Sunday, July 30, 2006


Which is worse: To be arrogantly right, arrogantly wrong or just plain arrogant?

Arrogance for its own sake is the behavior of alcoholics, junkies and fools. It is the behavior of those lacking ideology or long-term objective. Thus it is the behavior of failure -- even for successful anti-semites like Mel Gibson or his more sober friends in Hezbollah.

Senator and frontiersman Davy Crockett said, “Be always sure you are right – then go ahead.” Certainty that ones actions are right does make things a bit easier, and arrogance usually asserts propriety.

When certainty is in question, if you know the other alternatives are wrong, your cause will prevail even if you do not. If you are only functioning on faith, the belief that you are right and they are wrong, your cause is doomed to failure. Certainty is a necessity.

An action based on ideology or belief is a hallmark of stupidity. A clear definable and detailed objective is the only means of determining if an action, belief or ideology is right, or wrong.

Every historical era is marked by arrogant leadership confronted by a challenge to the status quo. Spartacus lead a rebellion against Rome. Victorious, he had the choice, the opportunity, to lead his followers to freedom, or to pillage. In his arrogance, he lead his fighters toward wealth and they acquired death.

Regardless of short-term results, the victory will always favor an achievable vision backed by popular support. The good leader will take their lead from the words of Sherlock Holmes: “Has anything escaped me? I trust that there is nothing of consequence which I have overlooked?"

On the world stage, in confronting national power, the worst thing to overlook is the nature, or motivation, of the players.

Infidels attack Islam, invoke the Koran and the expression: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Hezbollah attacks Israel invoking the corollary: “The friend of my enemy is my enemy.” Holmes would say, "When you follow two separate chains of thought you will find some point of intersection which should approximate to the truth."

When Bin Laden’s terrorists attacked it was without popular support We created friends for our enemy. Luckily Shiite and Sunni are, like Spartacus, at heart only pillagers. But then so are we.

When confronted with reality, arrogant leaders profess “faith” and “belief”; they will then take actions which violate every tenet of that which they profess. In his arrogance, Bush professes mutually exclusive tenets of democracy and religion.

Bush chose to kill, lied for the right, knowing that those who live by the sword shall die by it. He seeks regime change in a land ruled by tribal allegiance or divine right. Their practice, his belief. Pray for and await an end to democracy, the return of a king who shall rule by divine right. For them, that is Holmes’ point of intersection.

Last week I characterized the democratic process, which is the voice of the people, with the Latin phrase, "Vox populi, vox Dei" – the voice of the people is the voice of God. Democracy is the voice of God, it is the promised “kingdom” towards which we evolve.

From the time of Sumerian myth, down into biblical and Greek, there has been one explanation for greatness. “Men of renown” are always a product of deity’s procreating with women (Ge 6:2-4). Is it time to set aside ancient myth? Or, in arrogance, shall we kill for it?

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