Linda Goudsmit
In a world obsessed with feelings, whose feelings matter?
By Linda Goudsmit
April 16, 2023

In a society that eliminates meritocracy by shifting its metrics from achievement to feelings, whose feelings actually matter? Let’s find out.

Competence is the mother of self-esteem. We know this is true by simply observing the delight of young children as they learn to dress themselves, feed themselves, or sound out their first words and realize they can read! Each achievement increases the child’s competence and enhances his developing sense of self. Achievement makes little Johnny feel proud of himself and good about himself. Let’s consider what incentivizes competence and achievement, and what doesn’t. Let’s also consider the motivations for incentivizing competence and the motivations for discouraging it.

If you want to know the motive, look at the result. What made America great was its cultural roots in meritocracy. Our society awarded achievement with upward mobility. It was called the American Dream, and America was the land where dreams came true. In every sector of society, little Johnny was encouraged to become an independent, autonomous, rational adult, capable of living a life of ordered liberty in our constitutional republic. In other words, little Johnny was encouraged to grow up and perpetuate the American dream. Not anymore.

In the past, each of little Johnny’s achievements were rewarded with praise when he was a little boy. As he grew older he earned grades in school that marked his achievement. Then he competed in sports with friends, and games with family. His grades were awarded certificates of achievement or advanced placement. His sports achievements were awarded with trophies, and wins in family games were rewarded with more praise.

The competitions all served to incentivize achievement. As Johnny got older he competed for jobs and for advancement. Winning and losing were part of everyone’s private and public life. Meritocracy was society’s infrastructure, rooted in achievement. Those who lost were encourage to try harder, work harder, study more, and try again. In the 1970s, ABC’s Wide World of Sports announcer Jim McKay immortalized the words, “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”

His words described the drama caught on televised sports, but also applied to the everyday lives of everyday people. The association between individual achievement and self-esteem was unmistakable. Winning and losing were part of America’s infrastructure that anyone and everyone could identify with. Individual and team play were instrumental in teaching the valuable lessons of cooperation and teamwork. This is no small thing. Whether in a classroom, on a baseball field, or in orchestra hall, competition encouraged both individual and team competence and achievement.

"The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat" is a phrase that is all about feelings – everyone’s feelings. The phrase describes how it feels to win, and how it feels to lose. In the past, American culture supported a can-do spirit of encouragement, an ethos that insisted the agony of defeat need not remain. Anyone and everyone could experience the thrill of victory through hard work and practice. It was the same ethos that made America the greatest, freeest, wealthiest country on Earth.

But we are a world at war, whether people acknowledge it or not. It is globalism v. the nation state. The globalist war on the nation state is a culture war fought without bullets, that targets the nation’s children, because children are the future of every society on Earth. In an unconscionable humanitarian hoax, the globalist social engineers advanced the deceitful narrative that little Johnny’s feelings must be protected.

A humanitarian hoax is the deliberate and deceitful tactic of presenting a destructive policy as altruistic. The humanitarian huckster presents himself as a compassionate advocate when in fact he is the disguised enemy. America’s humanitarian hucksters, under the guidance of the globalist social engineers, simply eliminated competition to "protect" little Johnny’s feelings. No winning. No losing. No grades. No competition. No incentive for achievement. No competence. No self-esteem. Here is the problem. Participation trophies do not incentivize achievement, they just blur the boundary between trying and doing.

By eliminating competition, the hucksters disincentivized competence, and denied children the thrill of victory. The humanitarian hoax of "no competition" resulted in a generation of fragile Johnnys paralyzed by hurt feelings, without skills, self-esteem, or confidence in their own judgment. They became dependent upon "experts" to tell them what to do.

Competence, the ability to do something successfully or efficiently, is the foundation of a thriving society. Incompetence is its opposite. In human terms, we are born without the ability to surive, we are entirely dependent upon our caretakers to survive. So, human beings must rely on their caretakers, and trust they will teach us the necessary survival skills to live in our society of ordered liberty. Today, a battle is being fought in America over who is the rightful caretakers of our nation’s children.

Historically, it was the parents who had the responsibility to protect their children, and prepare them for life in our constitutional republic. Increasingly, the caretakers in America are no longer the parents, because the traditional family of stay-at-home Mom and working Dad is no longer the norm. Non-traditional families are reliant on daycare, preschools, babysitters, and government schools to provide child care and instruction for America's children.

Since 1979, when Jimmy Carter established the Department of Education, the government began taking an increasingly active role in children’s education. Today, the National Education Association (NEA), the largest professional employee organization with over 3 million members, is a major political player. 97% of its millions of dollars in donations go to Democrat and liberal candidates. The politicization of American education is funded by labor unions as well as federal and state funding. A stunning, March 31, 2023 article by Daniel Greenfield, “Whose Children? Our Children,” asserts:

    The shift from the single-income family to the two-income family with preschool encompassing children as young as 18 months and then to an ever more intensive chain of state educational institutions happened gradually enough that most parents thought it was their own idea. But what the Soviet Union and Communist China had failed to accomplish, happened in America.

    Children, from even before they could talk, were being raised either directly by the state or by the institutions that it closely regulated. The unintended consequences of that, emotional fragility, a lack of healthy models for interpersonal relationships, and an obsession with ‘snitching’ on others that persists well into adulthood, were only the collateral damage. . . .

    Such children raised by the state become adults who want the state to go on raising them. When they’re hungry, the state feeds them, when they’re cold, the state shelters them and when they’re unhappy, the state tells them whom to blame. When their relationships fall apart or when their feelings are hurt, they turn to the state to soothe them with a dose of revenge.

The infantilization of America is a leftist/globalist weapon of mass destruction. The American Dream has been replaced with regressive dreams for eternal childhood. The Soviet Union and Communist China share the collectivist ideology that places the state above the individual, and what is good for the state above what is good for the individual. Communism is a supremacist replacememnt ideology no matter what it is named. America has increasingly adopted its collectivist “ethic” and its self-destructive Marxist messaging in politicized education and political medicine. Why is this a problem?

The battle over who is the rightful caretaker of America’s children is a battle over ideologies. The Biden regime has eliminated meritocracy, and stopped incentivizing competence, competition, achievement, success, independence, upward mobility, and the thrill of victory in obtaining the American Dream. Instead, the regime has incentivized eternal childhood, incompetence, and lifelong dependence upon the government. The objective is to destabilize and destroy America's infrastructure of family, seen as a competing ideology, and collapse the country internally. To “build back better” one must destroy what exists.

The globalist attack on America is being advanced by the radical leftist Biden regime, and its unparalleled race to the bottom. Eliminating competition does not save little Johnny from hurt feelings, or save big Johnny from the agony of defeat. Eliminating competition deliberately disincentivizes achievement and denies feelings of self-esteem. It produces a society of incompetent, dependent, childlike, fragile citizens who are very easy to manipulate and control, precisely the goal of a caretaker government.

Substituting compliance for competence is collapsing America from within. So, in the end, Johnny’s feelings don’t matter at all. Little Johnny is the target of the avaricious managerial state, and being groomed to become a permanently dependent, unthinking, unproductive, drone for the globalist elite – a worker bee. In a world obsessed with feelings, the only people whose feelings count are the globalist elite, because the elite always take care of the elite.

© Linda Goudsmit


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Linda Goudsmit

Linda Goudsmit is the devoted wife of Rob and they are the parents of four children and the grandparents of four. She and Rob owned and operated a girls’ clothing store in Michigan for forty years before retiring to the sunny beaches of Florida. A graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Linda has a lifelong commitment to learning and is an avid reader and observer of life. She is the author of the philosophy book Dear America: Who’s Driving the Bus? and its political sequel, The Book of Humanitarian Hoaxes: Killing America with ‘Kindness,’ along with numerous current affairs articles featured on her websites and The Collapsing American Family: From Bonding to Bondage and her forthcoming book, Space Is No Longer the Final Frontier––Reality Is, complete Linda’s quadrangle of insightful books that connect the philosophical, ideological, political, and psychological dots of globalism's War on America and individual sovereignty.

Linda believes the future of our nation requires reviving individualism, restoring meritocracy, and teaching critical-thinking skills to children again. Her illustrated children’s book series, Mimi’s Strategy, offers youngsters new and exciting ways of solving their problems and having their needs met. Mrs. Goudsmit believes that learning to think strategically rather than reacting emotionally is a valuable skill that will empower any child throughout his or her life. Plus, in Linda’s words, “I have yet to meet the child who would prefer a reprimand to a kiss.”


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