I READ THE NEWS TODAY OH BOY.

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The top ten reasons Trump defeated Hillary Clinton for the U.S. Presidency:

10. The Rising Cost of Obamacare

9. Hillary Is A Crook, Gets Away With It, And No One In Washington Cares

8. Hillary Failed To Articulate, In Person, What She Was Going To Do When Elected

7. White Guys Are Tired Of Being Called Racists And People In General Are Sick Of Anti-People Identity Politics

6. Hillary’s Entire Message Was: “Trump’s Gross, Vote For Me.”  Really? With Your Marriage? And Your Corruption?

5. Town Versus Gown.  Liberal Arts Colleges Produce Pointy-Headed Liberals—And Little Else.  The Real World Bit Hillary

4. Taxes, Regulations, and Trade.  Trump Offered Hope For A Sluggish U.S. Economy With A Staggering Debt (Rust Belt, Especially)

3. Hillary’s Open Border/Globalist/Destruction Of The Middle East/Pro-ISIS/Pro-NATO/Make Russia The “Aggressor”/Policy.

2. Some Read Wikileaks, Got Outside the Liberal Echo Chamber, And Lost Trust In The Mainstream, Corporate Media

1. Hollywood Is Boring And SNL Isn’t Funny

THE VOTE FOR NOTHING

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“In Fum-Fudge great is a Lion with a proboscis, but greater by far is a Lion with no proboscis at all.” Lionizing, Edgar Poe

There is a vote for nothing.

We can desire nothing. We can think of nothing. We can move towards nothing.

We can choose nothing.

It is a very pleasant thing.  I think I will do nothing today.

We love and need and want nothing, like nothing else.

When love speaks to us—and what is more desired than love?—it whispers “sweet nothings.”

When we are in pain, we always feel something: whatever is hurting us, we feel.

The opposite of pain is simply to feel—nothing.

To feel nothing is bliss.

When we are truly comfortable with a friend, we can be at ease with them—doing nothing. That’s the test of friendship.

In friendship, in love, we find it meaningful and reassuring and pleasant to be next to someone we care about, doing absolutely nothing.

Nothing is the elixir of those voting for Hillary.

Voters for Trump want lower taxes and less regulations to stimulate business and grow the economy and create jobs and wealth.  They want borders against illegal immigrants for the safety and success of all Americans. Things like that. Agree with it, or not, to vote for Trump is to vote for something.

Likewise, with Jill Stein.  One votes for her to help protect the environment.

The libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson.  We know what that means. You are voting for the philosophy of less government and more individual freedom regarding issues that don’t harm others.

Ah, but none of these votes reach the profound bliss of nothing.

These voting choices preach good, but good with conditions: goods which are good, but which must be worked for.

But a vote for Hillary.

What is a vote for Hillary?

It is a vote for nothing.

Many people are voting for Hillary just… because… she is… a woman.

Just as strong friendships exist when two friends can hang out together doing nothing, so it is with the unconditional love of one woman for another.

You are a woman.  She is a woman. That’s it. That’s enough. It is nice just knowing there is another one similar to you in your presence. And of course this can work with any group with which you identify.

Just wanna be with my peeps. Nothing more.

It is the utterly simple companionship based on nothing—just two people occupying the same space together, in the simplest kind of empathy.  Nothing else is required.  Nothing.

What did Hillary do when she was a senator?  Everyone agrees.  Nothing.

In any manner that can be measured, in terms of speech, or policy, or legislation—what has she contributed?  Nothing.

What is her legacy?  Nothing.

Hillary is most famous for the nothing of erased emails, the nothing of vanished documents, the nothing of unnamed villains conspiring to make it seem she has done something wrong.

In Hillary’s case, we look in vain for something.  Does she have a personality?  Is there anything, when we look at her?

No. There is nothing.

A vote for Hillary says: let the future be the same as the present.  No change, please.  Nothing.

It is her secret appeal, if she has one.  No, there isn’t any appeal.

But of course, it is a greater appeal than any other.

The appeal of, and for, nothing.

And to argue with the Hillary Clinton status quo of blissful, unthinking nothing?  Is there anything we can say?

No. There is nothing.

We argue for—something—in vain.

 

 

 

 

ZOMBIES

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In the third debate, Hillary Clinton promised she would not increase America’s national debt by “one penny.”

Under Obama, the national debt increased from 10 to 20 trillion dollars.

Hillary has promised not to raise taxes on the middle class.

Where’s her tax revenue coming from, then, to pay down the debt?

We know she’s in with Wall Street, so she certainly won’t add taxes to the rich.  She won’t bite the hand that feeds her.  That’s not her style.  She certainly never bit the husband who fed her.

With America’s growth rate currently at 1%, there is no way the debt does not go up astronomically under Hillary.

So her claim that she will not increase the national debt by “one penny” is a complete lie.   Fact-check, please!

So what is she going to do?  She will “invest” in “jobs…” or something.  She says she will invest in women and green jobs (though Stein and Bernie supporters doubt this) and even so, this has little to do with the hard economics upon which everything else rests. Hillary will spend a lot, and continue the current U.S. policy of crushing and destabilizing the Middle East, and the debt will increase.

Maybe one question everyone should be asking: If the debt increases to 40 trillion, does it matter?

But no one talks about that.  Because that would involve thinking.  And Zombies don’t think.  “I-will-not-increase-the-debt-by-one-penny.”  That’s better. That’s how you talk to zombies.

The elimination of Glass/Steagall (which separated investment from retail banking) by Bill Clinton and the support by congressman Barney Frank (D) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac led to the housing crash; yet somehow Hillary manages to blame the debt of 20 trillion on Bush, because he happens to be a Republican.  This is what the Democrat Zombies do: just the blame Republicans.  The zombie army will follow, to the ends of the earth.

Trump says he will cut taxes, and Hillary’s canned response is: you’re cutting taxes on the rich! This is what the Democrats always say, ever since Reagan cut taxes, and increased tax revenues.  Zombies go berserk when they hear this. A couple of sentences can explain why tax cuts are good: but the stupid Republicans, who are also zombies, stare into space, and let the retort, “you hate the poor, and love the rich!” go unanswered.

It’s not about Republicans and Democrats.

It’s about how vile and stupid the United States has become.

The Republicans should explain it this way: it’s not tax cuts for the rich; it’s tax cuts for job creation and growth.

If you have two modestly successful corporations taxed at 50%, this will bring in far less tax revenue than if you have 10 very successful corporations taxed at 25%.  Yet, for Democrats, strangling business in the cradle by over-taxing and over-regulating (enriching the lawyer class) is good.  Because it hurts “the rich.”  So the zombies march to the unemployment lines, happy, because at least the Democrats are punishing “the rich.”

My local ABC news affiliate, after the debate, had two “experts” weigh in, so that the zombies watching the telly could quickly grasp the significance of what they just viewed, and both the Democrat and the Republican talking heads said the same thing: “Hillary won the debate. Trump said stupid things. Hillary will win the election.”  Both of them.  Like zombies.  Especially bad for Trump—said the Democrat media zombie—was Trump’s statement that he wouldn’t accept the results of the election.  But as Trump said in a speech the next day, why should he agree to accept the results of the election when there is precedence for candidates having the right to question the election results: think Gore in 2000.  It’s done all the time. The media zombie was only talking like a—zombie.

Hillary has promised to not add “one penny” to the debt.  Yes, and maybe she won’t add any CO2 to the atmosphere, either.

The winner of this election will be the one who hides their creepiness the best.

Sex not only sells, it distracts. “Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” shouted at a Democrat in 1967,  has been replaced, in 2016, by “Bill Clinton is a rapist!”

I think we should just sing ’60s songs.

“In Penny Lane there is a fireman with an hourglass. And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen He likes to keep his fire engine clean. It’s a clean machine”

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NIXON’S COMING. IT’S HILLARY

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. Clinton broke her longstanding silence over the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, telling voters at a campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday that she opposes the project assailed by environmentalists. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Something is happening to the American electorate.

It’s getting very old.

The American progressive is now an old person, no longer excitable, but quietly pleased by issues that excite: All races and all sexual preferences having sex freely and openly! And fuck those bitter, uptight racist, religious people who oppose it! Yeaaaaaa!

Well, they’re old now. They’ve survived. They collect. They move slowly. So they don’t say, “yeaaaaaa!” They say, “yea.”

These progressives don’t mind that Bill Clinton was “unfaithful.” Only uptight prudes—not super cool progressives—care about that.

So much are old boomers willing to make a stand against prudes, the fact that Bill may have preyed upon women as a rapacious, privileged, white male is quickly dismissed—even by feminist progressives.

Just as Obama bailing out the banks, and doubling the gigantic debt, merits hardly a whisper.

Find fault with Obama?

Not cool!

The American two party system requires you make a choice. You can’t be in the middle. You can’t be reasonable. You are either cool. Or you are not.

Kennedy was 43 when he assumed the presidency, the first Catholic president of the United States. His youthful charisma was too much for “old” homely Nixon (4 years older than Kennedy) the VP of war hero Dwight Eisenhower.

Here in 1960 the template was established: Democrats young, progressive, and cool.

Republicans old and prudish. “Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!”

But communists were not cool. Kennedy attacked communist Cuba. Kennedy/Johnson attacked communist Vietnam.

Communists were the enemy because America’s greatness existed for one simple reason:

They made and built things on a grand scale.

For America, the condition of the workers (communist issue) was not as important as the fact that Americans built things quickly for a world market. Workers need to sacrifice! After all, there’s a war on!

A war against communism. A war against Islam. A war against dictators. A war against greedy taxpayers.

The key word is sacrifice.

Conservatives want to be comfortable.

Progressives, like the old Christians, sacrifice.

As cool as Kennedy was, there’s always a war the cool people have to fight. Wealth is measured, for cool people, not in good wages and property (middle class Republican issue) but by a war that needs to be fought: freeing up all people to be cool in ways that the cool people continually define, depending on who is trying to define them at any given moment. This mission attracts adaptable, intelligent, people—willing to make great sacrifices: and this is always a recipe for uncanny success.

Abstract painting was subsidized by the CIA as a weapon against the art of  Soviet Realism. Cool is literally a geo-political weapon for the intelligent, adaptable, boundary-pushing, progressive. Playboy magazine ridiculed homely Russian women “pinups” posing on Soviet tractors, while interviewing president Jimmy Carter about his sex fantasies.

Old progressive boomers probably have trouble recalling that the coolness of Kennedy once meant opposing communism.

The Democrats (the cool people) constantly adapt, but stick to their mission of making sacrifices and fighting for ideals. So the Carter democrats who emerged when Carter won the presidency in 1976, post-Vietnam and post-Watergate, the template-era of Kennedy/Nixon drawing to a close, were not Kennedy democrats—but yes, they were still the same: they were just on a different mission.

Unfortunately for the Carter democrats, the middle class Republican issue of wages and living standards rose up as the Carter economy tanked, and Reagan, representing the greedy taxpayers who wanted lower taxes, swept into office. But homely Jimmy Carter was still cool. Because the enemy, in this case, greedy taxpayers (family-oriented conservatives who were brutally and simplistically materialistic), still existed for progressives to hate. And with the Iran hostage crisis, radical Islam merged with communism as a mission to be solved by cool US idealism.

The Soviet Empire fell in an orgy of good feeling (the Soviets were horribly uncool so that U.S. Republicans and Democrats actually saw eye to eye for a shining instant) but now the globalist era of Bushes and Clintons began, and sex, race, and climate emerged in a progressive explosion that said goodbye to the America of manufacturing might and hello to the America of college loan debt, off shore banks, and environmental lawyers.

So here we have Hillary: as the old new Nixon.

How can this be?

Because old age has trumped progressivism.

Progressives who were 18 when Kennedy was shot (and listening to 1963 Lesley Gore’s hit “You Don’t Own Me,” produced by Quincy Jones) and, at 21, protested LBJ’s war, are now old, and still progressive, but in ways that obey party, not conscience.

LBJ was a Democrat, but that didn’t stop progressives from going after him because of Vietnam.

Today, Democrats do anything they want, and progressives hardly make a peep. Just look at cowed Bernie Sanders.

Establishment Democrats make greater and more exaggerated shows of hyperbolic progressivism to cover up the fact that their globalist, corporate mission of New World Order thievery and robbery is the sacrificing idealism which they live by: invade Cuba, bomb Vietnam, ruin the economy, destabilize the Middle East—but keep being cool re: blacks and women.

Hillary lost to the charismatic Obama just as Nixon lost to the charismatic JFK.

Nixon defeated Humphrey, the VP of Lyndon Johnson, Vietnam war villain.

Hillary now seeks to win over Trump, a Republican, who because of this party label, is associated with Bush, Iraq war villain.

And just as Nixon represented Cold War globalism, Hillary is a sworn enemy of Putin and Russia and is also a globalist. Hillary favors an aggressive NATO. She’s more hawkish than Trump.

Nixon was once on a mission (kitchen debate with Kruschev) to prove U.S. cooler than villainous Soviet Russia.

The Silent Majorty who supported Nixon are the now elderly Hillary supporters—who don’t like “rude tweets” and demand “silence” before the documented corruption of Bill and Hillary.

Hillary has tons of “experience,” just as Nixon had tons of “experience” when he triumphed in 1969, starting with his election to the House of Representatives in 1946.

Obama, during the DNC, claimed Hillary had more experience than even he did, which was Barack’s way of saying he was still young, like JFK, and she was old, like Nixon. Nixon won in 1969, promising to end the War, a legacy of the Democrats—and JFK’s ghost was probably rooting for Nixon, since Kennedy’s war in Vietnam had been turned into a napalm debacle by LBJ, his VP. Obama, the charismatic JFK of the Dems, is officially rooting for Hillary.

Some defenders of Hillary admit that Bill and Hillary, as persons, are repulsive, but they are voting for things like women’s rights and the EPA.

Nixon founded the EPA.

Hillary strongly supports Israel.

So did Nixon, in the Yom Kippur war in 1973, which led to the Middle East oil embargo, the Oil Crisis of 1973 which shocked the US economy—and some say the US economy has never been the same, and the Middle East has been punished in various ways ever since—an important role Hillary, learning from Henry Kissinger, played as Secretary of State.

But the destruction of the Middle East is selective: Hillary’s Clinton Foundation gets money from anti-gay, anti-women’s rights Saudis. She follows the money.

No rude tweets about Bill and Hillary, please.

This is Silent Majority politics as usual.

The last gasp of old boomers in a nostalgic, progressive-yet-not, haze.

No longer progressive.

But very smart.

Self-sacrificing.

On a mission.

And still cool? Sort of?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CREEP FACTOR

Good comes out of evil and evil comes out of good.

The American people are faced with the following—we see it coming and cannot avoid it:

Either Donald Trump or Bill Clinton will live in the White House by early next year.

The creep factor has never been so high, or so visible, in the American republic.

And yet, if good does come out of evil, the 2016 presidential election will give us all a powerful, unavoidable lesson—things associated with ambition and leadership have a very high creep factor.

This useful understanding will hit us hard: those who live and work in a modest, humble, manner for themselves and their loved ones are the true owners of themselves.

A great, unspoken backlash against creepiness will occur.  Millions of Americans who quietly view the horrid spectacle unfolding in front of them will feel that the greatest virtue and the greatest happiness is honesty, hard work, good taste, intelligence, modesty, ingenuity, and kindness.

This is not to say that one cannot feel a certain pride—for whatever reason—for a particular candidate: this is not a lecture against whomever you might favor; this is not the point of this essay, and as much as democracy always seems troubling, this is okay—what we are merely trying to point out is that the general feeling of creepiness and revulsion and disgust Americans feel right now, in the summer of this election year, in reaching a fever pitch of mass recognition, will trigger a healthy purging, a new and radical appreciation among the American populus of real virtue—and this virtue will naturally and quietly grow tremendously in value.

The creep factor is a safety measure which protects us against wrong; it cannot be intellectualized away; we know it the way we know the smell of sour milk.

The creepy does not have to rise to the level of crime to be noticed—and this is what makes it such an important warning device, and also why it belongs so powerfully to both social relations and aesthetics; it is not ignored, because it can’t be, even though it is often pushed under the rug of public discourse.

Now, the creep factor does interact with libel and slander, and, if there is a question of facts—and we are falsely suspecting creepiness based on hearsay—this obviously is an issue.

But this is something which cannot be denied by the individual who feels it.  It doesn’t have to smell (alluding to our earlier “sour milk” analogy)—it can be known without a doubt even as “the creep” in question denies it, has supporters in high places, has respectability, is liked by many, and even has certain admirable qualities.  The creep factor is something we feel in our bones, even as it flies under legal or public detection.  It can be sensed, even if there is no “smell” at all.  The “creep” can play victim; “the creep” can play all sorts of games, and these games, even when they gain “the creep” public support, only increase the creep factor in our eyes.

It is safe to say that because of the choice we have for president this year, one does not have to get into the pros and cons of either one of the candidates to simply and factually state that, in total, the creep factor of public life in America has never been so high.  We can bemoan this fact, or we can see the good in it: it will lead to a healthy backlash against creepiness in nearly every corner of America.

Some will argue that when creepiness reaches a tipping point in our leaders, a tipping point in public, followers and private individuals will feel the urge to be more creepy, as well.

This may be true up to a point, but the creep factor, thanks to the current election, is so pervasive now, and is felt so significantly in the body politic, that shame and disgust will set in to such an extent that great numbers of citizens, without thinking, will turn in the other direction.

And, as we said, the creep factor affects us—who are not making judgments in a court of criminal law—rather in a social or aesthetic manner; this is the luxury we have as citizens free of the creep factor ourselves: we judge with our more gentle feelings (acute—but gentle) and not in full-blown rage, or malice.  Creepiness is not the same as crime—as when, for instance, a tyrant murders citizens in full view of all and the cowed citizenry’s inaction becomes a license for more terror.

The real and harmful violence of nations (including those of the United States) is certainly a factor that may overlap with a leader’s or a country’s creep factor—but it’s the very nature of the creep factor to belong to the aesthetic realm, occupying that crucial area between warning and harm; the greatest pain and ultimate doom has not yet occurred, and there is still hope.  Without the creep factor as a warning, the human race may have been wiped out long ago.

The creep factor is not conscience or morality; it works at a far more sensitive level, the place where flowers cast forth their delicate perfumes; the place where very small children shyly cling to the necks of their mothers and hide their faces; the place where a secret heart beats loudly, almost in spite itself, for the deepest, sweetest, and purest love, in the throes of the kindest and sweetest ecstasy; and in the place where the superior edge of the musical or poetic genius is felt, and understood, and known.

The creep factor can manifest itself in countless situations, and those who desperately cry, “Creep!” may very well be full of creepiness themselves.

Just as we are not “taking sides” on the election, neither are we “taking sides” when it comes to men versus women—or any of those other divides which divide.

The creep factor can go either way.

The creep factor moves, as delicately as any poem, in the invisible air.

 

 

HAPPY MOTHERISM

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Hillary Clinton supporters are the happiest people in the world. They are professional. They know what is right and they know what is important.

The happiest type of person in the whole world is the western single woman, who has no children, works at a college, buys new clothes once in a while, works hard, but not too hard, pleases the deans, watches students go into debt, and after work goes home and watches television.

Let the college be an art college. Let this woman vote Democratic.

It does not matter if this woman is vacuous and pursues no art herself. She will be considered intellectual. She will be attractive to intellectuals. If she sneers at Sarah Palin and remains childless, she will be considered the epitome of intellectual suavity, cunning foresight, and classiness. It doesn’t matter what she watches on TV, either. Okay, maybe a little PBS.

This is the mark of the intellectual in the West: not having children.

The surest sign of intelligence is foresight. If one doesn’t have foresight, one can possess all sorts of sharp, persistent, smart qualities, and still be considered a complete rube—anti-intellectual in the extreme.

Having children long ago provided a direct benefit to the farmer who needed help on the farm. Those with foresight had children.

One could have 20 children and be the world’s greatest composer, or philosophe.

Today, in the west, it is not necessary to have children.

The world “must be peopled,” yes.

But still, having children is generally considered “irresponsible.”

Or people have children because children are cute—despite the enormous expense, anxiety, loss of privacy, and work required.

This is not foresight.

The childless woman thinks, “they will not always be cute.”

This is foresight.

This alone makes the childless woman, no matter how shallow, selfish or naivé, a bonafide intellectual, a prize companion of artists and cool people.

The childless woman of contemporary western civilization can be all these things:

A “mom” to lonely grown men.

A “sis” to other childless women.

A “daughter” to older men and women.

A “helpmate” to starving artists.

A “comfort” to despairing, divorced people.

So why should a smart, engaging, giving person have children?

There is nothing better than to go home every night, boringly scrolling through Pinterest on the train, and then curl up with milk and cookies in front of the TV.

Sure, the militarized West is suffering from depressing population decline.

The richness of the symbol of the childless woman is worth it, however.

This uncanny symbol might be called the Hillary Clinton phenomenon.

This is not to say that every childless woman is just like Hillary.  But the odds are very good they will support Hillary.

Hillary is the greatest female symbolic force in Western intellectual circles.

As long as the focus is on “can-do” Hillary—as long as her lone child and husband are kept tactfully out of sight—she can be a Big Bank, Soft Machine, New World Order, Republican—and still be considered a Democrat, because she enjoys this great mystical, symbolic status: Mother to All—Mother to None.

A powerful symbol with far-reaching consequences.  Personally, she can be (and usually is) empty and dull, a bland comfort to all; but this is preferred.  The symbol almost requires it.

 

 

 

 

THE ANTI-FEMINIST VOTE: HILLARY!

Men will be delighted to put the forgiving wife of Bill Clinton in the White House.

A vote for Hillary is the ultimate anti-feminist statement; anti-feminism is the sentiment that will propel the first woman to the U.S. Presidency.

Political progress is never what we think it is, precisely because politics is never linear, never air-tight, never predictable, never plain and simple. Like love and poetry, politics finally makes fools of us all.

Poor Catholics voted 90% for Obama in the last election, and this was the difference in a Democratic Party candidate again winning the presidency, as Obama kept predatory banking happy and increased the divide between rich and poor, as he was supposed to do.

Just as anti-feminists will joyfully elect Hillary, Catholics will vote happily for the pro-abortion candidate.

Why?

Why do Catholics vote pro-abortion?

It is another “hidden agenda vote,” like the anti-feminist vote for Hillary.

Catholics don’t care if the government is pro-abortion. Why should they care?

Catholics, obeying their religion, will continue to be against abortion.

Obeying God, Nature, and Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Catholics will continue to breed.

White, upper-class, over-educated, Obama/Hillary-loving liberals?

Some call them wise. Some call them arrogant. Some call them hypocritical. Some call them kind.

But it doesn’t matter what we call them. Hypocritical? Arrogant?

They will soon be extinct.

 

 

 

 

LOVE MEANS KILLING YOUR RIVALS: THE DILEMMA OF EITHER/OR

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Either/Or. The Shah or this guy. 

Scarriet is the best poetry site in the world for many reasons, and one of those reasons is that we are not enslaved by any political ideology, as most American poets and intellectuals are.

Be either/or, they say. Choose, choose! Be a Democrat, not a Republican! Be ‘one of us!’ Be loyal to our side!

But to pick a side is to fall into the either/or trap, which breeds fanaticism on either end.

To not choose is the true choice, the wise, Socratic choice which supports true science and democracy.

To say we avoid political ideology, and we do not choose sides, does not mean we ignore the ugly cultural, ideological, impact that the political has on poetry and love; we know love means killing all our rivals, we are more fanatical than any political fanatic in our understanding of love—this informs our deep understanding of poetry; we embrace aesthetics, but we don’t hide inside an aesthetic bubble. We approach politics—and everything—from a position of common sense. Sometimes we fight. Sometimes we escape into our bubble. But don’t ask us to choose between Khomeini and the Shah, or between Democrats and Republicans, please. It ain’t going to happen.

We come from a liberal background; we were not raised with guns in a redneck environment; we know the New York Times and the Washington Post; we are quite familiar with “All Things Considered,” we sound like Woody Allen at times, and we have taken lately to launching into a British accent, for a whole host of reasons, the least of which is to show a kind of hopeless allegiance to the great tradition of deft, daffy, self-effacing, humorous, and confident Anglo-Americanism. We don’t ‘go’ to church. We like Sarah Palin because she wants cheaper and more accessible oil—-not because she’s a Republican. We think it idiotic to worry about whether someone is “smart” in politics; engineers who build spaceships and buildings and oil rigs should be smart; politicians should be big-hearted and childlike and funny, and not afraid to say dumb things. Bring it on. Bring on dumb. Politicians should always be dumb in a curious, evolving sort of way, and the press, full of really dumb people, and the voters—talk about dumb—need to embrace dumb and not pretend to be too smart for it. There? See? If one must discuss politics, there is no reason to get all political about it. If Hillary Clinton (criminal and ogreish—does she come from Iran?) is smarter than Sarah Palin, can anyone name one smart thing Hillary Clinton has done or said? I’m waiting. Some of Clinton’s opinions correspond with yours?  Good. But that is no indication of smart, and you are really dumb if you think that. No, really, you are. “I can see Russia outside my window,” is delightful, and if it doesn’t pass muster in a game of Jeopardy, that doesn’t matter. Believing Jeopardy-smart is truly smart is really, really dumb. And Jeopardy is one of our favorite shows.

Science is never done asking questions, and the idea that the Global Warming Debate “is over” has to be one of the dumbest things ever—and yet all of those who insist the debate “is over” (we laugh every time we see this) don’t even know what CO2 is, and think that “carbon emissions” is the same thing as pollution. And then we have the indignant “debate is over” (ha ha ha) crowd changing their terminology from “global warming” to “climate change,” and we are expected to believe this crowd is “smart” and those who oppose them are greedy oil barons, not ordinary people challenging Big Environmentalism, asking for more affordable oil prices for the poor. A “smart” person does not count the number of “scientists” who “agree” with them, when that “agreement” is only boilerplate. A “smart” person never believes polls—which, by their very nature, even if the respondents are scientists, will never be scientific, because who is asking and to what exactly does the response pertain—cannot articulate the problem, never mind be the “answer” to the problem. What was the question, again? Oh, that’s right: Why don’t some people believe the “debate is over?” And what was “the debate,” again?  Oh never mind. The “smart” ones will figure it out. Those politicians and those journalists who are “smart.” Right.

The point here, of course, is not who is finally “really” right and who is finally “really” smart.

Democracy is not a “smart” contest or a “who’s right?” contest. The whole point of democracy is that it is not either of these things.  If you are not the kind of person who is good at crossword puzzles or Jeopardy, you still should vote. We encourage you to vote. And we also encourage you not to think Jeopardy-smart is smart.

The Big Dumb is Those Who Think They Are Smart—so “smart” that the “debate is over,” as they insist you need to choose their side. These are the truly dumb.

There are millions of people who think they are “smart” because they believe in “evolution,” or, at least they think they are smarter than “creationists.”

This is colossally stupid.

First of all, believing in “evolution,” in terms of practical science, in practical matters of every kind, is nearly meaningless. Second of all, believing in “evolution” means what, exactly? That you have read the “Origin of Species?” That you’ve read a little Darwin, a lot, or just know generally who he is? And, again, this “knowledge of evolution” is truly useful in what way? And do you seriously believe this makes you on any scale whatsoever, “smarter” than anybody else?

What also makes “evolutionists” remarkably stupid is they loudly congratulate themselves as they compare themselves favorably to “creationists.” First of all, the issues involved have nothing to do with each other, since Darwin says nothing about creation, that is, the origin of the universe. Nor does religious thought need to be scientifically verified on matters that science in general is at a loss to explain. Edgar Allan Poe’s Eureka is the best scientific essay on the creation of the universe; few have read it, and therefore it is safe to say virtually everyone is ignorant of creation; so no one—not university professors, not scientists in laboratories, can say they are “smart” in this area at all, evolutionists or not. So the situation is, we have blockheads, politically motivated, referring to others as blockheads. Is that stupid? Yea, it is. So don’t brag about Darwin, okay, stupid?

How then, should we proceed? Democratically, of course. That is, always begin sympathetically with the person, not the opinions. Because if we start with the opinions, making all sorts of assumptions about what is right and what is wrong about those opinions, or who is smart or not, based on those opinions, we prejudice the person, who has a whole complex network of opinions based on how they decipher complex reality as a person—and a person, in a democratic society, no matter how much their views differ from yours, is inviolable.

By respecting the person and what they bring to the table—not any one opinion—will not only help create a freer and more democratic society, it will provide a better environment to examine opinions in a scientific and respectful atmosphere, and utilize those opinions that are best for society in the long run, in a flexible, adaptive and truly evolving manner.

By cutting off debate prematurely, democracy suffers.

Never give in to Either/or.  That’s the mark of a Third World Country.

American intellectuals, it is sad to see, are leading advocates of Either/or. Which only shows how corrupt American intellectual life has become since the American Revolution.

The common, contemporary, American, liberal or conservative intellectual belief is this: No opinion or value system should be treated with equal deference and respect in an intellectual setting. We cannot expect this, and we should not expect this.

But we should expect this. This common intellectual belief is wrong. This idea that not all value systems should be treated equally is wrong, even for an intellectual setting, as opposed to, let’s say, the voting booth.

On the contrary: Every opinion and value system should be treated with equal deference and respect, since these things only exist as they connect in a complex manner to a human being—who should always be treated with deference and respect. A creationist could be brilliant in all sorts of practical and scientific ways—for reasons not readily apparent. Not only because the creation of the universe is still a mystery, but because there are countless examples in history of great scientists (both practical and theoretical) who were deeply religious.

Science is too complex to bar anyone’s entrance into it, even if a particular opinion held by that person goes against our taste, or sense of right and wrong. If we do feel deeply that an opinion is wrong, we should examine it in the context of the person who holds that belief.

In a truly scientific atmosphere, those opinions that really are harmful and wrong will more quickly, under objective examination, fade away, than if we try to repress them.

Let us say we find abhorrent any objection to homosexuality, so that in the intellectual setting of psychology, we take every step to ban anyone who argues for homosexual rehabilitation.

But in the human sciences, human opinion of all kinds should be sacred; all humans should be treated equally, and let the opinions clash without prejudice, and see what comes of it. It is important to understand here that in this essay we are not defending any value system or opinion, but only asking for a true spirit of inquiry that in the long run will advance learning and practical good. If human beings, as human beings, object to homosexuality, this is valid—in the human sciences. If any opinion is not true or right or good, it is still a scientific opinion. This is the crucial point of this whole essay. Science means inquiry, not truth. If we allow the objections to homosexuality to get a full hearing, a full study, only then will change truly occur. Just to take a very narrow look at one aspect of behavioral context: Heterosexual males are often pathologically jealous of their female partners. Heterosexual males can feel threatened by the homosexual male who is able to befriend potential heterosexual female partners—precisely because that profound jealousy is absent. If real phenomena like this is part of the mix, and includes a truth heterosexual males may not normally admit when asserting a prejudice, this is surely part of the science of the whole topic, and should not be suppressed.

Why a person holds a belief is always more important than the belief itself.

If the issue is really heterosexual jealousy—or whatever perceptual threat homosexuality poses to the heterosexual—this does not mitigate in any way the importance of the issue in the form of scientific inquiry, whether it is prejudicial, or not.

The problem of rehabilitation is acute, since human science examines, but does not coerce. Prejudice is so entrenched in humans in so many ways, that human science finally fails as a science, as religion takes over.

Either/or is just as important to avoid in the realm of human science as it is in politics.

Defer, defer. Be wise, like Socrates.

A great deal of inquiry, especially in the humanities, does not depend on facts; indisputable facts, such as: ‘the American Civil War ended in 1865,’ are not the issue here. Humanist inquiry hinges on many divergent opinions held by many different kinds of people— and all opinions must be welcome.

Religion is the most seductive Either/or there is. This is why we don’t go to church.

But then we come at last to Holy Love, and here, finally we succumb, we must succumb, and only here, in love, do we surrender to Either/or. Only in love. Oh, God! We choose!

And when the bitter circumstances of love, infected by politics and science and religion, destroy us and break our heart in two, we have one more thing to turn to: divine poetry.

As poets, especially, we must be alive to people first, opinions second, and we really must favor what is, in fact, true inquiry over prickly political biases based on what is glibly considered intellectually “smart.”

And all of this is crucial not because politics is not important, but because, even to the poet, it is.

 

 

 

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