t is our observation and considered view, that the lack of requisite success by right thinking Americans regarding controversial issues of the day, such as gun control, woman’s right to abortion, even prophylactic face masks, is attributable to a fundamental error in their assumptions and strategic policy. For example, the obdurate inflexibility of the proponents of the purported right to own guns, and the staunch opponents of a woman’s right to choose abortion, appear to be fundamentally unrelated to the actual merits of the issues, concerning gun ownership nor the maternal right to terminate a pregnancy. The principal theme of this essay is based upon the writers’ empirical observation that a great many views on contemporary issues in dispute, have far less to do with relevant facts or coveted rights than they do as an overt assertion of loyalty and demonstrated identification with a chosen tribal dogma.
In a well-known Biblical account, the alternate uses of an ethnic sibilant in the pronunciation of the Hebrew word ”shibboleth,” was adjudged solely determinative as to the identification of a speaker, as friend or foe and bore lethal ramifications. The actual translation of this crucially determinative word,(var. “sheath of wheat”) was entirely beside the point and irrelevant; what was lethally determinative was the derivative, tribal identification demonstrated by of the manner of its utterance.
Contemplative, morally principled citizens, by appropriate inclination, tend to rationally argue the perceived merits or drawbacks of presenting controversial issues. A creditable and rational approach to gun control, for example, might cite as evidentiary support, the vast number of homicides due to the nonregulation of deadly unregulated firearms, the injustice and personal misery caused by State criminalization of needed abortion, and as well, the accurate meaning and context of the word “Socialism;” the latter, often ignorantly, and tactically, employed as an epithet. Rational citizens, seldom seem to be aware of the bizarre and unjust phenomenon that by choosing to argue the actual merits of a controversial issue, they may be missing the decisive point, and thus, are less than desirably effective.
We confidently assert our observation that the acknowledged unhealthy divisiveness extant in our Nation, is fundamentally and essentially, socio-cultural, rather than politically or economically based. The contemporaneous divisive marker does not delineate the fundamental diversity of philosophy of governance, nor the competing self-interest of economic class. It has evolved fundamentally and unhappily, founded upon the element of neurotically needed demonstrated loyalty to a “tribe” and its (“group think”) point of view. This unhealthy phenomenon recently diagnosed, exacerbated, and metastasized by a seemingly endless travesty of four years of Donald Trump has sought to make thoughtless tribal loyalty a priority, and rational and responsible citizenship, repugnant. Such metastasized pathology appears to chronically persist within a considerable swath of American society; notwithstanding the electoral recent defeat of its provocateur and high Priest, Donald Trump. As an historic fact, the participation of a vast, inadequately educated and poorly informed underbelly of the Nation, was a significant factor in Trump’s successful run.
In a many of our writings we have expressed, in one context or another, the eternal moral obligation of mankind to demonstrate appropriate gratitude to Natural Evolution, for the generous gift of an advanced brain; affording to man the capability of reason. We have consistently extolled the practice of activities and the pursuit of interests which advance the individual’s growth and capability of reason in the direction of the ultimate goal of wisdom, man’s highest and most admirable calling.
It is singularly appropriate and useful for individuals to use their acquired knowledge and available wisdom, in the understanding of their life and world and to personally develop the valuable rational tool of mature perception enabling the wise solution of problems. For clarity, we restate and eternally endorse these principles without exception. It is the advanced capability of rational thought that places homo sapiens at the top of the anthropological tree.
Yet, it would appear to be fruitless, even naïve, to assume that the intransigent members of the group-think members of America’s underbelly, will respond, positively to meritorious argument based on reason, or factual reality. They would predictably perceive such eternally appropriate phenomena as relatively irrelevant when compared to their subjectively vital personal considerations of loyalty to an autocratic leader such as Donald Trump, and/or the views of a chosen group or mindset, to which they have sacrificed their persona and free will; the latter, in neurotic exchange for the perceived comfort of assurance of needed acceptance. Other non-affiliated members of America’s underbelly internally possess their own personal dynamics of reductive ignorance.
Our position is certainly not to the effect that thoughtful Americans should, to any degree, abandon their appropriate practice of the rational consideration and articulation of the intrinsic merits, or lack thereof, of the presenting issues of the day. To the contrary, as previously expressed, we continue to recommend the thoughtful continuance of articulation of persuasive arguments on the merits or defects of presenting issues. We, in this writing, merely seek to an empathic precaution against disappointment, resulting from well-intentioned but, in this instance, functionally naive and persuasively intended expectations.