We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.
I learned two new words today that sounded to me like they may become increasingly important in today’s world. I’m not sure how excited I am about the existence of these two new words, but I do recognize them as reality.
The first one was found in Bruce Tinsley’s Mallard Fillmore: mediocritorian. A character addressing his graduation audience said: “First, I’d like to thank this school for naming me the 2012 class mediocritorian and doing away with that valedictorian thing. Thank goodness we’ve put that kind of social Darwinism behind us.”
Sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it. Worthy of a laugh, maybe. But is it really all that funny? To me, it sounds too real to be truly funny. We encourage our schools to promote kids who haven’t learned what was taught for the year. We don’t want to hurt a child’s feelings by holding him or her back or demanding passing performance, so we just promote them through grade after grade.
So what if we graduate high school seniors who don’t know basic English and math? The main thing is that we didn’t make them feel bad by demanding performance. Of course, they won’t be able to find or hold down meaningful jobs. They’ll be hurt by that. Their families will be hurt by that. Our nation’s economy will be hurt by that. But at least we didn’t hurt their feelings with a bunch of mean-spirited demands while they were in school.
Let’s all drink to the mediocritorians of the world.
I came across the second new word in an email: ineptocracy. It’s defined as a system of government wherein the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.
Isn’t this what has been going on in our nation for the last eighty years? We’ve turned our electoral process into a never-ending series of promises to give more and more to those whose votes we seek. We don’t concern ourselves with how we’re going to pay for all those promises or whether what we’re doing is right and wrong or what we’re doing to our nation, as long as we please those voters whose support we seek.
Where are the George Washingtons, the Thomas Jeffersons, the James Madisons? Would any of these men be elected to the White House in today’s political arena? They’d be lucky to be mayors or county commissioners.
David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his non-fiction Heaven Sent: 67 Stories of Godly Wisdom and Inspiration and starting his new fiction work—a series of novellas set during the period from 1860 to 1880.
Contact me at email@example.com or tweet me at @davidnwalkertx
I am definetly with you on both sections. I believe that people have the feeling that htey need to nurture their kids and keep them protected from hurt feelings. Growing up there were things I didn’t get, things that hurt my feelings, it is a major part of life and anyone growing up needs to learn how to cope with that experience or they won’t know what to do when they grow up.
Also I would be scared to find out how many of our nations greatest presidents wouldn’t have been elected if they were followed and stalked by the media like they are today.
Thanks, Gilliad. Ever wonder who would have won WW II if we’d had the stalking media we have today?
I think I’m with you on the first one. I’m never interested in rewarding mediocrity. The best way to inspire someone to succeed is to shut up and then only offer praise when it is meritted. I do believe the repercussions of all our “participation awards” and all the social promotion haven’t done a lick of good for anyone.
Regarding the political realm, I’m not so sure even the “great” presidents you named would be elected so easily. GW was certainly unique. He galvanized the troops, but if Twitter had been around, someone would have surely narked on him and told how he wanted to quit as a leader at one point, how he wasn’t fit to rule because he didn’t even want the nomination. And I won’t talk about Thomas Jefferson and his relationships with his slaves. In elections, everyone makes promises. We have to do the best we can to take a leap of faith to pick the right person. My biggest bone to pick is that you have to be a billionaire to even consider running. There are some wonderful community leaders who just don’t have that kind of bank statement. Great post.
Thanks for your comments, Renee. The fact that “politics” keep the best people from being elected was sorta my point.