"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Friday, December 02, 2016

Same as it ever was

Just a reminder that it's shortly Christmas, and there's always light in the darkness.
Which, of course, means there's always darkness.....

This is the world we are now dealing with.  A world in which someone can go on an NPR talk show and say "there are no such things as facts."

Well, no; this isn't a brave new world that has such creatures in it.  This is the same old world it always was, but now those voices are on NPR rather than Rush Limbaugh, are heard on FoxNews rather than Joe Pyne.*

And the problem is theirs, not ours; because we survived a President who said that when the President does it, it's not illegal.  We survived a President who was already suffering from dementia in his last term, and a President who was a benign doofus who really did think he could invade Iran and make the world safe for kleptocracy with pallets of cash.  We'll survive this, too.

But the crazy will always be with you.**  The fact that they can grab the microphone doesn't mean they just erupted sui generis from the brow of Trump.  They've been reaching for that microphone for many years now.  Like the election of Andrew Jackson, their time has just come around again.

I suspect if we studied history carefully enough we'd find out populists have never been much better than this.  I can certainly point to the history of Texas, and especially the Texas Constitution, as prime examples of what populism produced, and how uninspiring and unenlightened it really was.  Then again, not everyone in Athens was Socrates or Plato, either.

*I remember some syndicated show on late night/early morning (like 1 a.m.) TeeVee in my childhood with a host who made even recent Limbaugh sound like Adlai Stevenson.  I don't know that I have the name right (I'm sure the last name had a 'y' in it), but close enough is good enough.

**I've gotten into fights with people on internet comments about what was a fact, and what was not a fact (i.e., what the facts of a situation were).  I've had arguments where the plain words of a source (or a comment) were simply ignored in favor of making a point.  And most of these arguments were not with fans of Trump (why bother with them?).  This problem is not "them," and there is indeed nothing new under the sun.


Blogger June Butler said...

"Then again, not everyone in Athens was Socrates or Plato, either."

Ha ha. Brilliant. Thanks for the much-needed laugh in these perilous times.

12:29 PM  

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