COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., February 20, 2017 – As President Donald J. Trump acts quickly to initiate the policies upon which he ran and was elected, the establishment’s shock and horror have run the gamut. Today’s shared story is simply that the president is deranged, power mad and increasingly dangerous.
Pundits on the right and the left continue to dissect President Trump, to “understand” him, to “explain” him, to predict how far he will go. Paranoia runs rampantly when it comes to this administration, with analogies ranging from Hitler’s “Brown Shirts” to inevitable impeachment fantasies involving a man who is s “obviously unfit to be president.”
The unglued establishment media and its liberal acolytes have worked themselves up into such a frenzy they’ve lost all track of reality, failing to perceive or comprehend what is really transpiring.
Deep State Politics
The deep statists are so immersed in their peculiar secularist theology—centered on collectivism, socialism, interventionism, welfare statism, social justice, wealth redistribution, fake altruism and bogus self-sacrifice—on behalf of groups, tribes, societies or nations and the associated public interest, common good, and general welfare memes that any opposition like Trump’s threatens their core concept of self.
This psychological miasma has preempted normal, everyday politics. To even begin getting a handle on the current Trump phenomenon amid the hysterical left’s sustained, infantile reaction to it, one must begin by analyzing the nature of thought itself.
Conservative radio Rush Limbaugh has analyzed our current president, finding him to be an individual who defies any pat political definition, save, perhaps, to his unique blend of 21st century-style populist pragmatism.
Although Trump ran as a Republican, he is as easily critical of his adopted party as he is of his opposition. His considerable energies seem to endorse the uprooting of the comfortable, corrupt bottom feeders who’ve been gorging at the overflowing trough provided by America’s hapless, tapped-out taxpayers in flyover country.
As canidate Trump has said, “We will drain the swamp.” It’s now a battle cry across most of the continental United States.
The MSM and the Statists vs. Trump
When one political side condescends to speak to the other side, the premises of each side diverge to the point where they are unrecognizable by the other. According to some kind of twisted logic, it stands to reason that the opposition’s arguments are irrelevant, based as they must be on erroneous reasoning or outright lies.
When it comes to polar opposites, however, the most serious political divisions in America today may best be seen by viewing the relentless but fading mainstream media’s (MSM’s) perpetual post-election tag team match against Trump supporters.
Time and again, Trumpian sentences are parsed or twisted by anti-Trump reporters in a way that betrays their quenchless desire to spin them to their narrative.
Such activities are only to destroy the Trump Presidency. In this dishonest process, President Trump’s words are rarely taken at face value, save when they are used in “Catch 22” fashion to label him as a congenital liar.
If one gives the establishment media the benefit of the doubt, e.g., that it is not their intention to be malevolent, what are we to make of the serious chasm between shared real knowledge or imaginary knowledge? If we step back and attempt to make sense of our currently divided America, by what methodologies may we identify the essence of what’s currently happening to our once unified republic?
Leonard Peikoff and Objectivist Thought
To truly understand the issue, we cannot go to traditional soothsayers. Most have already taken up arms astride their own white steeds of belief. To gain finer, more accurate insights, we need to delve more deeply into our own thought processes.
Objectivist author Dr. Leonard Peikoff, attempted to take on this Herculean task in his 2012 book, “The DIM Hypothesis: Why the Lights of the West are Going Out.” At the outset of this lengthy treatise, Peikoff warns,
“The worse the coming future, the more it should motivate its opponents. If your beloved is strolling unwittingly toward the edge of a cliff and you are so far away that you very probably will not be heard, you do not give up, not if you really love her. You keep on running and screaming however much your lungs and your throat have turned to fire. You do it because rescue is possible – barely possible – but still really possible. The rescue of the U.S. is still barely possible – but not for much longer.”
Peikoff further notes:
“The fall of Western civilization – if it does fall – can be traced to its beginning. I do not mean that its beginning led to its end. I mean the opposite: Our rejection of our beginning is what is killing us . . . The answer to our questions, I hold, requires us to understand the evolution of the Western mind – that is, we must identify its changing approaches to integration. The story and future of the West lie in the rises and falls of the method of thought that once defined it.”
Regrettably, the professor operates several planes above the average voter, this writer included. However, one simple easily understood idea by Peikoff stands out:
“Knowledge is the grasp of reality, and reality, according to the Objectivist metaphysics, is that which exists.”
In the Trump-media battle, it is a fact that the MSM and Washington reporters have long functioned in a swamp of special interests and nepotistic hirings that have cross-fertilized the media family with high-rollers in high government positions, and vice-versa.
Those who have lived in pre-Trump Washington have understandably engaged in business as usual, still living as they inside the unreal DC power bubble in colonies of largely unexamined lives. That they for a moment pause to think about thinking is doubtful. Their outsized incomes and political status are the perfect twin support pillars of the status quo.
But until everyone draws back and inspects the gestation of our current political thought, America’s political and values chasms will continue to metastasize. The Trump Phenomenon, with its spontaneity and its apparent allegiance to what exists, challenges those who prefer to continue mouthing customary leftist slogans and shibboleths while pocketing the proceeds of this astroturf variety of cheerleading.
Peikoff, as one who challenges our thinking and insists we deal, as Objectivists do, with the here and now, identifies three methods people use to integrate concrete data into a logical whole.
- The first method, data integration through rational means, he calls Integration.
- The second, which employs data integration by non-rational means, he terms Misintegration.
- The third is labeled Disintegration, which is essentially nihilism, the desire to tear things apart.
For a culture bred, as ours is, on short television commercials and the Internet truncation of knowledge into short sound bites and slogans, it may be time to take a step back, beginning at the university level, to investigate anew our current thought processes and patterns.
The Trump Approach to Current Realities
Donald Trump, like him or not, has admirably departed from business as usual. Will that be a good thing or a bad thing?
What is certain today is that pre-Trump America was headed into a prolonged plunge into chaos. One cannot go so far as to credit our new president with the extraordinary philosophical and logical skills that will redeem us from impending disaster. But one thing is certain: For whatever reason, President Donald Trump is operating in the here and now and, almost alone, is dealing with what is, which is precisely what needs to be done.
If we do not deal with what is or if we cannot join President Trump in dealing with current reality, it is incumbent upon us to go back and gain a full understanding of the origins of our sclerotic thought processes before opposing him. We must slow our thinking down and take the time to internalize the wise advice of the best among us, as exemplified in the objectivist writings of Leonard Peikoff and of those whose minds still stubbornly prefer to function in an environment free of political and doctrinal fallacies.
*Cartoon by Branco. Reproduced with permission and by arrangement with LegalInsurrection.