Saw a Tweet by Tom Nichols – you know, The Expert who deplores how we stupid people just don’t get it – bemoaning that America is being burned to the ground by people like Trump because the Elite never accepted them. Now, to be sure, there would be a bit to that – even when everyone officially loved Trump, he was considered a boor. A flashy, crude bull in the Ruling Class china shop. His family was rich, but still very nouveau; the Trump family started to pick up some money with Donald’s grandfather, but it was dad Fred Trump who got them rich. Basically, the Trump’s haven’t had their money long enough for it to have the stench of work removed.
Nichols isn’t rich – he does well enough, but he’s not one of the rich people who probably despised Trump all along. But while not rich, he is of the class. That is, the Ruling Class. He’s got his degrees and he’s got his positions in the Establishment and, dammit, he’s mad at us for not doing as we’re told – just as the upper class of New York City couldn’t stand Trump for not trying to be like them. But what got me thinking was how Nichols is claiming that Trump, et al are trying to burn it all down. In a flash it came to me what Nichols’ real problem is: he’s never once thought about things.
If you get an engineering or medical degree then, at the end of the day, you had to show you could do some engineering or medicine before you got it. There’s just no other way to do it. On the other hand, if your degree is in history or philosophy or such like, you don’t have to show the faintest thought about the subject: to get the degree, all you must do is repeat back what the professor told you. This doesn’t mean a person with a liberal arts degree can’t think, but it does mean that such a person doesn’t have to think in order to get the degree. And, these days with all the dumbing down, you can get all the way to doctorate without showing the least spark of original thought. My bet, actually, is that most degree programs in the so-called liberal arts these day are designed to discourage thought: they want people who regurgitate information but they don’t want anyone questioning the facts or drawing an unapproved conclusion from the facts as presented.
Man has no alternative, except between being influenced by thought that has been thought out and being influenced by thought that has not been thought out. — G.K. Chesterton
Chesterton there was discussing specifically why we study philosophy, which he admitted can be a bit of a bore. But do keep in mind that in Chesterton’s day, he was talking about the educated people in this matter. He wasn’t expecting the store clerk to take the time to learn Aristotle and Descartes. Be ok if he did, of course, but Chesterton knew that most common people don’t have the time nor inclination for such things. But society, as a whole, is going to be ruled by one or the other – thought that has been thought out, or thought that hasn’t been. It was and remains the duty of those who rule us – by fate, inheritance or transient political victory – to be those who have thought their thought out. Because if we are ruled by people who haven’t thought things out then you’ll get…well, you’ll get what we’ve got.
Over in New York, governor Hochul is in some trouble – may even get beaten on the 8th. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Even in a GOP wave year, New York – really New York City – is so reliably Democrat that the particular conditions wouldn’t matter. There would be so many Democrat votes that the Democrat will win. But there’s a problem and it is particular, especially, to New York City. Crime is rampant. Now, the MSM tries to tell us that because the murder rate is still lower than the peak about 30 years ago, this complaint about crime is just a GOP psy-op designed to fool people into voting for them. It is another example of the MSM’s willingness to say things not only divorced from reality, but from the reality the reporters know from personal experience. The regime propagandists of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia weren’t this compliant! The MSMers know. They live in NYC. They can see it with their own eyes: people waltzing into stores to rob/trash them. Goods in stores increasingly locked up to prevent wholesale looting. The feeling of being unsafe on the streets and the subways. Everyone in NYC feels it. They know it. And while the MSMers are going to loyally carry that water, the voters of NYC are under no such obligation. To be sure, if Hochul is booted on Tuesday it won’t be because NYC went red – but it could because a lot of Blue NYC just stayed home rather than ratify the homeless bum pissing on the curb outside.
And the problem in NYC stems from the imposition of certain policies: most notably the end of cash bail. If you haven’t paid attention to it, you should, because ending cash bail has become the mark of Leftist justice reform. They’ve put it on mute the past six months for political reasons but make no mistake about it: ending cash bail is something they are determined to do. The theory behind this is that cash bail unfairly burdens poor people who are disproportionately minority. This is absolutely true. I mean, no duh: the poor person, whether criminal or just some poor schmuck who got picked up, doesn’t have the money for bail nor for good lawyers who can get bail lowered or removed. Obviously, any system of bail is going to hit against the poor vastly more than against any rich person.
But the solution – ending cash bail – is obviously something which was not thought out. I can totally dig trying to find some way to lower the burden on the poor, but blanket removal of bail requirement was going to have that effect: petty criminals would feel invincible. They wouldn’t even have to spend the night in jail. And people of low moral character would be encouraged to start engaging in crime – especially theft – for that same reason: no real sanction. They can figure: how likely is my trial for stealing $500.00 worth of stuff from CVS even going to happen? And that is if they even bother making an arrest. After all, what cop is going to bother arresting someone – taking that risk and that extra work – just to see the guy walk out of the precinct before the cop has even written up the complaint?
On and on like that, all across the nation and in every aspect of our lives we are burdened by the results of policies imposed by people who are sure they are right, but clearly never thought about what they believe. Sowell has been writing about this for decades. I’ve read those books but only just now am I fully understanding what his main complaint was and is: nobody is thinking. It is all very mindless what goes on. All of our problems – our lack of industrial capacity, or lack of energy production, our food shortages, our crumbling infrastructure, our crime rate, our collapsing education system, our drug addiction, our homelessness, our open border…all if it, every last bit, the result of the ruthless imposition of policies nobody thought about. Nobody sat down and said, “so, what will happen if we do this? It was all just done.
And people like Tom Nichols want us to stick with that. And for a long while I thought that it was, perhaps, pettiness or some other normal, human emotion preventing his like from seeing that Trump really isn’t all that bad (I mean, my goodness, compared to Joe Biden!) and that some good things come from ruthless rejection of Liberal/Left certainties. But then you see that Tweet and you remember that people like him are all-in on fighting Putin over Ukraine and then it really hits you: they’ve never thought about one darned thing.
We have to defend Ukraine!
To save Democracy!
If Ukraine falls I’ll lose my right to vote in the USA?
No matter what what way you ask about it, you won’t get an actual answer. We’re backing up Ukraine – at the risk of WWIII – to save Ukraine from Russia, or NATO from Russia, or Democracy from Russia…and blah, blah, blah. But no explanation of how, say, changing the Russian flag over Donetsk for a Ukrainian flag will actually benefit us. We just have to do it! Russia is bad, don’t you know! Don’t you remember Reagan!
Yeah. As I recall what Reagan wanted was to stop the USSR from expanding outside the USSR via proxy wars and, of course, to get a real nuclear arms reduction treaty with them. He got that. How is that similar to stopping Russia from taking over ethnic Russian territory governed from Moscow prior to 1991?
You’ll never get an answer to that. Nor to why we would, say, defend Germany from Russia rather than Russia from Germany. I mean, on the whole, the Germans are working against us in foreign affairs. They are also major economic competitors who don’t have to pay for an army because we’re there for them. Any chance we should reassess this situation?
No! You Putin Nazi Puppet!
Note that I’m not saying that defending Ukraine is wrong – I’m merely saying that no thought is happening behind our efforts and any attempt at thought is immediately shouted down. And the shouts are led by the people who supposedly have the superior education and thus can think things out better than us.
Until we clear all these people out – not just the politicians but the corporate bosses, the bureaucrats, the generals and admirals, the professors – everyone in charge, we’re not going to fix this. I would seriously expect better results at, say, Defense if I randomly selected some sergeant and made him Chief of Staff. I’d have some confidence, that is, that our four star sergeant might think about things before he made a decision…you know, like what might be the long-term effects of lowering physical requirements so that girls can be in combat outfits. Same with everything – put a plumber in charge of Harvard’s Department of Philosophy and there’s just that chance he’d crack open some of the books and think about whether or not what they’re saying is worth any human being knowing. They really do all have to go. I don’t care what they do, but they must leave. Anyways, might be fun to watch them try to tackle a job which requires results. But, more importantly, once they’re gone, we might be able to openly think about what we want.