This is your brain on mid-life crisis says Tom Smith, about Gov. Mark Sanford, it is a sharp criticism:Smith's rather spurious accusation of liberalism reminds me of this Chesterton quote:Once more the human animal baffles me. Gov. Sanford, who I thought was pretty cool for trying to refuse to take stimulus money, turns out to be a love-crazed loon. I have long accepted that women are mysterious, but increasingly I fear I do not understand men either. What is it with these middle aged guys who ruin themselves, not to mention their families, by chasing after ridiculous objects of affection or even obsession? The length of the flight alone would keep me from flying to Argentina to have sex, not to mention prior engagements. Do I just not get it? Do I not know what love is? Hasn't this guy ever heard of cold showers or push ups?Despite the rhetoric about the fault of liberals, I don't think Smith is that far off the mark as a general point. Men used to be obsessed about inanimate things (cars or motorcycles), esoteric things (coins or stamps) or, heaven forbid, sports. Now they have become obsessed with feelings and validation and it seems stupid.
I think in a deeper sense this is all the fault of liberals. Nobody used to think that just because you were 49 and the mother of your children no longer enthralled you as she once did that you were somehow entitled to fly across the hemisphere to satisfy your man lust. Real men sucked down a couple of stiff drinks, played a round of golf, fired up a good cigar and accepted the responsibilities of running the free world. But no more apparently. Now it's, oh my feelings, and I don't know who I am anymore, and nine other kinds of [b.s.]. It makes me embarassed for my sex. But, this is all the fault of the sexual revolution, and the associated rise of the therapeutic culture, which you may recall were not Republican ideas.
Should Sanford have had a few stiff drinks, a cigar and a round of golf, or certainly a cold shower? I don't know, probably and 30 years ago he might have. But our society has become very adept at putting the self-desire before the self-duty. What Gov. Sanford lost sight of was that in fulfilling his selfish, personal desires, he abdicated his duties to his wife, his family, his friends and his constitutents. He is a symbol of a culture that has put so much emphasis on feelings, on therapy, on self-validation, and self-fulfillment, the concept of a manly sacrifice for the benefit of others has become lost along the way. Sanford's affair is indicative of the culture exalts one's own personal, physical desires first and men have lost the wherewithal to think clearly or to sacrifice an immediate physical want (sex) upon the alter of what is considered proper or dare I say moral?
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.