John Fortman: Of human nature and partisanship

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary

“T-Rex doesn’t want to be fed” – Dr. Alan Grant

With small, simple and sometimes profane words, partisans expediently dismiss the opposition as foolish and cruel.

The most selfless and sincere motive is impugned as selfish and base. With these misrepresentations, each party sows envy and discord where we would, but for our partisan loyalty and consistency, listen to our neighbors with empathy and understanding.

We would see an issue subtly illuminated and take on color and hue instead of reflecting a harsh, shallow, monochrome from the solitary partisan source. We would understand, to the frustration of partisans, our neighbor is not foolish, selfish and cruel, but selfless and sincere.

At some point in our lives, anxiety grips us as we view an uncertain future. We anticipate failure is at least as likely as success. In our desperation, we somehow newly understand that our tenacity, tolerance and persistence disfavor our failure and we become agent in increasing our odds of success. We value self-reliance and self-determination and disdain servitude and pacification. We value the struggle because we know struggle begets strength, and to be strong is to thrive.

Without desperation in some form, we don’t change and we don’t grow. If our immediate need is fulfilled by outside action, we become reliant on that source instead of taking steps to bring about the change and growth that will make us healthier and stronger. We must be free to fail, or success is meaningless.

Compassion is thus placed rightly or wrongly, depending on what party you listen to, ignoring the inherent contradictions that belie partisan claims.

By providing cheap and quick access to nutrient-void foods, are we helping the hungry and poor? Or are we perpetuating a lifestyle cycle that makes people weaker, not stronger?

By providing (pick your entitlement) to all at no cost, would we be making ourselves weaker or stronger?

Does stronger immigration enforcement punish those who understand, better than most, that struggle begets strength?

By eliminating the risk of failure, do we not also eliminate success?

But let us not be bound by our party or by what we have said or believed before.

We are free to use our God-given intellect and change our minds on an issue, no matter what we may have said in the past. Especially, let us not choose our position on an issue simply because it is in accordance with the party platform.

If you value that struggle begets strength, that struggle is necessary to thrive, then your answers to the questions above might place you astride ideological lines. Ideologues and partisans tend to mistake your position on one issue as an indicator of your position on all issues and, when they find their theory does not hold up, will accuse you of being inconsistent. (As though inconsistency is a bad thing.)

They are mistaken. You are consistent to your value, if not to their ideal.

John Fortman is an insurance broker, living  and working in Santa Clarita for 19 years

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