Saturday, February 27, 2016

Why This Presidential Election Makes Me Sad

     My problem is that the Sanders and Trump campaigns are for people who enjoy replacing reason with emotion, rationality with rationalizing -- and the Clinton campaign is for people willing to replace memory with imagination (or perhaps a searing white emptiness).

     If you like any of them (or the other candidates), good for you!  I didn't say you were stupid, just indulging in one form or another or wishful thinking.   Things will surely be better if you're right and I'm wrong.

     ...But the electoriat in general is dumb and steadily getting dumber. I read Cyril Kornbluth's "Marching Morons" stories years ago; I know what it means when "performance" cars have to play engine sounds through the stereo system to keep the driver happy.  The vapid uselessness of popular culture mounts steadily and in more ways than one.  We're well past the Age Of The Common Man and entering the age of the Illiterate Techno-Peasant With A Grudge.  Better buckle in; it's going to be bumpy.  Care for a nice glass of lead-laced water for the ride?

     (And yet-- And yet!  Says right here the Flynn Effect shows we're getting less stupid, though the trend may be leveling off in the most-developed countries.  One wonders if there is a similar metric for common sense -- and if it shows an opposite trend.)


Anonymous said...

Re: your last paragraph.

Unfortunately being more intelligent does not make you less irrational. There are plenty of very smart people who are superstitious, believe in new age stuff, alternative medicine, anti-vac propaganda, conspiracy theories etc. In fact, I seem to recall reading somewhere that it can be easier to fool more intelligent people with a con (can't remember exactly why this was so).

Angry and disappointed people don't behave rationally. You can explain all you like how Trump is not a)conservative, b)Republican, or c)Libertarian till you are blue in the face, he pushes the right buttons. Same with Bernie. Best headline from one of the primaries where Trump and Bernie won; "Juan Peron and Hugo Chavez won the primary in...", which perfectly illustrates the state of things.

People are looking for the man on the white horse, not perhaps as much as they were in Wiemar Germany, but even so. Neither Trump nor Bernie would have got any traction at all were the economy and the state of the world in better shape.

To use the famous Star Wars quote "I've got a bad feeling about this".


Paul from Canada

Unknown said...

The Flynn effect, huh. Errol Flynn?

Anonymous said...

Errol *did* like 'em young (13 years old, if memory serves)...


I personally don't care for any of the candidates, tho I wouldn't complain too loudly if it were Cruz. But that just ain't gonna be happening. The very thought of the HildaBeast being Prez and controlling the Senate severely depresses me.

Especially with Scalia gone...

Joseph said...

Question: Are the people buying the noise-enhanced cars Trump supporters?

Roberta X said...

Joseph: doesn't matter. Overall cultural trend is rampant ant-intellectualism and angry ignorance. Trump voter, Sanders voter, Clinton voter: all really much the same.

Monty James said...

Observation of the "intellectuals" over the last three decades has left me severely unimpressed. Accusations of being "anti-intellectual" have no power over me.

The country is mostly lost at this point, at least to that segment of the population supporting Trump. He at least pretends that we have an obvious, inarguable right to police our own border. Perhaps it won't change anything if we hand him all that power. But I think of Sanders or Clinton with all that power; I think of them with control of the Executive Branch, and control of the Congress in the hands the Democrats. We in this country are facing a threat from the hard Left, and maybe all we can do is hold off for a little while longer what comes with them controlling all branches of the government.

Trump voters are not the same as Clinton or Sanders voters. Bernie and Hillary supporters can see almost see the gates of Heaven starting to open; Trump people can see the dust of our approaching doom on the horizon.

But what do I know? I'm just an angrily ignorant anti-intellectual.

Roberta X said...

Trump voters, Clinton voters, Sanders voters: all see Their Leader as the gateway to A Better World. Nothing good can come of such thinking.