by Andy Weddington
Tuesday, 25 August 2015
"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." Albert Einstein
Building the Transcontinental Railroad was unrealistic considering project scope, tool and machinery technology of the day, and the terrain that had to be navigated and conquered. But the challenge did not deter the idea men and planners nor the courageous who did the dangerous path cutting (to include through mountains, over gorges and rivers, etc.), bridge building, and backbreaking track laying. Those people - brainy to brawny - changed America.
Assaulting and seizing a tiny volcanic atoll, Iwo Jima, in the South Pacific during World War II was unrealistic considering the size of the defending enemy force, elaborate hardened positions, and the but one way the terrain had to taken - head on through the surf and onto the beach into fierce interlocking fields of fire. But that did not deter the men, the American Marines, who got it done. Atop a small mount a raised flag signaled their unrealistic victory. The world changed.
Was a president's bold challenge in the early 1960s to put an American on the moon unrealistic? It was considering the infancy of America's space program. And those who thought so watched eyes agog and mouths agape a handful of years later those who persevered and got it done.
Pioneers Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, to name just a couple of our contemporary geniuses, saw what others did not and believed what many thought unrealistic but that did not deter them from inventing, building, and fielding wondrous tools - hardware and software. They changed the world. Today's commentary prepared on one of Mr. Jobs's unrealistic ideas. Apple, the word, redefined.
The point is that people with unrealistic ideas and plans make change; most of the time for the greater good though sometimes not.
Trail breakers they are - the ones who get bloodied, oft times momentarily stunned and sometimes rerouted but through belief and passion they dust themselves off and plow onward. Trail breakers are not quitters.
The unrealistic are the imaginative. The dreamers.
The realistic follow.
The most often heard sentence the past couple of weeks from out the mouths of TV talking heads, network and cable news, is, "Trump's immigration plan is unrealistic."
"Unrealistic." Not impractical. Not amoral. Not unethical. Not anything other than "unrealistic." They speak in generalities to guard their nonsense.
With their tone a mix of skepticism, sarcasm, and snobbery dismissing Mr. Trump's idea for a wall that Mexico will pay for as ridiculous; that to oust everyone who does not belong here impossible; and to end birthright status is persecution of the innocent and besides not Constitutional.
These naysayers in feigned exasperation toss their hands up; shrug shoulders; flippantly drop pens or pencils; smirk; roll eyes; and heavy sigh mumble, "It can't be done." Yet all the while they cannot figure out why or how Mr. Trump has exploded in popularity and not imploded with such, in their minds, ludicrous ideas.
Granted, Mr. Trump's idea is shocking some. Upsetting others. And unconscionable to others. But to others still his idea and plan resonates and elicits shouts, "It's about damn time!" and "You go, Mr. Trump!" and from the good ol boys, "Kick their sorry asses out! And keep them the (expletive) out!"
So one man's unrealistic is another man's realistic with realistic the mantra - the comfort zone - of conformists, of followers.
Well, 'Step aside while a visionary with unrealistic ideas and plans turns to,' as Mr. Trump is saying.
Of course Mr. Trump's plan can be done. Where there is will and leadership there is a way. History teaches.
Unrealistic and difficult are not synonyms.
The destruction levied on America (and the world) during the past 7+ years is surrealistic, but real - real terrible. And that terrible surrealism, by any and every measure of anything that matters from economics to race relations to religious freedom to national defense to foreign affairs, is a realistic assessment.
So it only makes sense it's going to take unrealistic ideas and extraordinary action and effort, and a lot of them and it, to fix the mess.
"Make America Great Again!"
That's the bumper sticker, ball cap, and T-shirt campaign slogan - the back azimuth - folks want to follow for now. Fed up and defying logic, that's frustrating the hell out of the logical, "unrealistic" people are imagining what American can again be. And right now the majority of Americans heavily favor that unrealistic character, Mr. Trump, who speaks his mind to be their president. However realistic or unrealistic that may seem, he leads. The trail breaker Trump - the others trail. A surprise it'll not be when trailers, already attacking the lead man, start aping and touting unrealistic plans, too.
Unrealistic and imagination if not synonyms enjoy agreement.
Think Einstein - one who imagined the unrealistic, proved reality, and forever changed how we understand the (real) world - however unreal it may sometimes not only seem but be.
To date several candidates I prefer but do not endorse anyone. I simply call them as I see them. And will for all serious candidates.