“If you are protected from dark things then you have no protection of, knowledge of, or understanding of dark things when they show up.”

-Neil Gaiman

By: Mark Glennon*

A short article titled “The importance of being scared” tells us much about why today’s young people are such pussies, intellectually — muzzling speech they deem offensive and protecting themselves with trigger warnings and safe spaces.

It wasn’t meant to be about Illinoisans of all generations, but it sure applies.

The prevailing narrative in Illinois evolved in recent years, but the underlying denial remained consistent. Our problems first were dismissed as mostly a PR issue stoked by a few misguided pessimists. Nothing an overdue tax increase won’t fix, we were assured. Then it became a budget crises — just do you’re job and pass a budget. Now that it’s clear the budget fixed little, “irrevocable damage” from the period before the new tax increases seems to be the theme taking hold, as if there were nothing prior. Voices like ours continue to be dismissed as scare mongering.

It’s all a variation of “don’t scare the children,” as we called it long ago.

But denial begets inaction. It refuses the challenge. The article put it beautifully:

that the terrible and the terrific spring from the same source, and that what grants life its beauty and magic is not the absence of terror and tumult but the grace and elegance with which we navigate the gauntlet.

Most of Illinois still doesn’t see that our model of government is fundamentally broken. We simply aren’t generating the growth, jobs and revenue we need to meet promises made. The math has long been irrefutable.

Now, it must be fixed. Drastic reform is essential. If fear helps inspire the “grace and elegance” needed to “navigate the gauntlet,” so be it.

Hans Christian Andersen, according to an author quoted in the article, believed “evil stems from intellectual and emotional stuntedness and is the one form of poverty that should be shunned.”

Shun it.

*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints. Opinions expressed are his own.

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