Defying the Laws of Gravity
With the Republican National Convention in session, I’m reminded of this from the primary debates:
Here’s the thing about one of our major parties — they are increasingly untethered from the empirical world. It goes well beyond denialism of established science and scientific reason on global warming and evolution to outright exclusion of any fact set that counters political ideology.
The divergence between reality and ideology will be evident in the next few days as the party’s cognitive dissonance pervades the media on issues such as the budget deficit, health care, foreign policy, birth certificates and the fundamental notion of governance for a functioning democracy.
Not to spoil the drama too much but you can be sure that — let’s pick the budget deficit to illustrate a point — the budget deficit is not a predictable outcome from failed supply-side economic policies or our forays into Iraq and Afghanistan but , per the RNC talking points, a construct of the Affordable Care Act , overly generous welfare programs or other “socialist” programs. Of course, the well-established economic fact that the deficit mounted under Republican leadership will not take the stage but the clarion calls for more of the very same supply-side economics that exacerbated the deficit will. If something fails to meet its goals by any empirical measure, we will be told that it’s not because the underlying policy is faulty or ill-conceived like supply-side economics , it’s merely that we need to double down and do more of the very thing that has proven to be a failure.
You can lather, rinse, repeat the same approach to the complex problems facing the country.
Complicit in this state of affairs is a media dominated by a desire to maintain fealty to a notion of balance versus a notion of fact-checking and truth or even worse, a media that perpetuates the charade of “political analysis” from a cast of well-established political ideologues and operatives. This is why the narrative for a candidate to the presidency of largest global economy and home to the leading universities and technology companies focuses not on his/her dismal ignorance of science or reasoning but to their ability to the appeal politically to their “base”.
My hope remains that law of gravity still holds true on ideas and ideologies empirically shown to be wrong, misguided and in more cases than one dares to admit, ultimately fatal, will fall to the ground versus taking flight. Of course, if the RNC finds that denying gravity appeals to the “base” or proclaim that gravity is a wholly socialist construct — it does apply to everyone equally — I’ll have to revisit my post.
I’ll likely comment on the convention proceedings as they evolve. (Clever, huh?)