“Damned With Feint Praise” (No, that’s not a typo.)
June 6, 2012
Actions may speak louder than words, but insincerity muffles both.
We’ve heard the phrase “damning with faint praise” many times. It denotes unwillingness to commit to a firm stand on a given issue. So, by mounting a flaccid defense, a cause is hurt more than helped by that so-called defender. We see this often in politics.
It’s discouraging, sure. But we’ve grown accustomed to it. And our former complacency has now spawned a new phenomenon: Feint praise.
We see politicians refraining from making any stand, on any issue, and instead sending out surrogates to spout talking points. This utterly false praise in favor of one side of a given issue is far worse than holding one’s tongue altogether. But both are devoid of leadership.
To paraphrase Bastiat (because I’d inadvertently butcher the quote), the cause of liberty is rarely defeated on the merits, but by an inadequate defense. If one is unwilling to commit to a principle, and defend it with the full force of logic, why comment at all? Whether in person, or through a surrogate, it matters not.
Why does human history contain famed leaders, good or ill?
Both the noble and ignoble among them are still recounted, not for their deeds, per se, but for the convictions that spawned them. Leaders cannot be forged outside the fires of boldness. And boldness is derived from confidence in one’s convictions.
And from what other wellspring can convictions issue forth than logic? Man is, above all, a sentient being with free will.
Free will & conscious choice, based on rational thought, carries one through life with confidence. This is the essence of leadership.
Liberty, likewise, is unattainable absent free will.
The #Proglodytes must stifle and subvert free will to advance their agenda. This serves all their ends: stifle free will, supplant confidence, destroy the ability to lead – in everyone but themselves.
If we are to preserve liberty, warriors, we must eschew, scorn, and replace those who damn our cause with faint or feint praise. They lack the confidence, and thus leadership, to advance our philosophy. Shake their dust from your shoes and seek out bold allies.
There are many out there. Find them, encourage them, and take courage from them.
Our boldness will prevail.
Its foundation is solid.