For those who read from the scores of political columnists that are available today, we can conclude that
ample talent and insights can be found, if you know where to look. There are many pundits that organize their articles around
facts, statistical data and empirical evidence. Their logic is sound and their arguments are compelling. So if this is so,
then why do so many of these essays go unheeded? What is the underlying reason that their message is disregarded and ignored?
It seems that many readers have a disconnect with the substance, if not the style.
If you are one of those who are willing to expose yourself to these columnists, you show a glimmer of hope.
But the prospects for the vast majority may well be less promising. Today the popular culture shows a disdain for intellectual
pursuits and critical analysis. The methods, structure and rules to achieve reflective thinking have been abandoned, and common
opinion has taken its place. This modern society deems all these conclusions to be egalitarian. The confusion that 'Rights'
have the same nature as tenets held because of a certain 'Ideology', causes a fundamental breakdown in understanding and debate.
All opinions are not equal. We all share in the same Nature that endows us with 'Universal Human Rights', but sorry to say;
thinking ability is not one of them. This conclusion hardly needs to be debated, just listen to comments made to media hosts.
But if the political culture assigns equal weight to those who express themselves based upon defective reasoning, we are all
The source of this unsound method in reaching personal beliefs is that emotions have taken over the process.
Facts, that were once universally held, no longer have meaning or acceptance. Empirical evidence is discarded for wishful
desires. The necessity to ground positions within the fertile soil of reliable fields, no longer is adhered. No wonder the
harvest that is now being picked, bears tainted fruit. The new standard is now to reaffirm our beliefs, and not to seek to
verify if we are correct in maintaining them. Information that differs with the emotional security of codependency, can cause
discomfort, and should be avoided. The response is don't interfere with my argument with all those facts! The concept that
if you can think it, it should happen, defies the very notion of conscious rational reason. But this is exactly the response
to legitimate issues.
And no better example can be found than with the Abortion Issue. When the facts are presented that the child
is alive in the womb, the argument always is shifted to the 'rights' of the mother. This technique may be acceptable for political
ads, but surely; it defies basic rules of civil discourse. When the facts don't support your position, ignore them. Well,
how long can we tolerate such deceptive behavior?
This breach in logic produces the inference that reality is no longer related to facts. The requirement to
produce a feeling of worthiness; supersedes details, data and evidence. The foundations of much of what is commonly seen as
the 'Democratic Left' is based upon this process of substituting real and accurate demonstrations of proof for wistful social
engineering that defies the attributes, appetites and flaws of human nature. The consequences of this failing to accept reality,
as it is and will continue to be; when applied to political policy, devastates society as we have known it.
This author has coined the term: 'TC'. For those who may be new to this notion, it refers to the phrase, 'Totalitarian
Collectivist'. The ultimate conclusion of applying the false standard of 'Emotional Relativism' to public issues, will undoubtedly
benefit those who have the greatest commitment to foist their views upon the rest of society. Their intensity to codify their
system of values actively employ the use of coercion and force for compliance. When people forgo their ability and willingness
for critical scrutiny, the danger for the rest of us, increases.
So what are we to do to reverse this decline in principles? Should we fight fire with an even greater flame?
Or is there a more sensible and prudent response? Any reversal in direction, in public policy, will require the sentiments
of public opinion to accept a change in bearing. For this ship to be steered back on course, the crew will need to follow
not the commands of a new captain, but must satisfy the hunger in their own bellies. Tacking with the wind or navigating by
the stars will not provide the way for these sailors. They want to find Tahiti, but only dream of its pleasures. And the sole
way to reach these voyagers is through the only way they act and live. The argument needs to focus no longer on logic of facts.
The appeal must be on the level that these seafarers cruise. Emotion is the key to that plea. Self interest underpins that
sentiment, while apparitions of feeling good is it's real goal. It is up to the rest of us, that last remnant of souls who
have intellectual integrity and rational thought to find the way to feed the impulsive and malleable craving of those who
accept the 'TC' culture.
If reason and facts no long work, let the appeal be emotional.
SARTRE - March 30, 2001