Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Leviathan


Deep calls to deep.  After Election 2016 no reasonable person could argue that the United States is intellectually deep.  The divided electorate viewed one side screaming, the other side moaning, both sides accusing, and no factual reality.  I've heard that only racists voted for Trump, I've heard that only wimps voted for Clinton.

“For such is the nature of man, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; Yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves: For they see their own wit at hand, and other men's at a distance.”  Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

I do not see myself as a member of either party.  I see both sides as being the problem, but I don't believe the worst about the voters of each candidate.  I believe people voted for Trump to affect a change from the previous President.  Some were racists, some were motivated by hate, but by no means was that the majority.  I believe that voters for Clinton believed they were anointing the next champion of the poor, the aggrieved, the outsiders, the downtrodden.  I also believe that there were people voting for her vagina, there were some voting because they hate the status quo and wanted a woman, to signify their desire to change the way things were done. 

“For to accuse requires less eloquence, such is man's nature, than to excuse; and condemnation, than absolution, more resembles justice.” Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

But, I don't believe anyone was voting thinking these are the best candidates they'd ever seen.   The American way is supposed to draw the best from the populace and create a meritocracy of choice.  The best should rise above, and the others recognize that person.  But we are not privileged at this time to be able to understand what is right and good.  And while I understand that, I do not know why we didn't see this approaching.

“In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”  Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

I also believe that the United States has fallen from its ideals.  We are embracing cynicism, hate, rebellion, for the sake of it.  I see division having crushed bipartisanship, and divided populace cannot hope for the best because if the one side wins, the other perceives it to have lost.  That is, if Obama succeeded the conservatives and GOP in particular lost.  No matter what was accomplished the perception precedes the facts.

“Another doctrine repugnant to civil society, is that whatsoever a man does against his conscience, is sin; and it dependeth on the presumption of making himself judge of good and evil. For a man's conscience and his judgement are the same thing, and as the judgement, so also the conscience may be erroneous.” Thomas Hobbes Leviathan


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