Having the cake and eating it, too

When one is in a difficult position there is often a desire to have it both ways. That is, to be able to remain in the position but not have it difficult anymore.

There’s one current idea that drives anti-war liberals into a ear-frenzied state — the notion that you can’t really call yourself a supporter of our armed forces in Iraq if you stand in opposition to their efforts there. [John Podhorertz. Giving GI’s in Iraq their glory. New York Post. 4 Ja 05]

What happens when trying to maintain the position but remove the difficulty is that rationalizations are made. These often really make the position more difficult but sound good if they can be sufficiently isolated from context and reality.

Thus, those leftists who, by ignoring or downplaying the illegitimacy and criminality of Saddam’s regime, are able pronounce the pro-Saddam insurgents “freedom fighters” defying a brutal foreign occupying force are in essentially the same moral position as those who supported the Ku Klux Klan. [deacon The Klannish left Powerline; 4 Ja 05]

One example is the sailor who refused to sail with the Bonne Homme Richard and created quite a stir on the docks. The irony of his, and his supporters, views is apparent. He took the symbolism of a warship as an evil and conveniently forgot that military preparedness is just what makes a country able to respond to catastrophy of any sort.

It certainly is inspiring to know that the publicity hound, Mr. Paredes, chose to “support life.” But I think the actual supporting is done by others, who do not have admiring lefties raising money on web sites devoted to them. [Hindrocket Irony, Anyone? Powerline 4 Ja 05]

His ship, the one he abandonded, is now one of the lead relief and rescue ships in the Indian Ocean. He could have contributed his share to the relief of suffering but his efforts to remove difficulty from his position met reality.

Another example is provided by the position taken to relieve the world of its suffering.

Let me tell you where this is going. Read those comments again and you’ll see references to “giving” and “giving up.” You see condemnations, not praise for capitalism. These people are obviously focused on the idea of taking the current worldwide economic pie re-slicing it so that everybody gets a peace. Nobody is talking about simply baking a bigger pie. [Neil Boortz. A turning point for all the world 4 Ja 05]

There are ways to deal with a difficult position. These have to do with concepts such as committment, integrity, honor, and respect.

I am not writing to quarrel with your judgment about the war in Iraq. Rather, I am writing to protest your attitude toward the war. And the point I want to make is this: sometimes, you have to choose between proving yourself to have been right, or helping make a project succeed despite your opposition to it.

It’s the same in politics. When a policy is adopted that you don’t like, sometimes – not always, but sometimes — you must choose between fighting it in hopes of proving you were right, or pitching in to make it work, despite your misgivings, for the good of the country.[Herbert E Meyer An open letter to opponents of the War in Iraq. American Thinker 4 Ja, 05]

So, before ‘assuming the position’ take a good hard look at whether you are trying to have your cake and eat it too. Sometimes your own ego and ignorance can get in the way of achieving success.

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