Kopp Column: Pain Is Part Of A Conservative Philosophy

Skinned-Knee

Imagine, if you will, a group of people for whom there is no pain caused by falling down. There is no road rash, skinned knee or chaffed elbow.

Imagine a society of these people on a congested city sidewalk where no one has learned the pain of scraped skin. The sidewalk is littered with people falling down; they have no motivation to learn to walk.

Imagine this society, a dimension of sight and sound, known as The Liberal Zone.

In The Liberal Zone elders determine orderly foot traffic is impossible unless people are required to use exoskeletons or artificial support systems.

One day, an outsider is transplanted in to this society of the Liberal Zone. “WAIT! STOP!” cries the visitor. “You don’t need that equipment. You can walk on your own!”

“Preposterous! We don’t want any pain here,” reply the elders. The visitor is silenced.

The people in this society avoid skinned knees, and the elders gloat over their ability to protect people. Life goes on with exoskeletons, but people become so dependent they lose muscle and joints are weakened.

Here is the “take home” from this illustration: pain is not always bad. It’s how people learn fire eats up skin. It’s how people learn unnatural bending of limbs and bones damages a person’s ability to function. It’s how a girl learns to date a better type of boy. Conservatives can endorse pain, but they also seek to avoid it with non-intrusive means.

Pain is a teacher. A new child enters a world of mobility, first in a stroller, then a tricycle, then a bicycle with training wheels.

When the training wheels are removed, the child wobbles down the sidewalk, but a new skill is learned. The child gains confidence, a sense of balance, strength, and agility. The child learns the natural law of gravity.

There may be success, there may be road rash, but the child learns to avoid pain by exercising personal responsibility. The child is self-reliant. The child has learned a new skill. The child not only is now a bicycle rider, but has earned a sense of accomplishment and confidence. The child’s self-value has increased. The child builds muscle, endurance, and strength.

Sadly, our pleasure-seeking/pain-avoiding society has energized a government that wants to force citizens to wear an exoskeleton. U.S. government welfare, health care, support and subsistence programs weaken Americans. They keep individuals from learning and growing. They force unwieldy external systems on individuals and households.

It’s back to training wheels. Conservatives recognize that America has reversed the training wheel analogy. America was at one time the freest nation in the world and it was made that way by people who knew pain and learned from it. Pilgrims and others who founded the Colonies had no support structure, only each other to help survive. They built a founding government and developed founding documents to encourage and enhance that freedom. It was not a freedom from pain, but a freedom learned from pain.

America has entered the Liberal Zone. America puts on training wheels to support a group of people who were free to fall down and then learn to stand. People now strap on government programs or “training wheels” that were never envisioned by America’s founders.

Sidewalks that were in no danger of clutter are now blocked with people who cannot walk or who are required to wear exoskeletons.

In short supply is self-reliance, self-value, self-confidence and personal growth. Meanwhile some of America’s elders gloat over their ability to protect people. That’s why they get re-elected, they promise training wheels and no pain. Voters accept that promise to their own loss of ability – and we all suffer for it, conservatives as well as liberals.

Mike Kopp has exercised his political muscle as a media director to two statewide campaigns, a television political reporter, a lobbyist, and staff assistant to the Senate Majority Leader. He is currently a communications contractor working from his home in Wilton, ND.

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Mike Kopp has exercised his political muscle as a media director to two statewide campaigns, a television political reporter, a lobbyist, and staff assistant to the Senate Majority Leader. He is currently a communications contractor working from his home in Wilton, ND.

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