American Immaturity: How We Grow Up After We Grow Old
So, what pulled him out of it? What causes anyone to mature? The answer is rational choice. Human maturity is volitional. It has to be pursued and embraced. Tucker relates:
It would be the easiest thing ever to keep living that life, to go out and get drunk and sleep with random women. It’s so much easier than it was five or ten years ago! I have money now and people know who I am. I could travel the world. It would be so easy for me.
But I don’t like doing that stuff anymore. It is possible to go out drinking and partying in a healthy way I think—but the way I did it was ultimately self destructive, and so emotionally bankrupt in a lot of ways. I was having fun doing it for a time, and I’m glad I did it. But it was no longer rewarding to me, because I realized I was surrounded by so much misery and pain. Once you start to see this, then you see it everywhere. It was like, "Wow, I can’t be in this bar scene and this drinking culture without being around a bunch of miserable people.”
Scarlett, Tucker’s current girlfriend, felt guided by him toward a similar revelation. Like him, the facts of reality confronted her, forcing a choice between acknowledging her life, or continuing on a wayward course of fantasy. Tucker says of Scarlett:
She was miserable. Have [you] ever meet someone who always puts on a good front but you can tell they’re miserable? That used to be her. She was like a flight attendant with that fake smile—but it wasn’t just her job, it was her whole life. All I did was hold a mirror to her. At first she tried to argue. But then she came back: "How did you know?"
… She was definitely the type that wanted to know everything at that point. Some people will go the other way. They’ll double down on their lie. But she didn’t want to live a lie anymore.
She wanted to live in the light of truth. That’s the threshold of maturity. That is the moment when we come into our own.
It is bad enough when an individual refuses to mature. Consider the consequences of an entire nation intent on fantasy. Mark Steyn highlights the fact that President Obama’s currently proposed budget places the national debt on track to reach 900% of GDP by 2075. Are there any grown-ups among us prepared to deal with this reality?
The capacity of Americans to mature will determine whether or not we pull out of our cultural and economic nosedive and restore a republic governed by just laws which protect individual rights. It is the choice and capacity to acknowledge the requirements of life, to concede such axioms as “money doesn’t grow on trees,” which enable mature adults to act productively in pursuit of their own happiness. Absent that, misery is inevitable.
More from Helen Smith: Are We All Tucker Max Now?