“Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time… The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans.” – General George Patton’s address to the 3rd Army on the eve of the Allied invasion of France.
George Patton must be spinning in his grave. He would hate the sissified progressives that have given competition a bad name. He would be disgusted that every kid gets a trophy to prove every child is valued equally and that he or she should be sheltered from the pain that comes with losing.
I laugh at the progressives who want to teach Americans that every child is special. That is impossible because the word “special” loses its meaning. What can be said is that psychological studies show that constant praise makes a child far more likely to become a narcissistic adult.
As far as I can see, the only benefit from eliminating competition is the creation of a $3 billion trophy industry that is booming in North America. Consider that the American Youth Soccer Organization spends 12 percent of its annual budget on buying trophies.
It turns out that rewarding kids with trophies for just showing up opens a door to a dim future. In the real world, just coming into work does not garner special attention. In the real world, those who are mediocre are unable to compete for anything; from mates to good paying jobs. From the first monkey that could swing a club to the last human standing, competition is a part of our DNA.
There is another fact that liberals don’t take into account. A kid has to be pretty stupid to finish dead last in a footrace and still believe he or she earned a trophy.
On September 24, 2013, the left leaning New York Times ran an op-ed under the headline, “Losing Is Good for You:”
By age 4 or 5, children aren’t fooled by all the trophies. They are surprisingly accurate in identifying who excels and who struggles. Those who are outperformed know it and give up, while those who do well feel cheated when they aren’t recognized for their accomplishments. They, too, may give up.
No matter how many times Timmy or Tammy are told they are a champion, at some point they will have to step out into the real world; a world where natural selection still exists and coldly distinguishes the best from the rest.
The best of intentioned teachers, parents and guidance counselors should listen up. The trophy kids face a bleak future of mom’s cooking and basement living.
This came to my attention two weeks ago when I watched Jeff Walz, Louisville’s head women’s basketball coach, brimming over with anger at the effort put in by his team.
Again from The Times:
Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, found that kids respond positively to praise; they enjoy hearing that they’re talented, smart and so on. But after such praise of their innate abilities, they collapse at the first experience of difficulty. Demoralized by their failure, they say they’d rather cheat than risk failing again…
In June, an Oklahoma Little League canceled participation trophies because of a budget shortfall. A furious parent complained to a local reporter, “My children look forward to their trophy as much as playing the game.” That’s exactly the problem, says Jean Twenge, author of “Generation Me…”
Having studied recent increases in narcissism and entitlement among college students, she warns that when living rooms are filled with participation trophies, it’s a part of a larger cultural message: to succeed, you just have to show up.
Perhaps the fictional Dr. Raymond Stantz from the movie Ghostbusters best explains the reality that young people will face.
“You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect ‘results’.”
Most of us know somebody who made it a career to go to college to collect a handful of degrees in areas of expertise they never intended to use. Parents cannot protect them from the inevitability of sickness and death.
I remember being five years old and the smell of musk at my grandmother’s funeral. I don’t think even my father took her death as badly as I did. Not because I was particularly close to my grandmother, but because it was then that I understood that not only were my parents going to die and my brothers and sister were going to die, but someday I was going to die.
A country of cry babies
“Cry baby cry
Make your mother sigh
She’s old enough to know better
So cry baby cry.” – The Beatles, Cry Baby Cry
Even though I was a kid I can still think back to Nov. 22, 1963. I remember my mother sobbing when she heard Walter Cronkite say: “From Dallas, Texas, the flash apparently official: President Kennedy died at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time, 2:00 Eastern Standard Time, some 38 minutes ago.” In a few seconds Cronkite fully composed continued. “Vice President Johnson has left the hospital in Dallas, but we do not know to where he has proceeded; presumably, he will be taking the oath of office shortly and become the 36th President of the United States.”
More than five decades later I marvel at the strength in that man which was made all the more remarkable considering Kennedy was a friend of Cronkite’s. Acclaimed author Tom Wolfe would surely say that Cronkite had “the right stuff.”
Whatever it was that Cronkite had it no longer exists in the fourth estate, especially television news broadcasting.
On election night I kept switching the channels between CNN, MSNBC and the three major networks. There for the world to see, television anchors and Democrats giving analysis were on the edge of nervous breakdowns because the early results coming in pointed to a Trump victory.
On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow was tearing up as she described Donald Trump’s victory as America falling into hell. On ABC, Martha Raddatz began openly crying after the announcement that Trump was the predicted winner. I have to wonder if either of these women has had to deal with any misfortune in their lives such as the death of a relative or even the death of a pet. It certainly didn’t appear so. On the basis of their reaction, I have to give their parents an “F” in child rearing.
If you disagree, consider how you would feel if the commercial airliner you were on began to have flight control problems at 30,000 feet. Do you want the pilot to be made of “the wrong stuff” which was epitomized by Martha Raddatz?
Over the long run, trophy tots are just another tool for the progressives to use in tearing down America’s very competitive spirit that Patton so embraced. More than ever the country needs the millennials and post-millennials to face up to a cold hard truth; that every hour out of every day the nation is competing against a world in which kids in other countries are taught to thrive under the pressure of competition.
We baby boomers can’t do it for them. We are too old and too empty of new ideas. Therefore it may already be too late for America. If such is the case the younger generations can ponder the unfairness of the world as they wait to collect their welfare checks.
Next week in part two, I will predate the decline of the United States before the millennials and look at key current economic and societal measurements. Like all empires before it America is fading.
Yours in good times or bad,
— John Myers