San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Is There Anyone Left Who Thinks Logically?

Logic is dead.  Don't believe me?  Just read a daily newspaper or your favorite blog.  Nobody thinks anymore. Everybody just feels.  The reality of human confirmation bias assures me that the intellectual positions taken by people simply because they feel good about them are impossible to challenge or change in any way.  Any attempt to do so is rebuffed offhand for the obvious reason that challenges do not affirm prior beliefs.  People are not interested in being told they are wrong.  They are interested in being told they are right.  As a result, any criticism is ignored and all agreement is acknowledged as good and fair.  The day when people could engage in respectful debate on intellectual issues is dead, if it ever really existed.  I suspect it never really existed.
As a case in point consider a recent column by Kathleen Parker, writer for the Washington Post.  In a piece that showed up in my newspaper today, entitled "The Electoral College should be unfaithful," Kathleen, or Katy as her friends call her, makes a case for the Republican members of the Electoral College rejecting Donald Trump and installing either Mittens Romney or John "Mr. Excitement" Kasich as the next King of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  In the course of making that argument Katy writes this:
"Mathematically, only 37 of Trump's 306 electors are needed to bring his number down to 269, one less than the 270 needed to secure the presidency.  On the Hamilton Electors' Facebook page, elector Bret Chiafalo, a Democrat from Washington, explains the purpose of the Electoral College.  If you haven't previously been a fan of the electoral system, you might become one.  Bottom line:  The Founding Fathers didn't fully trust democracy, fearing mob rule, and so created a republic.  They correctly worried that a pure democracy could result in the election of a demagogue (ahem), or a charismatic autocrat (ahem), or someone under foreign influence (ditto), hence the rule that a president must have been born in the US....Most important among the founder's criteria for a president was that he be qualified.  Thus, the Electoral College was created as a braking system that would, if necessary, save the country from an individual such as Trump."
Did you catch all that?  Let's consider the logic, or lack thereof, in Katy's argument.
Katy is upset that Hillary did not win the contest to become the first Queen of the SDA.  She believes that King-elect Donnie is a demagogue, a charismatic autocrat and under the influence of foreign powers, whatever that means.  (I sure hope he is not possessed by the demon of Hugo Chavez.) Furthermore, she argues that the Founding Fathers specifically designed a form of government that rejected a pure democracy because a pure democracy would, in their view,  inevitably bring about a state of affairs where demagogues, charismatic autocrats and individuals under the influence of foreign powers would be elected. So far, so good.
Katy, I have a question for you.  Who won the popular vote in the last contest to determine who would be our next King?  If I recall correctly, and I probably don't, it was Hillary who won the popular vote, and that by a rather large margin.  I have vague memories of some Hillary supporters telling me that she garnered over three million more votes than Donnie, clearly proving that if we lived in a pure democracy she would be coronated as our first Queen.  In fact, I think some people are running around at this very moment agitating for the abolition of the Electoral College so the pure voice of the majority can speak without hindrance.
Katy, I have another question for you.  Who won the majority of the electors from the Electoral College?  As I recall, and my memory is a bit foggy on this, Donnie won the majority of the electors, thus making him the next King of the SDA.  So Katy, a self-professed "fan" of the "electoral system" is now attempting to overthrow that very same system because it gave her a result she does not like.  At the same time Katy, in total contradiction with what she claims to believe about the electoral system, would like to see someone other than Donnie coronated next year because the system did not give her who she wanted.  So even though Katy believes the Electoral College is grand because it keeps us from mob rule, she wants to overthrow the Electoral College system because it did not give her the person the mob chose to be the next King/Queen.  Logic flew out the window of Katy's home a long time ago.
Katy's final comment is a wonderful example of irrational thought.  Katy does not like Donnie, I get that.  So how does she attack him? She claims he is unqualified, whatever that means.  I suspect it means that Donnie does not say and do things Katy likes or wants him to do, hence, he is unqualified. That is a brilliant bit of logic, isn't it?  After declaring Donnie to be unqualified she delivers this illogical gem, "Thus, the Electoral College was created as a braking system that would...save the country from an individual such as Trump."  She makes that assertion with a straight face despite the fact that it was the very same Electoral College she is claiming would keep Donnie out of office that delivered Donnie to the office.  Logic, logic, are you there? 
Katy makes a living writing stuff like this.  How can she do that?  I think I know.  I think Katy is a popular writer (and I am not) because she writes things that appeal to the emotions and feelings of her readers without any regard to rational argument or logical necessity.  That gives her a very large audience of folks who share her envy-filled views about how the government is god and exists to take money from the top 49% of the income population and give it to the bottom 51%.  Good for you Katy.  You have a successful career saying absolutely nothing of value to the tiny minority of people in this ignorant, stupid and foolish land who actually think about things rationally.  But have no fear about your future for you are a member of that great majority of irrational yokels you loath and fear so much.  They will never let you down.

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