Thursday, October 28, 2010

Consensus is Like Orgasm: soon dissipating, leaving no guarantees

Tonight the light of love is in your eyes
But will you love me tomorrow?
-- Carole King (1971)
How we Americans love our leaders and hate our politicians. What’s the difference? Leaders are public servants, legislators, whom we esteem, even, trust, maybe, perhaps, amen. Politicians are those legislators who pretend to be public servants. We DO NOT LIKE them. We know anything they say is a lie, lie, liar; pants on fire!

How can you tell them apart? Learn from Yoda, “Trust your feelings, Luke”: every spasm is an orgasm, a guarantee of true love.

The New York Times of Thursday, October 28, 2010, reports that the “Coalition That Vaulted Democrats Into Power Has Frayed, Polls Find.” Coalitions form by the often momentary consensus among people who are otherwise adversaries. They may evoke deep feeling; for example, “Yes, we can.”

The coming elections in November 2010 are not about facts: who can accept as fact something that leaks through the lips of a politician. The elections seem to devolve around philosophical issues, to judge by the vocabulary being used, “socialism,” “free market,” “liberty,” “liberal,” “conservative” and the like. And the average (even, above average, college-educated) American citizen seems to be about as adept at examining philosophical issues as the average American squirrel. A louder voice does not mean a truer statement. Enthusiasm is not a substitute for logic.

When “I am not a witch” becomes as important to a voter coalition as the traditional smoke-and-mirrors of “liberal” versus “conservative”, it not only shows that our educational system has long been substandard, but that any “leader” or “politican” who depends on such consensus might as well have gone into the business of school reform.

Love’s pleasures last but a moment;
Love’s sorrows, your whole life long.
Plaisirs d’Amour, Jean Paul Égide Martini (1741-1816).

To examine these issues further, see The Pathologies of Enthusiasm

--- EGR