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Sun Dec 9, 2018, 03:43 PM

When the subjective overrides the objective


It is a frequently repeated truism that Donald Trump is a narcissist, but if that is true, how did someone with such a repellant trait gain the highest office in the land, and what does it even mean to say someone is a narcissist?

Another commonly heard remark, while, not precisely narcissistic, is an indicator of how we got to our present predicament. It is not unusual to hear someone say, “I might have voted for Hillary, but I just didn’t like her.”

My response: “You didn’t like her? So what? The election is not about you. It is about the country. Whether we like a candidate is not important. Would you like to have a beer with Hillary? Not important. Citizens of a democracy are supposed to ask themselves what would be better for the country.”

Thinking about the country requires an awareness of civics — how the government works — and of history — how we got where we are. It requires people to reach considered conclusions about what would be good beyond their own narrow horizon. The better candidate might institute policies hurting one’s self-interest, but improving the nation — for example, raising taxes to pay for education or infrastructure improvements. Whether we like a candidate is less important than whether the person would do a better job for the country as a whole. Certainly, the list of presidential candidates whom I have liked over the years is a short one, but that doesn’t mean I have not had the obligation to choose which one was better for the country. In a fit of pique, I cast my first presidential ballot for comedian Dick Gregory rather than for Richard Nixon or Hubert Humphrey. It was a juvenile gesture that was more about me than about the good of the country. Humphrey did not lose because of my vote, but it would be a different world if he had won.


“Mix epic individualism with extreme religion; mix show business with everything else; let all that ferment for a few centuries; then run it through the anything-goes ’60s and the internet age,” Andersen wrote. “The result is the America we inhabit today, with reality and fantasy weirdly and dangerously blurred and commingled.”

A famous quote of an adviser to President George W. Bush, attributed to Karl Rove, though he denies it, chillingly foreshadowed the way that politics untethered from a belief in objective reality can be hijacked by authoritarian leaders. The advisor disparaged journalists who remained part of the “reality-based community.” Ours is a time when those in power can create the facts, according to the adviser. That the facts created by the Bush administration — the Iraq war, the Great Recession — constituted disasters of a historic dimension is a new fact that the American people are still grappling with.

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Reply When the subjective overrides the objective (Original post)
erronis Dec 2018 OP
czarjak Dec 2018 #1
erronis Dec 2018 #2

Response to erronis (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 10:13 PM

1. Obviously, the fix was in...

Individual reasons for voting one way or the other, or not voting at all are moot.

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Response to czarjak (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 10:17 PM

2. But that's what we're told here - just wait until 2018 or 2020 or ... GOTV

But if the fix is in ----- so what.

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