Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It doesn't matter if you're Red or Blue, Winners win and Losers lose


The above article notes that couples consisting of professionals with college and (especially) graduate degrees tend to have stable marriages. They also tend to live together before marrying, marry relatively late in life, have children at a later age (and fewer children at that), and have few children out of wedlock.

Meanwhile couples consisting of negligibly educated bottom-dwellers tend to have unstable marriages and suffer from all of the other ills that most people associate with them.

The article goes on to describe the winning formula as a "Blue" lifestyle and the losing formula as a "Red" lifestyle.

These labels are completely arbitrary. They were chosen to damage the brand equity of conservativeness in general.

I'm no fan of social conservatives, but neither do I pretend that they are losers. There are plenty of social conservatives who are well educated, have good jobs, and strong marriages. The same is true of many liberals.

Meanwhile there are other social conservatives and other Liberals who aren't so well educated, who don't have real jobs, whose relationships are dysfunctional, and who engage in self-destructive bullshit (drug abuse, etc, etc, etc, etc).

The difference is not between Red and Blue, but between winners and losers.

Winners win.
Losers lose.

The difference between a winner and a loser is not WHERE they are in the game, but WHO they are at a fundamental level.

Even when you change the rules of the game, once the dust settles you will find the very same people on top, and the very same people on the bottom, as you did before the board was shuffled.

Political ideology is not nearly as strong an indicator of personal and professional success as are basic competence and character.

You can only turn a winner into a loser by destroying that person. You must kill them or otherwise devastate them in such a way that they never recover. What you can't do is turn them into a loser by taking from them the rewards that they have won from life by being a winner. Do this and they'll simply go out and win them all over again, or perhaps choose other goals that they will be equally successful at achieving. What they won't do is turn into a loser.

Neither can you turn a loser into a winner, except perhaps by some form of psychotherapy not yet invented by which a person's fundamental character can be forged anew. A loser can become a winner, but only through the realization that they are in fact a loser and through the determined effort to effect inner change. You cannot change a loser into a winner by handing them the rewards that come from being a winner. Anything you give them will be squandered and wasted, and they will be no better off than before, and in fact will often be worse. Losers who suffer a windfall often find that they finally have enough money to really get themselves into trouble.

Regardless of which direction the winds of fortune blow, both losers and winners will always gravitate back to the station in life that their own character has destined them to occupy.

Attempting to apply such transparent culture-war labels to these two camps is as dishonest as it is ridiculous.

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