The Audacity of Dreaming and the Power of Losers (3.07.10)
Which raises the question: is it ever really appropriate to nurture audacious hope, in particular, on the horizontal plane? For to nurture audacious hope would seem to imply the wish for a complete overturning of the order of the world, which is presumably in a hopeless state.
First of all, to hope is "to cherish a desire with expectation of fulfillment," or "to long for with expectation of fulfillment" (Webster's). It can also mean "someone or something on which hopes are centered," such as Jesus, Obama, or Joe Torre, in the case of Dodger fans.
What about audacity? It has to do with the quality of intrepid boldness, but also "bold or arrogant disregard of normal restraints." Thus, on the one hand, it can imply courage, but on the other, a reckless absence of prudence -- for courage without prudence is no longer a virtue.
Now, "hope" is one of the Christian virtues, which is why it is a sin for a Christian to wallow in hopelessness or despair. The whole point is that the Christian -- and the world -- is hopeless without Christ, whose mission it was to save us from that kind of existential cosmic hopelessnes. Therefore, it seems evident that no true Christian would find Obama's message of "audacious hope" appealing, since no Christian should feel so hopeless that he would essentially cash in his vertical hopes for the horizontal fantasies of a silver-tongued leftist.
If Obama were a proper theologian instead of a freelance messiah, he might have entitled his book The Bodaciousness of Fantasy or perhaps Getting Ahead in Life With Sheer Loser Power.
With regard to the latter, one has only to look at the type of person who attends a left wing rally or demonstration to know that Loser Power is a formidable force in the world. (Zombie does a wonderful job of documenting the awesome Power of Losers; the images are from her site.)
As Dr. Sanity writes today, "There is no doubt that both Clinton and Obama, for all their talk of 'hope' are both heavily invested in misery and failure -- both in their economic philosophy, as well as their desire for immediate (if not sooner) surrender in Iraq.
"You would think that people with real 'hope' would see the progress in Iraq and the turnabout that has occurred in the hearts and minds of the people there. You would think that people hyping 'change' would come up with some ideas and programs that aren't beholden to an ideology that has already failed in country after country, and which has made their economies circle the drain.
"The Democratic party has become a bleak house that only knows how to pander to the pessimism and envy of Americans. Since 2000 when Bush was elected, they have been whining constantly and pointing to doom and gloom omens whenever they could about the economy. Their goal? To create a perception of disaster -- even as the economy chugged along like the little engine that could. No group is happier or more excited over the possibility of a real recession than the Democratic elite, who are practically salivating over the word. Never mind that unemployment remains at historic lows... or that manufacturing has actually grown during the Bush years."
Now, hope, according to theologian Montague Brown, is "the will that what is good might be," as in "thy kingdom come, thy will be done." It is another way of saying "may the vertical radiate into the horizontal," or my we align ourselves with the Sovereign Good. It is contrasted with wishing, which is "the desire that what one wants might be." Theologically, the difference could not be starker.
Brown explains that hope "involves the conviction that, despite appearances to the contrary, truth and goodness will prevail. To hope is to commit ourselves to the betterment of ourselves and the world." We would have no problem at all with the left if they understood hope in this way, and exerted all of their effort -- body, mind, and soul -- at improving themselves (first) and the world (second), instead of transferring power to the state in order to force people to do their will -- which, in the end, means being compelled to do the will of audacious losers.
While hope "looks to the future," it is "rooted in reality as it is. In this sense, hope is realistic." However, it is also idealistic, in that "it envisions the perfection of that reality." Furthermore, we must be willing to work for what we hope. Again, this does not mean transferring this responsibility to a coercive and heavy-handed state.
Wishing, on the other hand, "involves the fancy that... our desire will be satisfied. To wish is to invoke fortune to bring us what we want, even if what we want is not good." Wishing is a product of the lower imagination. It "has no particular bond with reality as it is," nor must one dedicate oneself to making the wish a reality. "We wish for all all sorts of frivolous and unattainable things.... [It] is easy and makes no demands on us to choose truth over fantasy or to choose good over evil" (Brown).
Flat out of time. No time to proofread or spell check. That last image is courtesy American Digest.
Obama's Messiahship is all about delivering self esteem to losers (TW: Walt):
Obama-world "is a world of Hope; of Action; of Change You Can Believe In; of Yes We Can; of Coming Together; of Moving Forward Into the Future, and of other banalities that can mean absolutely anything to anyone. 'I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations.' It's all about us and our good feelings of youth and unity. Nothing so difficult as spelling out tough policy choices or arguing about a particular program's merits or ramifications is involved....
"Unification for 'change,' 'hope,' and 'the future' is perfect for Obama's young, esteem-fueled supporters: just as their academic self-esteem was divorced from actual achievement, and their competitive self-esteem was insulated from scorekeeping, Obama-supplied political self-esteem is disconnected from any actual opinions, policies or analyses."