Aug 2, 2019
Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin converse over breakfast about the General Patton Principle. This explains why the most effective person to solve a particular problem may not be the most gentle, refined and polite person. General Patton and his 3rd Army beat back the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge in January 1945. But his tirades were often vulgar and profane. Yet not only did the men under his command love him but so did their mothers because they knew that he really cared about their sons. The very best doctor to perform a dangerous surgery might possibly be a serial adulterer -but no normal person, no matter how religious, would spurn this doctor in favor of a less competent surgeon because of his marital ethics. Obviously we were responding to two angry letters attacking us for our enthusiastic support for President Trump’s reelection. We emphasize how this Patton Principle applies in many areas equally applicable to the lives of listeners in Africa or South America who might care nothing about American elections. We also spoke about our children and child raising in general with special emphasis on consistency and both father and mother singing from the same music. We looked into why New Yorkers looted during their power outages since 1977 but not in blackouts earlier than that. What changed during the 60s? We inquired whether knowing that some things are just plain wrong helps stop us from doing those things and we explored the role of moral will power. Why is that kind of self-discipline, capable of helping us resist the urges of our appetites and impulses, acquired mostly through religion and the military?