If you have a serious disease, you eventually wind up going one of two routes: One is that you confront your problems, deal with them in a hard-headed way and make peace with the hand you’ve been dealt. I call this dealing with your New Normal; the old normal was better, but the New Normal becomes your reality. It may be less than optimal, it may be downright dreadful, but it’s your new reality and you find a way to deal with it.
The other choice is to deny the situation. There are tons of ways to rationalize such a decision without using the pejorative term “denial.” You can defiantly say that you won’t let your condition rule your life. If you do, people will applaud your toughness. These are often the same people who always tell you how healthy you look, even when you look and feel like death warmed over.
So you live your life without accepting or dealing with your New Normal. And you reap terrible consequences.
For discussion’s sake, let’s say you have diabetes. You can either accept that you have the disease, change your eating habits and lifestyle, and live, or you can do nothing other than denying you have it. The result of the latter decision is to watch diabetes slowly shut down your body.
If you have a life-threatening disease, you can either accept that you have it and deal with it, or you can stick your fingers in your ears, sing a rousing chorus of “La-la-la, I’m not listening,” and let the disease take its course.
And now Dean Barnett makes the leap from the personal to the political:
AS FREE SOCIETIES, the Western democracies have a choice of whether or not face up to the existential challenge they face from Radical Islam. The lure of seeking an easy way out is almost irresistible. The siren song of sitting down and reasoning with the Hezbollahs and Ahmadenijads of the world is powerful. If we could just do something to convince ourselves that all is well and that there’s nothing to fear, life sure would be easier.
Just as is the case with an illness, there are a lot of people willing to tell us that our fears are overblown. If you want to believe that George W. Bush and the Patriot Act are the greatest threats to our way of life, you won’t have much trouble finding a professor on a nearby college campus to buttress your theory. If you want to think that there was nothing really going on in London to warrant any concern and all the news this morning is just Karl Rove’s response to Joe Lieberman’s defeat, you’ll easily locate a prominent blogger to offer his concurrence.
But it’s past time we face the facts and realize that this is our New Normal. It’s worse than the old normal, the one that we had before 9/11 when we felt completely safe even though we weren’t.
It’s time we stop having a sphere of things that are “unimaginable.” Let’s imagine airliners exploding over our cities. Let’s imagine a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv. Let’s imagine a mushroom cloud over New York.
Let’s imagine how such things might happen. And then let’s resolve to stop them.
So what will our decision be as a nation? Will we recognize the life-threatening international disease of terrorism and do whatever we can to eradicate it, or are we going to serenade the world with our fingers-in-ears singing? We are at war with people who want us dead, and we have three options before us: give up, negotiate, or defeat them. I won’t give in to the radical Islamists’ totalitarian view of religion, nor will I negotiate with anyone whose stated goal is to see me dead. The remaining option is to recognize that life has changed for us here in the States, accept the New Normal, and do all that we can to eradicate the disease attacking us.
I say we defeat them. What is your choice?