“Hindsight is 20-20”. At least that’s what people like to tell themselves. “I may not know the future but at least I can see what went wrong in the past”. The so-called “Monday morning quarterback” is the proverbial couch potato who can sit back and—knowing what the defense did wrong and what special circumstances affected the outcome of the game—describe the perfect plays he would have run if he had been the quarterback.
There are two problems with the assumption that we would have done better than a particular quarterback or, for that matter, a particular politician “if I had been in his shoes”. One problem is that we are not in his shoes. Using the quarterback as an example, we did not look up to see two 300-lb. men bearing down us at full speed as we scrambled in the backfield, looking for a receiver. He did. We have the advantage of multi-angled slow-motion replays. He did not. We don’t have to guess what the other men on the field are about to do because they have already done it. The second problem—staying with the quarterback allegory—is that the past means different things to different people. The quarterback may see that he held onto the ball for too long. The guards and tackles may see that they failed to defend the pocket. The receivers may realize (or maybe not) that they were too predictable or too slow and that they failed to give the quarterback a target he could safely hit. The coach will be blamed for poor strategy or even for hiring the wrong people. Even the referees will be blamed for poor calls.
In the political realm, it is even worse. Unlike the goalposts in a football stadium, political goalposts sometimes move. We live in an age where not only the future is mysterious but even the past is difficult sometimes to assess. The national mainstream media claim to be reporting on current events—what we normally call “the news”—in an objective manner but their extreme biases are so blatant and pervasive that the opinionated reporting of last week’s news is already tainting the historical perspectives which should guide us in next week’s decisions. The old saying is that “he who does not remember the past is doomed to repeat it”. We have a responsibility to remember the lessons of the past and apply them to our future; but first we must understand what really happened. Otherwise, we will be making bad decisions based on false assumptions about the past. Modern technology has made it very easy to record the past; it’s also made it very easy to create a false past, something too many in the mainstream media have mastered.
Take an example or two: the misrepresentation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the dehumanization of the unborn. Canadian courts—aided and abetted by a complicit mass media and a cowardly Parliament—have created a myth about the very recent history that led to the legalization of same-sex “marriage”. The historically-verifiable facts that “sexual orientation” was not a Charter-protected status and that the courts did not have a legal basis for “reading it into” the Charter are not known to most Canadians. They have accepted the myth, the lie, that justice demanded the inclusion of same-sex partnerships under the umbrella of “marriage” which otherwise is defined by the union of opposites. But the media is the message and the dominant media moguls of today manipulate the narrative to suit their proclivities.
Most Canadians have believed the lie that the Constitution guarantees the right to a taxpayer-funded abortion. Even the Supreme Court in 1988 did not say that it did. However, that is the narrative that the chattering classes found convenient to promulgate. “Right to choose” is an empty phrase, if not carefully defined, but it allows political advantage to those who use it as a brutal lever to squeeze votes from the misinformed. Many Canadians still do not know that there is no legal protection for the unborn for the full nine months up to the very moment of birth. Most Canadians are unaware of the 491 infants who were born alive after a “botched” abortion but who died later through neglect or infanticide. This kind of information is not made available by the media mavens of our day. It might interfere with their stranglehold on public policy.
So looking backwards over the past year, the past decade, the past century, what wisdom can we gain to make better decisions going into the future? We must recognise that “he who controls the past controls the future”. We must take responsibility to understand “current events” (rather the recent past) for ourselves. When choosing our news sources (“who should we believe?”), we need to seek wise and honest men and women, in fact courageous men and women, who will speak the truth and not merely spout the latest politically-correct dogma. Dogma and propaganda have been with mankind since the beginning. Lies about the past have ever been used to affect outcomes in the future. The Pharisees lied about Jesus to manipulate Pilate’s judgment. Hitler lied about the Jews to co-opt the German people into his plans.
It is incumbent on us to find good sources of news and commentary, fresh springs of wisdom and insight that are not merely polluted wells or broken cisterns, spewing out misinformation and falsehoods. If you can get it, check out SUN TV news for a fresh perspective. On your internet, pull up some archives from Roadkill Radio. Check out Lifesite News for a broad view of the challenges to human life and dignity. And if you really want up-to-the-minute perspectives on today’s events—with a clear window on human nature and guidance for the tough choices we all face—check out the Bible. King Solomon’s Book of Proverbs has not yet been crushed under the bus of political correctness. The unchanging truths about God, the world He made and mankind’s role in it are a reliable anchor for us as we are tossed about by the storms of life. For a fresh outlook on tomorrow and the new year ahead, it’s good to know that the mercies of God are “new every morning”, that “He will never leave you nor forsake you” and that “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”.
We can face the future with confidence if our trust is in Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth. 2013 has no surprises for Him. No “fiscal cliff”, no “rumours of wars” can unhinge his plans for us or shake us loose from His Hand if we listen to His voice: “Let not your heart be troubled”.