Reasoning, Politics and Teabags

On the teeter-totter that is politics, the exercise of coöperation for mutual benefit often gets forgotten in the fever of inflamed egos, with either end of the oscillating act imagining it is in complete control of what is up or down.  Weight, of course, can be a cause, but muscle and energy has its dynamics too.  When one end holds the landed position it can flatter itself by declaring, “I am the superior one because I hold command with the power of earthy magnetism,”  i.e. materialism.  The up-end can flatter itself and declare, “I am superior because I am catapulted skyward and therefore discern things further than you,” i.e. liberalism.

Of course neither extreme is what supports their capability of movement.  The necessary but commonly overlooked part in the attempt to out-seesaw each other is the fulcrum—the pivoting point.  In this illustration it is the point upon which political attention may seesaw between passion and skepticism.  That pivot-point, that area upon which balance is meant to be sought regardless of the violent oscillations imposed by either end, is often but erroneously presented by each side as reason.  For each end of the teeter-totter it is their assessment of what the reason represents which serves as the center of their self-assurance.  Regrettably, reason is not always reasonableness.

Reason serves as something like the central point of a magic circle that we all place around ourselves—a self-made center in which we may feel secure, and where the turmoil at either end of the seesaw is rendered invisible by the magic of modifying conclusions to suit our vanity (or greed).  This begs the question: Is reason always reasonable?

It is reasonableness that must serve as the true fulcrum, the means of balance in communal exchange, not simply some reason which can always be molded by one’s ego.  It is reason to which each person flees when meeting some opposing passion which obstructs desired control of some situation.  It is reason, not reasonableness, that allows the freedom to reject any relationship, which then bars the  seemingly  incompatible virtues from being tested by consideration of what is best for the majority of the people.  We can see that lack of reasonableness being played out today in the USA by the Republican odds and ends who are spoken of as “tea-baggers.” 

Their withdrawal into their shallow and brittle reason-center has been shown to be a sad and misdirected move by the fact that their stubborn and raucous refusal to consider any position other than their own is not the true fulcrum of the mechanism upon which everyone can share incentive.  Refusal to negotiate or coöperate on any principles and just say “no” to everything is not reasonableness, but is simply infantile self-absorption.  That obstinate refusal to give their enthusiasm and dedication to reasonableness and truth, but choose instead to indulge in “party-line” selfishness is hardly the quality that is looked for in social responsibility.

 

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