Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Many think the “hubris” is just another word for pride, but it’s really more than that. Hubris includes a sense of self so prideful and arrogant that it excludes acknowledgement as influential anything other than self. American governance is becoming prone to hubris at all levels.

Republicans view the increasing unpopularity of Congress and believe it bodes well for them because Democrats are the majority party in that body; that it indicates that what they are doing is working. They preen and strut as winners, while in reality that are merely the “other choice of the moment” and are as thoroughly despised by the general public as are the Democrats. They are loved only by their “base,” the unthinking few who believe their slogans and cant.

Democrats are strutting in triumph in the seat of the power of the majority, but it takes them more than a year to pass a watered-down version of their signature legislation, and then their President has to go on a national tour to “sell” that legislation even after it has been signed into law. They spend all of their time mocking their opposition and calling them foolish, and never look at what they can do to better their own performance in the face of overwhelming unpopularity of the body which they control.

Internationally, we make grand statements about not using nuclear weapons on nations which do not possess such weapons themselves, as if such a statement conveyed some sort of generous nobility rather than being simply obvious humanitarian principle. We make statements to international gatherings about what other governments should be doing, such as “reducing corruption” and “curbing drug trade,” as if our own government never heard of lobbying and as if there was no drug use in our own country. When the leader of a nation of which we are in military occupation refers to us as “foreigners” we counter with statements to the effect that he is “unstable” and “probably a drug user.”

Hubris is the pride of comparison without self examination. It is the pride that builds up self by deprecating others. It acknowledges only perfection within self and only faults within others.

Hubris can be, often is the pride that precedes a fall.

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