In Anticipation of Wisdom’s Comeback

Today’s political and intellectual leaders are either disappointing or dismal. But don’t lose hope. In early America, there were wise men such as Ben Franklin. Wisdom is not on the scene at present. But its prior dominance means that wisdom can, and will, make a comeback.

According to Ben Franklin:

‘Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security.”

Translation for today: You can’t have something for nothing. You can legislate it, but it won’t happen. America may survive or perish, but government–as we know it–is losing altitude fast and careening towards the earth at 500 mph. It may be a good thing for those who survive. If Big Government as we know it runs out of all money and moral credibility, maybe something better will rise from its ashes.

‘He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

Translation for today: The politicians in the excuse business (Pelosi, Obama, Reid, Barney Frank, Steny Hoyer, career politicians of both parties) who force some to live for others would not have such power and influence–not in a free society.

‘Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.’

Translation for today: If the American economy stops expanding, everything that Americans have come to expect–and even demand as a right–will be no more. For the first time in American history (although not world history), the next generation will be less well off than the present one, on our current course.

‘We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.’

Translation: Those with the highest degrees and credentials in the field of the arts, humanities, social sciences and politics, work harder than anyone else at being ignorant. Don’t let them shape you into what they are. Run for your intellectual and psychological life, with everything in you.

‘To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.’

Translation: Shut up, think and produce.

‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’

Translation: Your old age and your medical care are your own responsibility. Plan for it — or rely on voluntary charity.

‘He that speaks much, is much mistaken.’

Translation: President Obama speaks often, says nothing — and does tremendous damage to us all.

‘The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason.’

Translation: America is not a Christian nation, nor an Islamic one. America is a nation of freedom, self-interest, personal responsibility and, most of all: Reason. Religion is a personal matter and an individual right (outside of coercion); but America’s greatness arose from its reason, not its religion.

‘The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.’

Translation: None needed; Franklin was a man for 2010 no less than 1776. May the spirit that gave rise to his words rise again.