Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Rhetorical Question

Of course, we're all asking 'Why?' and 'How?'.

Because of perception. Perception is very important.

Perception is why actors often go into politics-and do well- for they understand the power of perception. It doesn't matter how weak or strong the economy is. What matters is consumer confidence. It doesn't matter if America is safe or not. What matters is whether America feels safe and strong enough to kick ass.

It's why little guys win fistfights against big guys, and why bumbling fools are capable of running countries-because they project the image of greatness.

Aristotle said that all men seek the good. I say all men seek the perceived good.

Where Obama really lacks refined speaking skills--in the impromptu Q & A-- he has done a brilliant job of masking. He has (and here I mean HIS MINIONS have) developed this persona of a scholar...a good writer, a good speaker, a good thinker, a good leader. You and I know this is not true, but just listen to NPR faun over him for 30 secs and you'll see that this is the image that is being thrown out there for the unexamined mind to settle upon as an unarguable fact.

So his stuttering comes across to you and me as a bumbling fool who needs his teleprompter, but to everyone else as a disheveled intellectual whose words are not fast enough for his thoughts.

If right reason governed people's actions and thoughts, countries would only be run by guys like Alan Keyes. But the reality is, guys like Alan Keyes will never get elected. They don't pay enough mind to 'passion'. They pay too much attention to 'reason'. Yes, humans are essentially rational animals, and it would be aweful nice for people to seek the 'truth'. But we are disordered by the punishment for original sin. We are ruled by our passions. This is especially dangerous when we fill our minds with entertainment rather than philosophy. Besides, people seek the perceived truth. And if it's palpable, they rest there and seek no more.

An uneducated electorate who spends its time watching America's Got Talent and Desperate Housewives will choose to be ruled by the politicians who most conform with what those shows project as 'intelligent leaders'. An educated electorate who spends its time reading Alexis de Tocqueville and Cicero will choose to be ruled by the men who most conform with what those thinkers project as 'intelligent leaders'.

Right now, 90% of America chooses to fill their imaginations with the musings of the former. It's easier. Philosophizing is hard. Daydreaming is easy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know it's not true. I don't care, really, because I don't look for the whole package of perfection in political leaders.