Wanted: Grown-up governance

From the archives:

Robert Knight had a recent piece in the Washington Times with the above title along with this subtitle: “Adults need to reassert control on Election Day.” I couldn’t agree more. Knight writes:

“At some point, the grown-ups are going to have to take over. We’re being governed by a gang of perpetual adolescents from the most liberal enclaves in America.

Recent brain research has shown that adolescents do dumb things because they haven’t developed the part of the mind that governs risk aversion. This is why we don’t let them drink or manage our stock portfolios.

Like adolescents, the Washington gang is spending trillions for a good time today, oblivious to long-term damage. Like teens, they see money as an inexhaustible parental resource (or in this case, taxpayer resource).

Instead of taking on the tough decisions befitting a self-governing people, they yearn to surrender American sovereignty to the United Nations and international legal elites. Then they can say, “It’s not our fault.'”

Robert Knight’s column is worth a few minutes of your time – especially if you’re tempted at times to despair that the country has gone completely nuts. There’s another one of Knight’s recent articles that should be put on your must-read stack:

Truth in labeling for former ‘Conservatives’

‘Gay rights’ agenda is liberal Trojan Horse

Knight explains that he understands the need in politics to build coalitions because few of us agree on everything. But he then writes:

“That said, when someone throws a brick through a church window, it’s absurd to pretend that isn’t a serious breach.

A number of prominent self-styled conservatives have embraced the false premise that homosexuality is morally irrelevant or even something to be promoted through public policy. Some have gone so far as to demand that open homosexuality be imposed on our nation’s armed forces.

In short, they have adopted the left’s position that any resistance to incentivizing homosexuality is evidence of hate or bigotry or ignorance. Their reasoning does not run very deep and tends toward this: According to surveys, lots of young people now think it’s cool to be ‘gay,’ so who are we to oppose it? Plus, I know some nice gay people.

Well, so do I. But I also know a lot of other folks with behavioral quirks that don’t rise to the level of an ‘unalienable right’ given us by our Creator.”

What follows in Knight’s column is among the best articulation of the topic that I’ve ever read. He quotes the late Russell Kirk:

“[T]here exists a transcendent moral order, to which we ought to try to conform the ways of society … such convictions may take the form of belief in ‘natural law’ or may assume some other expression; but with few exceptions conservatives recognize the need for enduring moral authority.”

This paragraph by Knight is understood by grown-ups everywhere:

“The conservatives recruited to the gay cause cannot plausibly defend homosexual acts on grounds of health, biology, science, religion, individual well-being or societal benefit. They can only pretend that these things are irrelevant and ignore crucial distinctions. We are created either male or female, regardless of what’s going on in our brains. To elevate fantasy over biological reality is pathology of the left, not something a conservative would buy into. We all have many desires, some healthy, some not. Desires in and of themselves do not validate behavior.”

Knight quotes nineteenth century British politician Lord Acton:

“By their disregard for private interests, and for the moral welfare and improvement of the people, both Greece and Rome destroyed the vital elements on which the prosperity of nations rests, and perished by the decay of families and the depopulation of the country.”

Follow these links to read Robert Knight’s excellent columns:

Truth in labeling for former ‘Conservatives’

Wanted: Grown-up governance

Originally posted July 27, 2010.