Driving Over the Bridge of Life

When you drive over a bridge, you don’t say, “Oh, I hope the engineers were not too rigid in their approach to building the bridge correctly. That would be ideological, and extreme.” When you cook or eat a meal you don’t say, before starting it, “Oh, I hope it’s not TOO tasty or well-prepared. That would be extreme.” Before starting college or graduate school, a conscientious student doesn’t say, “Now, I’m not going to be TOO competent or TOO incompetent in my studies; that would be extreme, after all.” Nobody would say or think any of these things. But when talking about human emotions, human action, psychology, philosophy or politics, these are exactly the prevailing attitudes. “Too much capitalism? That’s extreme. We must moderate.” Or: “Too much self-esteem? That’s extreme. That’s narcissism.” Or: “Too much reality and reason? Rationality has its place, but come on. You need faith and emotionalism too.” The same people who want reason and logic applied consistently — absolutely consistently — to the planes they ride; the bridges they drive over; the surgery they receive; and the foundation of the house they walk upon all scream in protest when that same consistency is applied to psychology, ethics or politics. Go figure.