For my whole life people have been predicting the imminent collapse of Western civilization. Readers of this blog may recall that I myself have often gone in for some rather pessimistic fretting about the future, particularly concerning the national debt and growing international unrest.
I see the point that some of my compatriots are making that there may not be much difference between Obama and Romney, and thus that there will be difficult, enduring, and perhaps insurmountable problems to face regardless of who wins. I also see the point that, even holding everything else equal, the ACA (ObamaCare) may tip the balance in favor of Romney. Taking this second point, if Obama wins, as I predict he will—consistent with my January, 2012 prediction—the implication is that the at-least-marginally preferred candidate will lose, which should add further confidence to my already bearish outlook.
But I am going to remain optimistic, for one small but important reason. Adversity is what breeds innovation. Facing difficulty is a time, perhaps the only time, when people’s best is brought out in them.
In his 1891 essay “The Advantages of Poverty,” Andrew Carnegie argues that, as opposed to the children of the rich who enjoy all material advantages, the children of less wealthy classes “appear on the stage, athletes trained for the contest, with sinews braced, indomitable wills, resolved to do or die.” He continues that these are the people who “have always marched, and always will march, straight to the front and lead the world; they are the epoch-makers.” Not having had an easy life filled with all the advantages is sometimes itself the real advantage.
Facing adversity has a way of summoning strength and resolve like no other set of circumstances. I predict that we will face considerable adversity in the coming years—both fiscal and geopolitical. This will bring out the best in those of us who are prepared to work and who are unprepared to quit.
Do you believe that liberty is important? Do you believe that prosperity is important? Do you believe that America, or perhaps part of America, ought still to be the land of the free? Then this election is exactly the opportunity you have been waiting for.
Now is the time for us to assume the helm and captain the ship of our own destiny. You have been preparing for this for years, and now it is your time to appear on the stage with your indomitable will, ready to do or die. So stop whining, stop complaining, and above all stop despairing. You have a future to fight for—yours, your children’s, your principles’. Now get up and fight.