Thursday, April 19, 2012
Explaining the Unexplainable
This past weekend in the Twin Cities was beautiful – 75 degrees, sunny, just really nice. Monday morning flurries and hail and thunderstorms welcomed the week. The weather in Minnesota is a hot topic of conversation here (mostly because it tries to kill you so often). It seems most people are meteorologists in their spare time and quite anxious to explain the disparity from one day to the next. Others of us who aren't quite as anxious to know why there are huge swings in climate just refer to it as weather. As humans logic is how our brains process conflicting pieces of stimuli and information. We don’t always come to the same conclusions as this week's news proves.
Tony Perkins, the President of the Family Research Council concluded that this week’s Secret Service scandal was a direct result of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell “It [the hiring of prostitutes] was actually legal; it was legal there to do that, so why should we be upset? Well, the fact is we intuitively know it’s wrong, there’s a moral law against that. The same is true for what the President has done to the military enforcing open homosexuality in our military. You can change the law but you can’t change the moral law that’s behind it.” So allowing the military service people to no longer lie about their lives causes a straight Secret Service person to hire a prostitute in violation of their code of conduct. That is a feat of logic that is difficult to fathom, but is somewhat amusing to watch...sort of like Olympic gymnastics.
Pat Robertson weighed in on Global Warming this week. He determined that it was all a hoax. His logic? “How many SUVs, how many oil refineries are there on Mars? And yet, it’s the relationship to the sun that is effecting the climate on Mars.” It's hard to analyze this thinking process, maybe I'll leave it to Spock.
Florida Congressman Allen West last week said: “I believe there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party." No concrete evidence was provided and the Community Party of the USA even denied the veracity of the allegation. In addition to his remarks, Congressman West was suggested as a possible GOP vice presidential nominee last week by the party's most recent nominee, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Now that’s a pattern of thinking that seems plausible!
Reasonable people can take a set of facts, pieces of information, look at them and come to different conclusions in interpreting the data. The difficulty in today’s political discourse is that facts themselves are in dispute, either manufacturered or twisted. Candidates and their emissaries run around hour after hour making accusations, calling the other side liars and generally trying to further confuse the electorate – leaving the 'issues' to become as sanitized and simple as a tag line for a box of cereal. Sure, there’s Politifact which debunks the more egregious allegations…but one has to want to explain the unexplainable. In most cases people don’t – or chalk it up to “politics as usual.” And that explains the unexplainable.