There once was a man who decided it was time to marry. There were three women he was interested in, and decided to give them a test to see how they would handle the potential family’s finances. Being a man of means, he gave each $10,000 to do with as she pleased. The first woman invested the money, knowing that life was uncertain and one must plan for the future. The second invested $5000, but spent the other half on presents for herself and her friends, knowing that life was uncertain and one should save for the future but also enjoy the days we have here. The third woman blew all $10,000 on herself and gifts and parties and travel, knowing life was uncertain and one should revel in every minute.
So which woman did the man ask to marry him?
The one with big breasts.
In other words, it’s difficult to make a rational argument to someone’s whose behavior, in love or politics, is dominated and determined by the brain stem.
Americans are unserious…frivolous to a dangerous extreme. To make matters worse, we lack the sense of humor which would reflect this absurdity and perhaps mitigate its effects. Recent events have demonstrated a fundamental limitation of our form of self-governance. An effective democratic republic presupposes an electorate that is engaged, informed, and knowledgeable—not enraged, deluded, and ignorant. Anyone looking to the United States as a societal or governmental model to emulate would keep on walking. This past 6 weeks has given more fodder to our adversaries and competitors—as if the past four years was not gift enough. The most powerful man on the Earth engages in sedition, riles a mob for insurrection, attempts an autoglope—but the co-conspirators in Congress derail the appropriate consequence. (The courts, Federal and State, may get their chance yet.) All this has come about because a large segment of the electorate is led by the brain stem.
We have to remember that today’s self-styled conservative has been fed a steady diet of lies about Democrats for many years. There are the old lies: Democrats want to take away your guns; think women get pregnant for the purpose of getting an abortion; will destroy the economy to become like Venezuela, want to ban religious observance. There are newer lies: Democrats want to defund the police; they win only through cheating or rigged elections; they want open borders without restrictions. Each of these arguments has been made to me personally. None of these charges are true, but these simple lies are designed to hide real issues the Republicans don’t wish to confront rationally, so they deflect emotionally.
Unlike previous decades, today’s GOP doesn’t have a competing vision of how to tackle our ills and challenges. In fact, they often deny many of the problems we face are even problems—from climate change, to systemic racism, to rampant gun violence, to even Covid. Supposed fiscal issues such as the federal debt and annual deficit are of concern to them—but only when the Democrats are in charge. They’ve continually misled their voters into believing the Dems themselves are the ills and challenges which need to be conquered—that lawlessness and socialism and, heaven forbid, “cancel culture” will follow in the Dem’s wake. As many others have noted though, lawlessness and socialism and “cancellation” are fine with the Republicans, as long as it’s white collar crime and government handouts to the wealthy and Tucker Carlson doing the cancelling. Frighteningly, there is even Republican forbearance towards a fringe wing of the GOP that accuses Democrats of harboring satanistic pedophiles (tripling down on the emotional brain stem argument!). Defeating Dems has become the Repubs entire raison d’etre…there is no governing philosophy. Therein lies a major reason Republicans are so bad at the actual process of governing, but so good at using government for graft.
It is apparent the average voter has little idea what government does, how it operates, what it is responsible for—especially at the national/federal level. This is what allows the Republican con to be so effective. They can blame the Dems or the allied Deep State for societal ills which government has little or no control over. Individuals have challenges in their own lives and don’t necessarily have the time or inclination to be attuned to policy details —and in their defense often depend on their Representatives in government to handle National issues. But the electorate certainly should be aware enough to sense a con job, to smell a rat. For those of us who recognize the con, shock and disappointment arises because so many are willfully ignorant of, inured to, or receive some lizard brain jolt of pleasure to actively participate in the con…even when it objectively is against their interests. Since on some level they believe government can’t or won’t help, or is inept or corrupt, “owning the libs” is the opiate that delivers. When polled on particular issues on which Democrats often run, majorities of voters often agree with the Democratic position—but still are reluctant to vote Democratic. Why? Why agree on issues, but reject those who are trying to implement them? Because the Republicans respond with, and repeat ad nauseam, the emotional lies rather than address the policy issues.
Read the joke again. The one with big breasts…
All too often Dems allow themselves to be defined by their opponents in an emotional, negative way. Take these particular recent issues:
Democrats—ensure abortion remains safe, legal, and accessible. Immoral to return to the days when poor women were charged with a crime or lost their lives due to an unsafe procedure, and women of means would travel to somewhere to get a legal abortion with no other consequence.
Republicans—Democrats want to kill babies.
Democrats—Ensure police forces are properly trained and vetted, follow proper procedure, and are accountable for their actions.
Republicans—Democrats want to disband the police and leave you defenseless…so be sure you have a gun and lots of ammo.
Democrats—Ensure we have sensible gun laws which maintain a person’s right to firearms for hunting and defense, yet limit the destructive power one person could wield. Ensure we keep firearms out of the hands of felons and those deemed mentally unsound.
Republicans—Democrats want to take away your guns.
And so on…
Emotion rules over reason. It is important, but obviously not imperative, to have the facts and rational thought on one’s side of a policy debate. But until that day when Americans start to consider policy choices in a serious manner, and Republicans offer actual policy prescriptions for the challenges we face, the Democrats would be wise to couch their arguments with some attention towards stimulation of the brain stem. One can’t reason with a spoiled child.
The one with big breasts…