There was a time, and what a time it was, when common sense, the idea that if something smelled of BS, it was in all likelihood BS, a jaundiced eye was used to appraise idiotic ramblings. That of course could simply be a delusional recollection on my part. It’s possible common sense was just a buzzword all these years, that no one actually put any worth to it.
It would certainly explain a lot.
This is also true of rational thinking.People talk about it, wonder at its application, but for the most part struggle with it because it requires inevitably that most hated of concepts: research and compromise. Yes, that bizarre conceit of doing what can be done versus what we want done.
The irony in today’s fractured world is we, as a polled majority, long for rational compromise because it results in action; things getting done; progress being made. And this happens, when it has to, but it’s not sexy or even interesting to most people; it simply matters. This is most evident when nothing happens as with budgets, construction, and the like. Yet, politically, it has implications because it informs our everyday lives in the mundane; functioning government agencies, schools, utilities, transportation; you get the drift. This drab yet essential part of modern life is put in the hands of legislators who are picked based on their politics, a great deal of which is immaterial to our everyday lives.
Trying to be rational in the application of politics, or religion for that matter, is a fool’s game; it is a matter of faith, no more no less. For those who actually believe in the application of reason and rationality life is one long shaking of the head and use of the word really far more often than we want.
Does it really have to be this hard to get the roads fixed, fund our schools, or run a particular department? Of course not, but inject ideologues, fools, and idiots and it’s not surprising how quickly everything bogs down. This is then followed by a lot of shouting and name calling. Professionalism is remarkably expected of those forced to try to make due with whatever the cacophony allows so long so long as they ignore the obvious idiocy dancing around them.
And yet I hold out hope, although I don’t know why. Perhaps the next generation will be so disgusted by what they see that they’ll shelve the controversies and focus on making government function. Or maybe they’ll give in and we’ll finally end up with the “strongman” that will make everything better.
©2018 David William Pearce