When one studies philosophy, one comes away with a clear definition of the concepts of rationality and irrationality:
"Rationality is man’s basic virtue, the source of all his other virtues. Man’s basic vice, the source of all his evils, is the act of unfocusing his mind, the suspension of his consciousness, which is not blindness, but the refusal to see, not ignorance, but the refusal to know. Irrationality is the rejection of man’s means of survival and, therefore, a commitment to a course of blind destruction; that which is anti-mind, is anti-life." - Ayn Rand
With that definition in my mind, I have been watching the political discourse in this country for as long as I've been living. Twenty-four years may not be that long, but I have seen enough to know that something is amiss.
When this country was founded, man's mind was his cornerstone. He made decisions based on his ideals and his own will, not following the blind trail of others. Our country was founded on this bedrock.
But now we live in a country in flux. We are in constant fear of being politically incorrect that we've wiped ideals clear out of our heads. Politicians can take the stand and make wild proclamations, without having done any research or fact-checking whatsoever. Just because someone has a whim, it doesn't mean that the whim must be satisfied. Political whim has become our norm, flip-flopping on the issues in the span of weeks, spouting misinformation like a faucet. Any politician can shout racist slurs and threaten whole groups of people and be heralded as royalty.
What peeves me the most in politics is not the decisions that the politicians make, it's the indecision. Politicians are so filled with fear that they remain stagnant, stricken with fear at the thought of making an independent, rational decision.
But it's not only in politics that this is forming. Hollywood 3D Blockbusters with no plot have replaced the Casablancas. McDonald's has replaced Julia Child. Fifty Shades of Grey has replaced Gone With the Wind. We have chosen this diet of irrationality and now our waistlines (and brainwaves) are under siege. Everything has its place, and I love McDonald's as much as the next person, but eventually a line has to be drawn in the sand.
When did we become a nation of non-thinkers? Thinking used to be the Everyman's pastime and debate was his contact sport. Now when we have debates most people turning into braying Cocker Spaniels, yelping at each other with enough gusto to knock Melissa McCarthy off her feet. In debate, fact should reign supreme, not ad hominem attacks about the person's sex life or lack of a hairdresser or Oompa Loompa tan.
Dear readers, I beg you to go out into the world and speak with truth and honesty. Do your research, acquire your facts, read your books and live your life confidently, knowing that even though we'll never be omnipotent, we can still live our lives the best that we can. Look at the politicians around you and, if you don't like any of them, then say it! We don't want anyone to win by default and, if you philosophically disagree with all the candidates like I do, then choose the "no one" has your vote. Just because we're Americans does not mean that we have to vote. If you're given a chance between a rotten tomato and a rotten apple, wouldn't you rather just fast? Since I've been legal to vote, I have voted in every election because I have found politicians that espouse at least a vast majority of my ideals. Sadly now, I can't say the same thing.
So I ask you to see the world as it really is and live your life according to your plan. No one can give you a map to your ethics, morals and ideals: only you can decide those.
Our ultimate goal as humans is the pursuit of our own happiness, not the pursuit of irrationality.