Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What happened to us?

What happened to us?

It seems that we have more crazy stuff going on in this society now than I would ever have believed possible.  And I meet or come into contact with people all the time who are intelligent and educated, yet are hanging on to various viewpoints with a passion that precludes any remotely rational discussion.  I just ran into one a couple of days ago, a former worker for big companies whom I knew faintly decades ago, who is all the way into the "vast Right Wing conspiracy" and every political bill on Voter ID is part of it, angling to prevent millions of poor Black people and others from voting.

That voting rights are absolutely guaranteed everywhere in this country and that there has been voter fraud, mostly from Democrats, which was proven and people went to jail for it, has no meaning at all for this guy and the others.  That all the "restrictions" still give everyone born here plenty of time to get official ID, often for free with volunteer help, and time to vote by mail or get a ride to the polls, also escapes them completely.  None of those facts make any difference at all to them, and attempting to discuss the facts just meets with outrage and personal attacks.

And the really funny part is, some of the same people will claim that there is as much or more voter fraud by the GOP.  Yet it doesn't occur to them that if this is true, then they should want Voter ID to stop those evil Republicans from stealing elections!

Then there are all the people who cannot get past the "religion of peace" thing with Islam, and cannot acknowledge in any way the fact that some fundamentalist Muslims who take the words in the Quran and the other holy books as literally from God will see themselves as warriors whose primary duty in the world is to spread Islam everywhere by every means, including, and in fact mainly, "by the sword".  That they relate to the majority of Muslims the way that Nazis related to the majority of Germans, doesn't register because they won't let it, and all discussion ends with the charge of "Islamophobe" and personal attacks.

Somehow thinking by logic and reason has been supplanted widely by emotional reactions, and you cannot argue with the passions of deep-seated emotions and a worldview that the owner is addicted to, and cannot abide any and all facts that go against that worldview.  Two thousand years of Greek and Roman philosophy about how to do critical thinking are somehow dismissed, and in too many colleges the teaching is more like indoctrination into that liberal, semi-Marxist worldview.  That's the one where the USA is an example of an imperialist, racist nation founded on the corrupting system of capitalism.

I don't know where it's all going to go, but no question that Western Civilization is in decline, the only question being how far will the decline go before something really breaks down and a form of chaos begins until a new set of standards are accepted widely enough to restore a form of stability.  The example that haunts me is how the Weimar Republic morphed into Nazi Germany.  I can only hope that the memory of the days of freedom and prosperity will motivate people to get back to principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.



  1. An outstanding post, Del. This is exactly the difference between "I feel" and "I think." We don't need no stinkin' facts.
    Ron P.