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Retarded Insane Idiots

February 12, 2010 1:41 PM

As I have noticed on Twitter, and heard it reflected on talk radio, it is commonplace for those expressing political opinions, regardless of their ideological premises, to attack their opponents by calling them insane, morons, idiots, lunatics, kooks, and so forth, implying an extreme degree of mental incompetence. Is this merely an crude attempt to insult an adversary, equivalent to one child calling another a "doo-doo face" in kindergarten? I don't think so. I think there is another reason.

One word that the name-callers do not use is "irrational." The dictionary definitions of "irrational" include "cognition, thinking, talking or acting without inclusion of rationality." And what is rationality? "The quality of being consistent with or based on logic."

Why is it necessary to overstate the case when one's opponent is irrational? In my opinion, it's because rationality, logic, and reason are unfashionable. Irrationality, fuzzy thinking, and a rejection of reason, by contrast, are very much in vogue, not just this year, or last year, but since German philosophers and others attacked reason, which happened around the time of our nation's founding. 

A scholarly paper entitled "Critique of Pure Reason" was published in the German nation of East Prussia eight years before the Constitution of the United States was ratified. It has taken a long time for the ideas in that paper to trickle down, to other philosophers, to political scientists and "humanists," to "Progressive" and Marxist ideologues, to news editors, to reporters, and to Hollywood idiots… excuse me, irrational show business personalities… ultimately culminating in the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.

On college campuses (with the partial exception of engineering departments, and some science faculties untainted by climate alarmism) reason is as unfashionable now as spats, walking sticks, 6-foot-wide crinolines, and powdered wigs. Pointing out the irrationality of a person's argument doesn't seem to have much effect, not when you can call him an idiot.

That's a mistake. Yes, I admit I have more fun ranting about Hollywood idiots than pointing out that, say, Janeane Garofalo is a very irrational person. But she is. And that's a big problem. OK, a little problem.

As for Obama's plans to end the deficit by spending more money, and to create jobs by scaring the pants off all of America's businessmen except his cronies, those plans are irrational too. Extremely irrational. And they are a big problem. A very big problem.

Yes, I know, reason in economics went out of vogue with the top hat in certain circles ("Progressive" circles), and we're all going to pay the price of being fashionable. If we have the money. Which we won't.

[Keywords: impeach-them-all.org big circles idiots irrational problem rationality reason ]