Our Self-Esteem President

by Scott McPherson

Once upon a time, we had this crazy notion that people should accomplish goals, and in so doing learn that they are capable human beings. The reward is an earned sense of self-worth.

Some even surmount incredible physical, emotional, and mental obstacles. All will eventually gain a sense of self-esteem, what psychologist Nathaniel Branden defines as “the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and of being worthy of happiness.”

And, in time, the person of high self-esteem reaches for greater heights. Sometimes he fails, but that psychological foundation helps him pick himself up off the ground and move ever upward.

The person of high self-esteem and great accomplishments might even feel capable of helping others less fortunate. Here are a few examples of this kind of person: Sima Samar, an Afghani woman who, in defiance of the Taliban regime, ran schools and clinics for girls and women; Ingrid Betancourt, an anti-corruption activist held hostage for six years in Columbia; Denis Mukwege, a doctor in Africa who has dedicated his life to helping female victims of violent sexual assault; the people who run organizations like Handicap International and Cluster Munition Coalition, which are dedicated to ridding the world of landmines; Hu Jia, an anti-communist activist sentenced to 3 1/2 years in a Chinese prison; Wei Jingsheng, now a resident of the US, but for 17 years the resident of a Chinese prison.

What else do all of these people have in common? They were nominees for the 2009 Peace Prize.

Sadly, our culture long ago jettisoned the view that self-esteem should be earned, and therefore respected. Instead we embrace the idea that we must first create self-esteem, and that greatness will then follow. That’s why we dumb down learning; it’s why we view intentions as being equal to results. (Hitler, who killed 6 million civilians, is reviled: he was a racist; but Stalin, whose policies killed probably 5 times that number, is excused: he was an “idealist”.)

It’s why kids can’t read or think logically today, relative to earlier generations: they are told their failures are really successes, because to do otherwise would “hurt their self-esteem”. It’s why games often don’t have “winners” and “losers”; instead we honor participants just “for playing”. And it’s certainly why we live in a society where the sense of entitlement leads people to speak with a straight face about their “right” to healthcare, jobs, houses, food, income, and entertainment. If they are great “just ‘cause”, then someone must owe them a living.

In an Associated Press story dated October 10 (“Ulterior motives were admitted in Obama win”), we read that “The Nobel committee members made no bones about it. Helping Obama achieve ambitious peacemaking goals was their goal in awarding the prize Friday to an as-yet mostly unaccomplished United States president.”

In a rare moment of humility, President Obama said, “To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honored by this prize.”

That’s putting it mildly. The United States has not begun a withdrawal from Iraq. President Obama is escalating the war in Afghanistan. The conflict in that region is even spreading into Pakistan, with Mr. Obama’s blessing. And now his administration is vamping up for a war against Iran.

“Comments from Nobel committee members revealed that they fully intended to encourage, not reward. Consider this: The nomination deadline was only 12 days after Obama first entered the Oval Office.”

There you have it: Obama will achieve greatness, if we just give him enough encouragement. Let’s not cloud the issue by actually waiting to see what he actually accomplishes; true greatness comes from those who are first told they are great. “I hope it will help him,” said committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland. “Obama is the right man at the right time, and that’s why we want to enhance his efforts.” And so the real greatness of others is once more sacrificed on the altar of mediocrity.

During the 2008 primary season, a friend of mine said he actually got “choked up” voting for Obama. “To think, that I was playing a small role in electing America’s first black president,” he said. Let’s call Obama the Commander in Chief of Self-Esteem, a product of our universal obsession with feeling good about ourselves at all costs.

Scott McPherson is a member of Seacoast Liberty.

1 Year Later…

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

In January 2008, a group of liberty lovers from the Seacoast drove to Concord to be trained on the NHLA bill review process.  On the way to the event, I brought up that we should start a group to continue the momentum of the recent presidential primary.  After the training, another individual was there from the seacoast who suggested the same idea; that evening back at my house New Hampshire Seacoast Liberty was started.

Upon the formation of SeaL, we discussed that we did not want a formal organizational structure; people would do as they saw fit and we would support their cause as long as it moved freedom in a positive direction.

During the past twelve months, we have grown from a few to over one hundred members; of which a majority of our members have been active in one fashion or another.  The events have been numerous and we have had so many great accomplishments.  While I will not list all of our accomplishments, I would be remissed not to list a few:

As the new year dawns and SeaL celebrates it’s first anniversary the discussion of goals naturally arises.  Our goal is simple and will remain to be so: spreading liberty and freedom, one community at a time.  The tactics to achieve this are up to each individual and are implemented through, a purely voluntary effort.  If you want to distribute copies of Freedom to Fasicm on April 15 by your local Post Office, run for office, get involved in FIJA, etc. then simply execute your task and our mission will be achieved.  It’s that simple.

I wish to thank everyone that has been supportive to the cause of advancing liberty, not only here in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire, but across the state, country and world.  Thank you.

Maybe I did well and maybe I led the battle but nobody ever said we were going to win this thing at any point in time. Eternal vigilance is required and there have to be people who step up to the plate, who believe in liberty, and who are willing to fight for it. – Milton Friedman

Rochester: Tax & Spending Cap Passes

Great news!

With 70% of the vote, the Rochester taxpayers sent the message loud and clear that we want smaller government and less spending. This overwhelming mandate gives the City Council and the city manager clear direction from the people – no more irresponsible use of the taxpayer’s money.

Click here for more from the Rochester Concerned Taxpayers.


Since forming in January 2008, the following items have been accomplished by members of SeaL:

  • Developed training materials and tools such as:
  • How a New Hampshire Bill Becomes Law
  • New Hampshire State Government Overview
  • NHLA Bill Review Training
  • How to Become a State Representative
  • State Candidate Questionnaire (used by the NHLA)
  • Identified and welcomed new liberty-minded individuals
  • Kicked off Spending Cap initiative in various cities in the Seacoast
  • Started a freedom themed book club
  • Freedom Force New Hampshire Chapter formed
  • Many members became delegates or chairs of State/Local organizations
  • New Hampshire Seacoast Liberty Brochure

    New Hampshire Seacoast Liberty Brochure (June 2008)