Thomas Sowell's Vision of the Anointed lays out a useful way for thinking about the world: that the major division is between those that view the world in terms of intentions, and those that view it in terms of outcomes. He labels those for whom intentions are more important than outcomes "the anointed".
I don't intend this as an insult to my friends who fall into that category, but my 5 year old is displaying routinely inappropriate 5 year old behavior that I would characterize as consistent with the anointed. I am correcting him.
So, what's he doing? He has a sister who is 2 who he enjoys terrorizing (and vice-versa). But, being 2 she is often scared of things. The 5 year old is getting sensitive to this, and approaches the problem with the best of intentions: if she is scared of something he will bring it closer, in a less threatening way, and show her why she shouldn't be scared of it.
Here's the rub: if the 2 year old then becomes more frightened, has the 5 year old done something wrong? As a parent who values household peace there is an easy answer: yes he has, and he should back off! But to a 5 year old, who is beginning to think clearly about the world, he is being good because his intentions are good. He is anointed in Sowell's sense. Fortunately, we can still steer him towards thinking of the effects of outcomes on others rather than his own internal intentions.
Do I do this because (generally) I do not fit in well with the anointed? Or is this parental behavior that is emminently reasonable, and probably supportable by a majority? If that is the case, where do anointed adults come from? Are they trained that way by parents who don't act like I do? Or, are they reprogrammed by society at some formative age? Or, are they only anointed on certain issues, particularly ones of public policy?
And ... think again about how I worded the end of the paragraph before the last. Who could argue with "thinking of the effects of outcomes on others". It seems to be a character fault of many Democrats these days to view Republicans badly because they want to frame debates this way (and in no way am I claiming that Republicans haven't done this in the past, just that it is a particularly Democratic problem at this time). As a mostly serious Republican this irks me. Oh well ... I guess I'll should start torturing puppies, since some people assume all Republicans do that anyway ;)