they concocted a political system that has brought more misery to mankind than any other form of government in history.

Socialists are basically pessimistic about human potential. They would like to return the human race to its pre-capitalist living standards in which human beings groveled before those who governed them. It is amazing that anyone can still be a socialist in this day and age of incredible material progress and wealth brought about by economic freedom. It is amazing that socialists can look at all of the failed socialist experiments such as Soviet Russia, Cuba, and North Korea, where millions of lives have been sacrificed in the interests of socialist equality, and still revere those systems of human oppression.

The American experiment has shown what human beings can accomplish when they have the freedom to use their ingenuity and have the protection of private property to keep what they earn. The optimist believes that people can become rich if they apply their knowledge and skills to creating value. There was a time when petroleum had little value. That was when whale oil served the needs of the economy. But with the invention of the automobile, petroleum became highly valuable. It made John D. Rockefeller the richest man in the world.

What would President Obama replace oil with? Windmills were a source of energy back in pre-industrial days. They are totally inadequate to the needs of today’s high-tech economy. Coal is our chief source of energy, providing the fuel to make electricity in our power plants. But Obama also wants to get rid of the coal industry. What about nuclear power? We haven’t heard of any great federal program to promote nuclear energy. Solar power? The Israelis use solar panels on tops of buildings to heat water. But whether solar power can substitute for oil or coal or nuclear energy has yet to be demonstrated.

While Israelis use solar panels in a limited way because they have lots of sunshine, their inventiveness is a manifestation of their basic optimism. They have to be optimistic, surrounded by Muslim nations that want to destroy them. I wonder if the word optimism is in the Arabic language. The Muslims keep telling us that they love death, while we Christians and Jews love life.

So there you have it. Pessimists love death. Optimists love life. But I would also add, that socialists love death, which is why millions have been murdered by socialist governments. Capitalists love life because they keep adding to the pleasures of living by producing beautiful cars, homes, means of communication, computers, and social networks that promote friendship and creativity.

But what about Communist China? I suppose that a cultural battle is taking place among the Chinese between the optimists and the pessimists. The optimists want more freedom, while the pessimists in the Communist Party believe that the people need to be controlled.

The same struggle is also taking place in America. All conservatives, including the Tea Partiers, are optimists who want to restore freedom to America because they know that freedom produces the most creative results in human activity. The socialists who control the federal government are pessimists who do not trust human beings and therefore must use deception and fraud to promote their pessimistic socialist agenda. That is why Nancy Pelosi said that we had to pass the National Health Care law before we could see what was in it. Only a dyed-in-the-wool pessimist could hold such a cockeyed idea.


Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of nine books on education including NEA: Trojan Horse in American EducationThe Whole Language/OBE Fraud, and The Victims of Dick & Jane and Other Essays. Of NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, former U.S. Senator Steve Symms of Idaho said: “Every so often a book is written that can change the thinking of a nation. This book is one of them.” Mr. Blumenfeld’s columns have appeared in such diverse publications as ReasonThe New American, The Chalcedon ReportInsight, Education DigestVital Speeches, and WorldNetDaily.

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