Reasoning In The Age of Trump

When I set out to write about politics, I was determined not to fall into the trap of becoming bogged down in all sorts of emotional nonsense. No, I was going to be guided by pure reason, or as close to pure reason as this tired, old mind of mine could come. I think it was all those years of watching political "discussion" shows. You know the ones, where the participants were more interested in seeing how loud they could shout instead of how well they could think. I wasn't going to be one of THOSE people, no, not me. I would leave that to the shouters and bellowers of this world. At least that was my intention. But I hadn't counted on writing a blog in the Age of Trump.

I try not to be self-righteous. It's an easy thing to do when one writes a blog. Self-delusion is such an enticing trap. But I'll be the first one to admit that I make mistakes, although I generally try to keep such admissions to myself. But I definitely do NOT suffer from an infallibility complex. Therefore, I try not to write from a position of moral superiority or feigned intellectual brilliance. But damn it to hell, it gets harder to do with each passing day of this Age of Trump.

Here's my real argument with the Trump world vision. It's all based on lies. Don't get me wrong. I'm not so naive that I take everything a politician says at face value, ANY politician, regardless of party. Politicians lie. But our esteemed President lies all the time. He even lies about his lies. So how does one have a reasonable debate with someone like that? You can't! It can't be done. With a congenital liar, facts are like shifting grains of sand, ever changing. There are no facts on which to agree because facts in a congenital liar's hands are volatile and always subject to change at a moment's notice. For instance, not so long ago, President Trump said his Administration had passed more bills in its first year than any previous administration in history. People went to the records, they looked it up and it simply wasn't true. Yet Donald Trump insisted it was. How do you argue with that?

So what happens? Whenever you try to have a logical, fact-based discussion on the issues, you run smack dab into a wall of lies. So what are you supposed to do? What CAN you do? I know what I do, I get frustrated as hell. But when I'm frustrated, the first thing that goes out the window is reason. Then emotion takes over. And that's when it's easy to don the mantle of self-righteousness. After all, aren't I on the side of truth, justice and the American way?

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once observed, "You're entitled to your own opinion, but you are NOT entitled to your own facts!". This is the conundrum in the Age of Trump. We're dealing with a President who makes up facts as he goes along. It's as though he feels he has exclusive access to the TRUTH!! And his supporters feel pretty much the same way, parroting whatever the Great Leader says. In discussing the issues of the day with a Trump supporter, you can TRY to be reasonable, you can bend over backward to be polite and engage in a civil discussion. But in the end, no matter WHAT you say you will always be wrong because YOUR facts are lies and THEIR lies are facts. If we are to emerge from this Age of Trump with some semblance of our national sanity intact, we are going to have to emulate the words of the prophet Isaiah and "Come, let us reason together!".

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  • "So what happens? Whenever you try to have a logical, fact-based discussion on the issues, you run smack dab into a wall of lies. "

    In his case, that's obvious. But his supporters are just as bad. I just had discussions on comics comments boards, where basically once you challenge them they accuse one of being a libtard, over educated (they are reveling in being stupid), a jerk, etc. There may have been a Know Nothing Party in the 1800s, but there certainly is one now.

    You even had one commenter here who put up some nonsense about Obama, and when refuted, did not come back to defend it, which is par for the course for him.

    Whether or not one thinks one can reason with a putative leader who exhibits psychiatric symptoms, one certainly can't reason with his followers. Any age of reason is dead.

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