Here’s the idea: the United States was a country founded in Age of Reason by philosophical thinkers grounded on the principles of Rationalism; the idea that “regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge” or “any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification”.
In the broad sweep of history, organized society could be seen as oscillating between empiricism and rationality, between feeling and thinking. It is my conjecture that when George W. Bush narrowly was awarded the Presidency by the Supreme Court in 1999 (see Bush v Gore), in what was arguably a partisan and not entirely logical decision, that as I’ve stated in my post “The Antidote to the Alt-Right”, irrationality and anti-intellectualism was validated as the predominant path to power in America.
The United States of America is at this moment an Irrational Democratic Republic.
I write this for posterity: W. Bush, was widely seen during his presidency as a leader who went with “his gut”. He moved what was permissible in politics far to the “right” and away from reasoned thought. There were protests and resistance, but to little avail (we still invaded Iraq without evidence). And behind the scenes was the shrewdly calculating Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. They were a disaster for the country and for the world. Take for example, the roll back of environmental regulations, the absolute time lost in advancing the moral case to confront climate change (we now see the start of the repercussions of Bush’s absolute recalcitrance on the matter – the universal lock-step Republican view that no action should be taken to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions – we see the oceans warming, more moisture in the air, and a succession of category 4 and 5 hurricanes this year alone, which has devastated major US cities in Texas and Florida and now utterly destroyed Puerto Rico. This is the legacy of George W. Bush and Newt Gingrich (he should be included in any talk of ad-hominem, feelings-based decision making, being its main progenitor in its current modern form) beginning to emerge.
Or course, the elevation of non-intellectuals and anti-intellectuals such as Sarah Palin and Sarah Palin squared (Donald), has re-validated the importance of chaos , stupidity, and irrationality in holding and exercising political power in the United States of America. Again, I am not being ad-hominem by calling Donald and other stupid. I’m saying that they validate thoughtlessness, or action not rooted in thought but in personal animus or animus against key words like liberal or left. If the “left” did something (like kissing a baby on the cheek, they would do the opposite (not sure what that is, but it’s likely not very nice). And they would do the opposite for no reason, but just to be opposite and to “win”.
Now … we (the United States) is still a democracy … even in an uninformed democracy, the people are still responsible for voting.
Ok, this is somewhat tangential. But I wanted to get the idea out there, that the United States of America is at this moment an Irrational Democratic Republic. We are therefore, by action, by speech of our top leaders, a country which is illogical and does not advance forward on a Federal level, but figuratively mills about in an illogical, unthinking stupor, like a reeling schizophrenic drunk lurching to the center and to the right by turns.
Mitch McConnell and Donald are both irrational: one through non-thinking, the other through acting solely on personal ad-hominem animus.
Many of us remember in our lifetimes prior administrations which were rational: Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and so on backward (yes, Reagan and others before him of either party were fairly grounded in thought and rationality even if they sought to subtly insinuate certain agendas, either to the left or right of center. And so, many of us still believe we must be a rational country. But right now, we simply are not. With hyper-partisans, Mitch McConnel, the Republican “Freedom Caucus“, and the general notion that all Republicans must act under the principle of group think, as a solid unified Body, no matter the policy or bill presented. Under the principle of group think, when loyalty is expected toward leaders and when those leaders become or are irrational, then the entire governing body is irrational. Mitch McConnel and Donald are both irrational (McConnel is intelligent, but governs by personal animus as described above and therefore Calculatingly Irrational whereas Donald is Chaotically Irrational), therefore as they effectively account for two-thirds of the Federal Government, the United States at the national level is an insane and illogical body. incidentally to be Chaotically Irrational is to be exceedingly dangerous as self-inflicted wounds are occurring (to the national fabric; to our perception by foreign allies, and unilateral, reason-less withdrawal from international pacts, accords, and treaties, to name just a few.
Therefore I draw three possible conclusions: 1) The people WANT uninformed non-thinkers at the helms of power, or 2) the people are attempting to the make the best decision that they can, but the people themselves are uninformed non-thinkers and so their decision as to who to elect is wildly uninformed and dangerously incorrect. 3) the people intuitively know that experience and intelligent thinking make for better decisions for a country, but they choose to cast their vote based ENTIRELY on a partisan label. If Hillary Clinton had re-registered as a Republican and uttered a few phrases about abortion and gun rights, she would now be president. If Donald had run exactly as he did, but registered as a Green, his vote tally would have been quite low. If a 3 pound lump of igneous rock was registered Republican, that lump of inert minerals would garner about 30% solid support from Republican voters.