Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Primary Stupidity and Political InTrumpretation: "But wait, there's more!"

Yes, I too am fed up with this Primary - it's been, to say the least, aggravating. It's deprived us of the benefits that a worthwhile primary should have brought us, it's turned friend against friend, and brought smart people to condemn themselves with the stupidity of calling those they don't agree with, stupid.

This primary has brought out the worst in the entire electorate, but the one most blamed for it, Trump, he hasn't caused it - he's revealed it. He's an effect, not a cause, and if he goes away, 'it' remains. Donald Trump, when held up to our problematic electorate, is, however, a startlingly useful prism of political optics, and as you turn him this way and that, he reveals the full hued spectrum of where it is that We The People, think that everyone else is standing, and is exposing the problems we'd all thought it'd be so much easier... to just ignore.

Worst of all, for me... it, the politics of it, are of no interest.

And yet, it's been living rent free in my noggin for a couple months now, and with the exception of a couple rants, has dragged all of my other blogging interests to a standstill. I've been wanting to get this damn post out of my head, but it keeps trying to sprout more pages, and as I try to chop it down to size, from out of the scratch of a single comma, out it bleeds another 2,000 words. Well this time it's going down and staying down.

Chop. Chop. Chop! If you're seeing this, I finally succeeded in cutting it down as close to the bone as I can (yay!).
"The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions but to destroy the capacity to form any.”
The Origins of Totalitarianism, Part 1 - By Hannah Arendt

"The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or  the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exists.”
Totalitarianism: Part Three of The Origins of Totalitarianism By Hannah Arendt
Note: This post is not about Trump - I'm not talking about the arguments against him or the arguments for him, but about the arguments about Trump, which, for the most part, are simply unhinged. Especially on the part of those new political interpreters on the scene, both those for and against Trump - let's call them 'InTrumpeters' - who regale us with how 'Stupid!' or 'Dishonest!' the opposing side is, when the sad fact is that neither charge - especially that of 'dishonest' - truly applies, and for worse reasons than you might think (which I'll get to at the end of this post).

So let's get down to it. The first issue that just has to be gotten out of the way, is the stupid 'Stupid!' charge (other equally 'legit' terms being tossed at each other, such as 'cultist!', 'liar!', apply as well, but let's keep it simple and stick with 'stupid'). Taking Webster's simple definition,
Stupid: not intelligent; having or showing a lack of ability to learn and understand things; not sensible or logical
Hopefully I don't shock you, but even though most people who hold their fellows up to the Trump Prism, see any signs of disagreement as proof of 'Stupid!', I've yet to see a single person (and I'm even including those in the video at the end of this post) who could truly, justifiably, be called stupid. BTW, that should be far more disturbing and scarier for us all, than if they actually were stupid. So, let's get to banishing the "Stupid!" with, appropriately enough, a thought experiment.

Stupid Test Part 1: The question of the stupider stupid
What do you suppose these supposedly stupid people would do, if we were to make these propositions to them:
  1. Will you allow me to put a lethal dose of cyanide in your drink, which you'll then drink, if I add enough sweetener, or if I promise to provide you with a secure job, and a fabulous increase on your investments, after you've died?
  2. If it were proved that the nations water supply were suddenly poisoned, would you want to know how to test and purify the water before drinking it, or would you rather not be bothered?
The person who would go along with the first, or not want to be bothered with the second, could justifiably be called stupid. I'm willing to say that neither Trump, Cruz, Sanders, nor 99.9999% of their supporters would make those decisions (I'll leave it to you to decide about Kaisch).

IOW they grasp the operations and importance to their lives of 'If this, then that' logic. They also implicitly understand what many would prefer to deny: that they grasp the reality of Reality; they grasp the meaning and importance of Identity, and they attach a reasonably high value to their own conscious self awareness and its active application to their lives - none of which a stupid person would, or could, do.

Note: I do not mean to excuse those, on any side, whose words and actions are vile - there is no excuse. This also doesn't mean that I think that their positions and actions are intelligent, only that they aren't arriving at unintelligent positions because they are stupid or otherwise incapable of doing so (that too should alarm you). There is most definitely a point of disconnect, where their ideas, and
their perceptions of reality, part company - what I am saying is only that the issue involved isn't one of stupidity, and I'm cautioning that if you mis-define the problem, as most people that I've observed on both sides are enthusiastically doing, then a solution that solves the actual problem, is not what your efforts are going to provide you.

Or in other, other words, if you willfully fail to identify either their disconnect, or the basis of their decision, then you are effectively disconnecting from reality as well. Get it?

Of course any of us might let fly with a Stupid! charge in the heat of the moment, but that's less an evaluation than an exasperated four letter word in drag, and is of no real consequence - an expletive is but an expletive and easily deleted, and is not our concern here. But an expletive that's used as an explanation, or as an excuse to avoid an explanation... that's something entirely different, and should
be deeply disturbing, especially as it becomes the rallying cry for your actions.

And seriously, consider some of the people that you're attempting to slur with your 'stupid!' ('ignorant', 'cultist', etc.) charge, and from either side of the Trump aisle, with Thomas Sowell(!) on one side, or Phyllis Schlafly on the other?! Seriously? These are the people that you InTrumpreters, pro or con, are trying (explicitly or implicitly) to see as being stupid, uninformed, ignorant of the Constitution and unconcerned with the Supreme Court? Are you kidding me? Of course you can disagree with them - vehemently so - but to include them in that type of name calling, sorry, but it's simply bouncing off of them and sticking to you. Get a grip.

So tell me, you inTrumpeters (pro or con) who are throwing out the Stupid! charge, are you doing that to excuse yourself from having to do the work of figuring out exactly what your disagreement is about?

Sorry, rhetorical question - the answer is yes, you are throwing out the 'Stupid!' charge in order to spare yourself the effort of understanding their position, and of having to make your own argument more understandable and persuasive... to those you're trying to persuade. (?!).

Who Benefits? Do you suppose that makes your argument more capable of getting through to more people, or does it leave it weaker?

Again, rhetorical question - the evasive Stupid! charge leaves Your argument weaker, and just as deliberately disconnected from reality as you claim that theirs is. And if you really do want to persuade the maximum number of people to your point of view as possible, then your Stupid! charge is in fact stupefying to your own argument. Which is... sorta... stupid... isn't it?

And how do you suppose your 'argument' looks to the person you're calling 'Stupid!', and to their