It is instructive (and ironic) that, with few exceptions, the best way to spoil a child is to use the rod.
Truth be told, we muddle through.
Promises of perfection and quick fix -- most pointedly those that rely on violence -- are preludes to deterioration and decline.
"The terrible thing about our time is precisely the ease with which theories can be put into practice. The more perfect, the more idealistic the theories, the more dreadful is their realization. We are at last beginning to rediscover what perhaps men knew better in very ancient times, in primitive times before utopias were thought of: that liberty is bound up with imperfection, and that limitations, imperfections, errors are not only unavoidable but also salutary. The best is not the ideal. Where what is theoretically best is imposed on everyone as the norm, then there is no longer any room even to be good. The best, imposed as a norm, becomes evil.”
"Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander,” by Trappist monk, Father Thomas Merton
By STEVE PEOPLES and EMILY SWANSON The Associated Press
Dec 11 2015
Washington • Most Americans don't have much affection for Donald Trump. Even Republicans tend to think he's not so likable.
But he's running for president, not for Mr. Congeniality.
Trump is overwhelmingly viewed by Republican voters as decisive and competent. And that's what mattered most to Republicans surveyed in a new Associated Press-GfK poll.
Nearly 6 in 10 Americans had an unfavorable view of the Republican presidential front-runner. That's the worst rating of any candidate in either party, a reminder that decisiveness alone might not be enough for Trump to prevail in the 2016 election if he becomes the GOP nominee.
The poll was taken before Trump called for a ban on Muslims coming into the United States and does not reflect reactions to that statement. Among Republican registered voters, nearly 6 in 10 offered a favorable opinion of Trump. But just 31 percent said he is at least somewhat compassionate. Only 43 percent found him at least somewhat likable.
Yet 8 in 10 Republican voters, and 55 percent of all Americans, called Trump very or somewhat decisive. In short, he is seen as the most decisive candidate of either party — both by Republicans and by Americans at large.
"I wouldn't give him a 10 on the compassionate scale," said poll respondent Lisa Barker, 55, of Worcester, Massachusetts, an unaffiliated voter who says she's all in for Trump. "I'd probably put him in the middle. But I love the fact that he's decisive."
After rocketing to the front of the Republican pack in the race for president, Trump has stayed there for months with a brash approach that has captivated a healthy slice of the GOP electorate.
People frustrated with the status quo appear to love his style — even when his policies draw widespread condemnation and his facts are wrong. Trump drew criticism from within his own party and from leaders around the world this week after calling for the ban on Muslims entering the United States.
In the new national survey, three-quarters of Republicans said Trump would have a chance of winning the general election if nominated, significantly more than said so of any other GOP candidate.
"Donald Trump is saying what 95 percent of the people of this country, that belong to this country, that were born and raised in this country, feel and think," said 83-year-old J.W. Stepp, a registered Republican who lives in Phoenix.
"Donald Trump is exactly what this country needs," Stepp said. "He's probably the most decisive person in the race."
The GOP's early voting contests, which begin with the Iowa caucuses in less than eight weeks, tend to feature the party's most passionate voters, who have been excited about Trump's candidacy. While Trump is considered the most decisive of the five GOP candidates tested in the poll, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz earned the next highest mark, with 56 percent calling him very or somewhat decisive. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson had 53 percent, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio 52 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush 42.
Carson, who's been slipping in recent polling of voter support, is viewed as the most compassionate and likable, with 7 in 10 Republican voters saying each word describes him at least somewhat well. He threatened Friday to leave the party and, presumably, run as an independent if GOP leaders treat him unfairly.
Unfortunately for Carson, likeability isn't among the most desired attributes among Republicans in this campaign.
The Lion's Share Of Political Imprudence Is Encapsulated In The Belief That "Violence Makes Things Better": You know... Like it did in Iraq Vietnam Afghanistan Libya Cuba Nicaragua Things have changed. From now on: "To the spoils belongs the victor." Gnosh on that... Major General Marine Commandant Smedley Butler did... "Do War's Really Defend America's Freedom?"
(Homage To Marine Commandant, Major General Smedley Butler)