“CHOICE” VS. “SACRIFICE”
by Don Fredrick, author of The Complete Obama Timeline, ©2016
If you have $100,000 in the bank and can spend it on either your child’s college education or an exotic sports car, choosing the education does not mean you “sacrificed” the sports car. It means that you considered the education a greater value than the vehicle. A “sacrifice” would be to choose the lesser value over the greater value. It would be irrational to choose a sports car over your child’s education. If you did, you would be trading your child’s future for a car. That would be a sacrifice! The truth is that rational human beings do not make sacrifices. They choose greater values over lesser values. That one cannot have everything one wants does not cause sacrifices. It merely forces one to select the greatest values on which to spend one’s time, energy, and money.
To argue that the death of a soldier represents the “ultimate sacrifice” is an error (at least when the nation has a volunteer army and no forced conscription). One volunteers to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States because one places the greatest value on liberty. If living in freedom is a greater value than living under savage shari’ah law, then dying in the cause of that liberty is not a sacrifice. It is simply the possible result of fighting for that liberty. “Give me liberty or give me death” means exactly that. If liberty is a greater value than slavery, then one must fight for liberty. To engage in that fight is not a sacrifice. It is a rational action in support of one’s values.
This issue is where there is a great divide between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans tend to consider liberty a far greater value than do Democrats. The latter place a greater value on security, and will more eagerly exchange freedoms for “free stuff.” (What should come to mind is Benjamin Franklin’s statement: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”) Democrats and Republicans alike no doubt consider death on the battlefield a sacrifice, but Democrats are more likely to consider those deaths stupid—because they would sooner give up some liberties in exchange for safety. Republicans are more likely to agree with Patrick Henry.
Khan is probably correct that Donald Trump has never made many sacrifices. But that is actually a compliment, rather than a criticism. If, during his lifetime, Trump consistently chose greater values over lesser values (as he seems to have done in the raising of responsible, talented children), then he has acted rationally. Most Democrats would argue that Hillary Clinton made many “sacrifices” because she chose a career in “public service.” That is nonsense. Public service is not a sacrifice if that is what one wants to do with one’s life. (Choosing public service when one would much rather do something else is a sacrifice—and it is also as foolish as choosing a sports car over an education.)
Clinton chose the college and law school she attended and she chose her career path—and her “public service” has resulted in a net worth of more than $100 million. If Clinton sacrificed anything, it was her self-respect and dignity—by staying married to a serial philanderer and rapist. Hillary Rodham considered power and wealth a greater value than her own psychological well-being. That was irrational; that was a sacrifice; and that may explain why she seems perpetually overwhelmed by anger and paranoia.
The questions the voters must ask are these: “Which presidential candidate can be trusted to make rational decisions in the Oval Office?” “Which presidential candidate has demonstrated better judgment with regard to prioritizing values?” For all his faults, Donald Trump seems to know how to recognize value and prioritize things in life: family, personal allegiances, productivity, job creation, and building things. Hillary Clinton’s number one priority seems to have always been the acquisition of power—at any cost.
In their personal lives, the decisions made by Trump and Clinton affected only themselves, their families and friends. Irrational choices made by them over the years may have hurt those families and friends, but few others.
In their public lives, their decisions affected far more people. In Trump’s case, his decisions had an impact on employees. In Clinton’s case, her decisions had an impact on almost all Americans—as well Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty.
Now they both seek to make decisions in our Oval Office. Their decisions may result in sacrifices made by more than 315 million Americans. Choose your decision-maker wisely.