If there’s one thing we can learn from maxims, it’s that the best sort of truth is oft-repeated truth. It should come as no surprise, then, that there is an oft-repeated adage espousing essentially this exact dogma: There is no substitute for experience.
Unfortunately, there are people — conniving, insidious deceivers, in reality — who pervert the stand-up intentions of this classic bit of wisdom. “Live a little,” they’ll say, or “How can you know if you haven’t tried?” How indeed.
What uproariously foul dishonesty. I don’t need to try smoking cigarettes to know that doing so will drastically increase my risk of developing lung cancer, emphysema and a host of other health problems. I don’t need to have unprotected premarital sex to know that it might result in an unwanted pregnancy. And if you’ve had a flavor of ice cream you didn’t like and you let me know about it, I certainly have no reason to waste my hard-earned cash buying something so abundantly disappointing.
There’s no substitute for experience, and
there’s certainly no better way to avoid getting hurt than to rely on other people’s experiences to teach you life’s important lessons.
Thus was born the social contract. This simple set of unwritten rules defines our day-to-day existence and shields us from having all the sorts of experiences that simply would not be to our profit. The experience of society at large is that there are certain things that are not to be done. If billions of people over the course of thousands of years of civilization have the experience to say that men wear trousers and women wear dresses, who are you to argue?
For that matter, the course of human
existence privileges my opinion over yours — if you’re reading this, you know mine, but I couldn’t care less about yours — so who are you to voice your disagreement?
Face it, if society at large agrees on an issue, then it is clear where truth, morality and beauty lie: wherever everyone agrees they do. After all, this country is a democracy — to not use the experiences of others as a crutch is assuredly unpatriotic.
There’s nothing more laughable than a fool who breaks the rules just to break the rules, who pushes the limit to see where it lies, who insists on determining first hand his personal convictions. You don’t need to test the water — the scientific process has given us thermometers far more accurate than your feeble perception could ever compete with. Likewise, there’s no reason to dissent from complicity in a society that has as its base the experiences of sages, scholars, theologians and politicians with real life under their belts.
The conclusion is clear; when it comes time to vote, Palin is the only character in the race whose platform coincides with reality, the only character who says she knows what’s best for this country because she’s lived — so that you don’t have to.