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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

The Most Destructive Force

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Any number of commentators have been writing about the shambles in which Obama is leaving the Democrat party.  And yet, no president has pushed harder for left-leaning ideology.  So why then are they in such a mess?  This morning, the WSJ’s editorial board opined on Obama’s “If I had run again” taunt and commented:

Mr. Obama unburdened himself of this analysis in a podcast with his former White House adviser David Axelrod. Though Mr. Obama is fond of sports analogies, one he seems not to have noticed is that most coaches after a Super Bowl loss don’t blame it on their own quarterback, the diabolical opposition or the media.

I think that well sums up the source of the Democratic woes – hubris.  If nothing else, such hubris renders us deaf – unable to see or hear what someone else has to say.  Once we can no longer hear what someone else is saying we make an enemy of them, and once we have made a sufficient number of enemies, we will be brought down.  It is a pretty simple formula really.

The formula is also almost as old as leadership itself.  The most widely quoted statement on it dates back to Israel’s King Solomon about three thousand years ago:

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

If there is a lesson to be learned from this election cycle just past, I think this is the one we should work most hard to absorb.  For a couple of generations now, at least, we have worked so hard to make sure people “feel good about themselves,” that people no longer hear what anyone else is saying.  As I have heard quipped thousands of times since the election, “That’s what happens when you give people participation trophies.”

The problem shows up in a thousand smaller transactions in our lives every day.  When you see a group of people “together,” yet they are all focused on their phones, they are all stuck in their own little worlds instead of interacting with the other.  I notice it in traffic, at least once a day, where people are so focused on their own destination that they fail to note the traffic around them.  Those are all expressions, on a smaller scale, of the hubris that is currently decimating the Democrat party.

As nation-shifting as the actual demise of the Democrat party might be, it is really the thousands of small scale expressions of hubris that threaten the fabric of our society.  Hewitt colleague/jest-sparring-partner Dennis Prager is found of quoting the latin phrase that appears on every US coin, “E Pluribus Unum” – “From Many, One.”  That unity is necessary for the nation to function properly.

What we are learning currently is that it is not radically different ideologies that threaten such unity.  Rather it is hubris, born of the heart felt desire to help our children feel good about themselves while they exist primarily in the weird interactive isolation created by the Facebook age, that truly threatens us.

And the answers are much deeper than limiting our kids internet time.  As the old admonitions against pride come from the Bible, so does the answer to the problem.  Yes, Christ on the cross forgave our sins, but He did so while modelling humility for us, in the deepest possible way.  God stepped out of His own little world and entered ours – He did so sacrificially.  That is the example we must follow.

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