Vail Daily letter: Lack of humility not uncommon
Wow. Until Sunday’s column from Jack Van Ens, I had no idea I had been the victim of ballot fraud.
The Colorado absentee ballot I received last October offered several choices for president — Clinton, Trump, Johnson, and a handful of others — but humility was most definitely not on the slate. I’m afraid that makes me part of the 81 percent of Evangelicals who voted against humility, having been denied the opportunity to do so. (Although in all honesty, I would still have opted for wisdom, or even competence. Sadly, they too were missing and are presumed dead.)
Humility is the antithesis of pride. The great American theologian Jonathan Edwards defined pride as “a person having too high a thought of himself.” The most insidious — but probably most pervasive — expression of pride is excessive and unwarranted confidence in one’s own opinions, manifested exquisitely by both Donald Trump and a certain weekly columnist for the Vail Daily.
I wonder in what parallel universe Barack Obama emerges as a paragon of humility. This could not be the same man who famously bragged in November of 2008 that he knew more about everything, and was better at everything, than all of his advisers: “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” As a careful student of American history, I cannot recall a greater expression of hubris coming from a president, or president-elect, up to that moment. Trump’s excessive self-confidence is deplorable, but hardly unique. It is a fault we all (self included) must recognize and confess. If Rev. Van Ens wishes to enlighten his readers on the subject of humility, he might be more credible were he to admit to his own struggles, rather than reflexly lapsing into partisan politics.
Steven J. Willing
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