I really try to ignore politically-oriented posts on my Facebook newsfeed, but some days I really cannot stand to see what comes across there. I know I’m friends with some conservative-minded individuals, and I respect that. What kills me is the myopic approach they take with so many things. I constructively can come in and provide enlightenment on the situation, and it’s a crapshoot on what I’m going to get back out of the whole thing. On rarer occasions, I will be praised for my critical eye in examining information, but that’s usually when I’m not outright contradicting something s/he may be arguing. The rest of the time, it’s a chronic battle of disinformation through obviously biased sources (simply on the labeling of the sources alone).
I like to think that I try to search for the least biased data/information possible. If I cannot, I will try to source multiple articles in order to gain as many varying viewpoints on the information to collect the core of the data/information, and leave the rest to postulated speculation. Granted, I may be serving into my own bias towards progressive attitudes, but I really don’t go looking for sources of this nature specifically, so I honestly don’t know if I’m coming off that biased or if I am really that biased. It’s like trying to see past the intentional veil of experimentation to not bias your results. Except I don’t know if there is one.
Anyways, today was especially difficult. Such a post was proselytization from a congressional candidate (of another state) regarding the foundations of this country’s government, and where it has become today. I see more and more comments saying, “this isn’t a republic!” or “we’re on track to socialist agendas!” and I just want to throttle them for not understanding what the hell they are talking about! The commenter today raved on about how we’re becoming a “mob rule” country instead of a republic, and I had to clearly demonstrate just want kind of a government we live in today. We live in a republic governed by representation. Yes, we have democratic appointment of many officials. Hell, more than we did during the foundation of this country. S/he spouts beliefs as if his personal rights are being infringed upon, and I’m sure s/he believes that they are. Unfortunately, that’s not the byproduct of the government we have; that is a byproduct of the officials appointed. There is no “mob rule”: the populace does not decide law, our appointed representatives do. However, by extension, if s/he really believed that the appointment of representatives by the populace is source of the “mob rule” that is coming to be, then the most obvious solution would be to take the power to elect officials out of the hands of the populace, which the way I understand it essentially is a socialist republic. So in principle, s/he is unwittingly and naïvely being a proponent for the exact extreme they claim to execrate.
I really try to keep my opinion out of politics unless it’s asked for. I taught my college speaking class that winning an audience’s attention is achieved by appealing to three things: pathos, ethos, and logos. Bipartisanship these days seems to put such an emphasis on pathos. Long gone are the days when logos has a place in politics. People now are predominantly won on emotion, not logic. Emotion is fueled by passion. Passion is often irrational, and even less often sensical. Why on Earth do we want emotion driving a superpower such as a governmental body? Please tell me why.
I do not believe emotion belongs in government. It has its place on rare occasion, but government should first be run by logos, then by ethos: make rational, logical decisions for the ethical best treatment of its citizens. Why oh why are we so fixated on cramming our idealogical pathos down everyone else’s throats to satisfy that our sovereign opinions reign supreme?
We are a country of many. We must govern many. We must accommodate the many. We should not deliberately alienate anyone, or rob the weak of their fundamental rights. I understand that is what a republic is to do: protect the rights of the citizens. However, so many of these attempts to “protect” individual rights is endangering or violating others. We are on a see-saw of pathos, torn from side to side over people’s petty appeals to just themselves.
A republic is a government of the people for the people. Why then are we demanding they appeal only to each one of us, and not the republic as a whole? I wonder how many people have forgotten what a republic really stands for…