North Carolina is blazing autumn colors and the bite of fall chill was in the air. We made nice time since it was Monday and there was not too much traffic like on the weekend. Passing through Raleigh, Durham and then on to Statesville was uneventful. We stopped along the way for a nice country breakfast before the hustle of the day’s events.
My Tea Party t-shirt gave way to many a conversation. The most telling came with a couple both mid to late 60’s, not married. The woman, Rebecca was discussing her take on the state of socialism in the world. I’m not sure what country she was referring to but I heard her say, that since they had adopted socialism the place was much nicer. I commented to her that I didn’t understand how socialism could improve a country. She said the people had more than they had in the past and it seemed to improve their living conditions and also their health care. Perhaps it was the quizzical look I had, much like my dog when I speak human to her. She tilts her head to one side and then back to the other as if that will help her understand. I’m sure I must have looked that way to Rebecca. “So,” I asked, “are you alright if the US moves to a more socialist basis?” She did not answer the question; instead she just turned the other way. My chances to continue the conversation seemed to dwindle.
I turned to the gentleman she was with and began, “Let me give you an example of one of the basic fundamentals of socialism, collectivism. “
“I spoke to a young father the other day and he was incensed over his daughter’s school. He was so incensed that he decided to take his daughter out of that school immediately and begin home schooling her. He explained that his daughter’s elementary teacher gave the students a test. His daughter got an A for her grade on the test, but had to take the test again. He asked his daughter why and she explained, the teacher said not many students passed the test, just me and one other boy in the class. So the teacher told us that everyone would take the test again, and continue taking the test until everyone in the class passed. This father was beside himself. He went on, my daughter studied and passed the test with flying colors why should she have to retake the test, so he asked the teacher. The teacher’s response was that it would make the other children in the class feel bad if some of the children didn’t have to take the test again.”
“This is a prime example of collectivism, holding back the exceptional people to give others who are less able or less inclined to work hard for achievement, an opportunity to catch up. By the way, this behavior rarely works, almost certainly even with collective ideals there will be those who will never catch up. Collectivism will always deter individuals’ ability and drive for success. By following collective thinking no one excels and no one prospers. In a capitalist society like the U.S. collectivism is the opposite of equal opportunity; the opposite of our national basis, so why do we allow it in our schools?”
“The lessons learned rings true to American Ideals, of individual responsibility and consequence; anything less is regressive not progressive. Without exceptional ideas, inventions and innovation there will be no advancement. Perhaps this is why the claim is made that U.S. fails to excel in Math and Science, because we are too busy worrying about the feelings of inferiority rather than supporting those students who excel.”
This was my topic for Monday, entitled The Regressive Progressive.
As we head into Tennessee this morning the Smoky Mountains hold true to their name with thick blankets of fog surrounding the base of the mountains and just the tips of the mountains are poking out to remind you of where you are. We were up at 4:30 a.m. and heading through to Knoxville and then on to Memphis. Stay well my friends; I’ll post again as time permits.