Sunday, August 29, 2010

Talking Points

I want to be up front about a series of tweets I sent to a, well, how should I put this, this, less than informed young Obama supporter Mr. Gibson. I have found that over the years, having some educational background in philosophy has been very helpful because it helps me to see where ideas come from. I have watched with almost disbelief lately at how political discussions have been either mud slinging sessions or "talking points" slinging sessions. Politics has is no longer about reasoned discussion about the validity of ideas and their effectiveness in government and the private sectors but rather an angry exchange of the same old talking points expressed again and again.

The truth is that many of the ideas we find in the political arena or elsewhere, have come from philosophical systems. If this nation is to have true political debate then we must find out where these ideas come from and what assumptions they are based on.

Barack Obama did not grow up learning how to be resourceful in a business environment. He grew up in a very strongly politically charged world and the world of ideas devoid of a sense of history, of where those ideas came from. Many of these ideas he learned in the university. Allan Bloom wrote a very popular book titled "The Closing of the American Mind". If a person truly wants to understand the philosophical roots of many of the political ideologies that are so much part of the "talking points" that are bantered about almost like weapons today, then reading this book is a good place to start.

I also posted in my series of tweets a biography of a Mr. Peter Singer. You can see in Singer's ideas much of what is driving Obama's positions on the current health care debate. I am not saying that Obama's positions are coming necessarily from Singer, but many of the poltical ideas that are to be found in the university are driven by a strong "ultilitarian" perspective.

The roots of Singers philosophy go back much further to the enlightenment which Bloom also talks about. I would take this a step furtther and state the they are rooted in the dualism and idealism of Descartes or even the philosophical nominalism that came before him. Such philosophies in many ways attempt to remove the existence of a creator and any sense of ethical absolutes. They also deny any sense of absolute truth but rather express that all things are relative. This moral relativism can be traced all the way from a period 500 years ago to our current times and the "talking points' that are now bantered about.

So when I get accused of being a spokesperson for conservative talking points I have to laugh. No Mr. Gibson (yes you), my believe system is rooted in much deeper things.

The truth is that our founding fathers (and no, this has nothing to do with Glen Beck) understood and discussed philosophy. When they founded our nation they understood the influence and importance of having a firm philosophical foundation for our nations constitution. In our current times, this is lost. People are lost in a world of ideas and buzz worlds that have lost any firm philosophical basis even though they are rooted in it. The problem is that those who use them really don't understand the basis for what they are saying. There ideas, being based only in their mind, become a kind of prison because they don't believe there is any firm foundation to root them in other than their feelings. Politics then is based more on the cult of personality and in the US, the Messianic figure of Barack Obama who is certainly no Messiah. We also listen more to entertainers like Oprah Winfrey than to those to have studied the great philosophies of the world and understand their basis.

Those like Mr. Gibson have been sold a product that like any other product that the television sells based on nothing more than an appeal to the senses. The promise of a world in which pain is minimized and pleasure is maximized. That is classic Peter Singer but of course, My Gibson would rather spend his time attacking people rather than really learning what he is being sold. If you eat a lot of sugar Mr. Gibson, you get diabetes and in time, if that is not taken care of then your organs die. That is what is happening to our nation. Those foundations most importantly the constitution, care dying under the corruptive influence of relativistic poltiical ideologies.

Believe it or not, people like me are not part of some Republican conspiracy. To be honest, I don't like either party. Tea party is also a term invented by the left. I don't even vow any ties to the tea parties but I do think that the people who go to these rallies are just ordinary Americans who grew up in a country that they loved and want that country and its values to remain. I to love this country and it deeply pains me that people have been sold a product that will in the end destroy this country. Call me whatever you want but at least I know the basis for my beliefs and you Mr. Gibson, can go on believing the lie but don't be surprised when the bill collector comes to your door and there will be no one to save you, because the nation that gave you freedom and liberty has been "fundamentally transformed".


  1. You are being a partisan right-wing hack. Just face it!

  2. I was going to wait to respond to this because I was hoping to have at least something of substance to refute. I intentionally bated my Gibson. The ideas I talked about are highly philosophical but very much related to many of the liberal arguements of today. They are outside the types of things Beck would talk about which is intentional.

    It is essential that the Americans have substantive arguements about fundamental philosophical discussions about how our nation should be governed. Mr Gibson's response is a sad commmentery of how many like him have been reduced to ad hominum attacks. I don't think Mrm Gibson understands what these even are although granted this sentence is an example.