Capitulation and Surrender. By Luis F. Brizuela Cruz
Capitulation and Surrender
By Luis F. Brizuela Cruz
As I watch United States’ Retired General Colin Powell undergo one of the most dramatic political and philosophical transformations in history, I cannot help but to think of other, less notorious, cases of capitulation and surrender that I have stumbled upon in my recent travels around our indulgent and decadent society.
The hyperbolically sensitive issue of race notwithstanding, General Powell, son of Jamaican parents who migrated to the United States in the first half of the Twentieth Century, is probably one of the proudest examples of the incalculable level of success to which a first generation American can aspire and attain in the most prolific and compassionate field of possibilities that humanity has enjoyed since the beginning of civilization. This land of immense opportunities has always made itself available to the immigrants and their descendants. The humility, abnegation and tenacity exhibited historically by migrant groups have, for the most part and until recently, resulted in the perfect coupling that has propelled this unique nation to unprecedented levels of magnificence.
This formidable convergence of aspiration and possibility has –over the last decades- suffered the direct consequences of some detrimental metamorphosis in our society. Less rigorous and more demanding mentalities, promoted by leaders who have emerged from the actual core of such premises, have proliferated to levels where many of the traditional values and principles upon which our country was built have come to be seen as antiquated, unpopular and even ineffective. Hence, the new normal now finds many traditionalists converting into liberal thinkers with more diverse and condescending points of view.
General Powell’ s case, due to the stature of the person, stands out as one of the most alarming cases of capitulation and surrender to the new norms in society. I personally have been witnessing similar cases of involution for quite some time and what I find most significant is the array of contradictions that come attached to this modern societal posture.
Mr. Powell has indicated that he voted for the then Senator Barack Obama to become the 44th President of the United States on the basis of Obama’s economic plan back in 2008. It turned out that the President’s plan to restore the economy has not produced any major improvement and its scattered favorable moments have come at an enormous price tag. Using a common analogy, I know individuals who drive expensive cars and “own” luxury homes, yet the magnitude of their financial obligations would give a physical fitness guru an instant heart failure. Powell voted again for Obama in 2012, this time basing himself primarily on the social benevolence and fairness proclaimed by the President’s message of equality for all. The General has repeatedly attacked the political and social discourse of his own (up to this point) Republican Party, deeming it disenfranchised and oblivious to the needs of certain underprivileged sectors of society. A model of self-reliance, dedication and austere behavior throughout his life and career, the General now seems to embrace the exact opposite philosophy that made him a vivid American example and role model.
Among some of my friends and even family members I have discovered a similar contradictory pattern. It surprised me that many of the individuals that I know who conduct themselves in moderate, conservative, rigorous and self-sufficient fashion, are the very same individuals who threw themselves behind the predication of a socialist demagogue who sees life and society as a huge entitlement for those incapable or unwilling to sustain themselves. Even more surprising was to see the vast majority of those individuals casting their votes a second time in favor of the same charlatan who stands for the antonym of their personal values, bypassing an alternative that would have been a lot more compatible with their beliefs.
A few words and thoughts come to mind, thus I would continue elaborating and reflecting on the intricate aspects of the many paradoxes of our times: ignorance, inconformity, remorse, hypocrisy, capitulation of principle, surrendering to a greater power of persuasion and the lusty propositions of modern life.
New Jersey, January 30, 2013
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