Politicians are well know for their willingness to do damn near anything to be elected or re-elected. As Richard Jordan said in Hunt for Red October, “I’m a politician, which means that when I’m not kissing babies, I’m stealing their candy.”
Today’s politicians make that attitude seem downright saintly. Specifically, the Republican Party, which used to prize personal responsibility and fiscal conservatism is now willing to compromise everything because they fear the far-far-far-right white supremacists who adore Donald Trump.
Apparently, there is no line to cross. They’ve been bought, paid for, wrapped in gift paper, and delivered.
And it doesn’t seem to bother them at all.
There are people who perceive facts and act accordingly and there are people who do not accept facts. Instead, they ignore facts and believe(?) that by repeating a falsehood over and over, it becomes real.
They do nothing material to change reality. They don’t invent, they don’t discover, they just pretend a blatant fallacy is factual.
Gravity is a fact. No matter how much I want to fly without mechanical assistance and no matter how many times I say “There is no gravity,” it does not change the effect of gravity by a single Planck–the smallest measurement of energy.
Society has learned how to orbit the earth, it has invented computers that can do millions of calculations per second AND fits in your pocket, and it has cured many formerly fatal diseases and injuries. All of these successes were built on facts.
Nevertheless, some people are happier with their preconceived notions, even when the facts are clear.
As near as I can tell, your President is verbally feuding–or more correctly, twitterpating–with a swimsuit model. Based on my millennia (NOT Melania) of experience and observation, a swimsuit model is like a dancing girl, except that she doesn’t dance.
I wish I had a drachma for every time I’ve seen a powerful man distracted by a woman followed by his downfall. There was Adam and Eve, although that is fairly allegorical. Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra, King David and Bathsheba are all famous cases that were devastating for all involved. Then there was the young dancer who suckered King Herod into having John the Baptist beheaded. Her mother told her to do it–I can tell you with confidence that the dancer didn’t really dream about having John’s bloody head on a silver platter as an objet d’art in her bedroom.
Powerful people seem to believe that they’re too smart; that they’ll win every time; that bad things will never happen to them.
If these people are really so smart, why don’t they pick their fights with philosophers, scientists, or college professors?
Your democratic republic is confusing to me. I’ve seen many approaches to representative government–it’s far more difficult than autocratic forms of government, but “the consent of the governed” makes for a powerful nation-state.
In America’s case, one of the most interesting and challenging ideas is the Electoral College. Initially, as far as I can tell, the Founding Fathers wanted to ensure that less populated states would still have representation.
The emphasis then was united STATES–the states were not provinces, but actual nation-states. This idea, unfortunately, contributed to the Civil War since the Southern States believed that as nation-states they were sovereign and free to choose to stay in or leave the Union.
After the Union victory, the prevailing attitude became that it was one nation.
Therein lies the problem.
When Americans vote, do they vote as members of one country or as members of semi-sovereign local states? Is the president the leader of one nation, or fifty semi-autonomous pseudo nation-states?
If one nation, the Electoral College is unnecessary. If fifty semi-autonomous, semi-sovereign states, the Electoral College makes sense.
I’m confused, because from my perspective, it is a single nation.
Hopefully someone will explain this all to me.
I’ve heard philosophers and theologians, among others, debate whether humans are inherently good or evil. Some claim that we are inherently evil and it requires some outside influence, such as religion or cultural expectations, to do good. Others claim that within each of us, without external action, there is the desire to do good.
I think that the phrasing of the question is the problem. We should instead ask, “Are humans naturally self-centered or communal?” Do we value the good of others more than purely personal benefit?
I don’t believe that we’re born one way or the other, but the priority of self vs. others is learned. Some learn a sense of community from the community itself, whether that is family, a religious organization, or another inclusive group. The key is whether a person can see something as more important than him or herself.
One of the most highly trusted groups today is the US military. On one hand, this may seem surprising because the purpose of the military is to kill people and break things. On the other, the members of the military are willing to die for a purpose they perceive as greater than themselves. While each service member defines their own values, their service starts with an oath to the US Constitution.
On the other hand, there are people who view life in terms of “What’s in it for me?” They, too, learned this. Some learned from family, business, or others who valued self first. Others may have learned it from a society that rejected them and they feel no obligation to such a society.
What have you learned? What are you teaching others?
In the Blues Brothers, once they’re both out of jail, they attempt to Get The Band Back Together and they find one of their musicians who is a maître de at a restaurant. They set out to embarrass him until he rejoins the band.
At one point, John Belushi looks at the people at a nearby table and in a foreign accent says, “How much for the women? The girl? How much for the girl?”
The maître de knows he’s trapped and agrees to rejoin the band; the Blues Brothers then leave the restaurant.
I have to admit that this scene flashed through my mind, recently, when your president asked, “How much for Greenland? The Island? How much for the island?”
I liked Belushi better.
Thirty-three days until the autumnal solstice when I either fish or cut bait, depending on how many reader.
I’ve spoken. I’ve written. I’ve done what you would call “performance art.” All this has taken centuries.
Let me put that in perspective. Your father’s birth to your death might be around a century. Now multiply that by 20 or 30. Got it? Good.
I resorted to walking around in daylight carrying a lighted lamp claiming to be looking for an honest man. THAT is how desperate I was and am for exposing the truth. However, sooner or later, when one is not successful, it is wise to give up and seek another course.
I’ve been writing here (wherever here is) for over a year. Being dead, I do not have Twitter, Facebook, or whatever, nor do I want them. I have always fallen victim to the belief that people would seek the truth; if I were a video game, that might be true.
Bottom Line: If you want me to keep writing, do what you can to get others to follow this blog. If there aren’t sufficient people interested in what I have to say by the Autumn Equinox, I will cease writing and take my efforts elsewhere.
If few respond, then I must believe that people prefer the sensational and inconsequential to the truth.
The ball–as you say–is in your court. I’ll be napping in my sewer (look it up if you don’t believe me).