As I drove up and back from visiting my 90 year old dad this past Thursday I followed my usual varied diet of listening across the radio spectrum -- lots of NPR, some in MN, some in WI (they carry quite a bit of different stuff). AM talk radio -- little Beck, little Rush, little Hannity, little scratchy stuff I couldn't identify.
What struck me most was how everyone had views that were close to 180 degrees off from each other, yet all were totally and completely certain of their absolute correctness. We seem to have entered the "age of certainty". A rather amazing development considering that at least the elite prognostications have been not tracking all that well the last couple years.
Some of the "certain" positions on the radio that day depending on where one turned.
- Trump's "Muslim ban" was the most dangerous unconstitutional power grab in the history of the nation, guaranteed to incite vast amounts of global terrorism.
- Trump's temporary hold on travel from 7 states identified as sponsors of terrorism that have little or no documentation on their populace by the Obama administration is in line with rulings from every previous modern president, including Obama -- and restricting this already vetted presidential power on the standing of university students getting back to class is a travesty.
- Trump's tweet questioning the ruling is a gigantic violation of the separation of powers and should be enough to impeach him.
- Too even compare Trump's tweet with Obama dressing down the SCOTUS sitting right in front of him during the 2010 STOTU address shows this nation has lost all perspective and ability to govern itself -- it has the attention span of a 12 year old male with ADHD.
I could go on ... the linked article covers the Fauxcahontas timeout certainty/uncertainty. There is a quote that I guess I had been misattributing and misquoting for years, but thanks to Google, here it is. "What is certainty but the refuge of those whose faith is not strong enough to entertain doubt." I thought it was "Certainty is a poor substitute for knowledge" ... which I like much better, so I think I'll declare that to be true and attribute it to Scalia. We live in a post truth age anyway.
It is DEFINITELY true that the one constant now is TRUMP! Obama was somewhat close to this much coverage in 2009, 90% of it radically positive -- 11 days after he was inaugurated, he had already affected the world positively enough to be nominated for a Nobel peace prize, which he would actually receive on October 9 of that year. I'm thinking that it is "certain" that Trump won't be getting any global awards this year -- but then that would be in opposition to the linked article and my beef with "certainly".
Here is what I thought was the best of the article:
Let me make a confession. I have no idea who the Democratic nominee will be in 2020. Nor am I completely sure, since we are being honest, who the Republican nominee will be. (Trump, I guess?) McConnell’s decision to cut off Warren may have been a disaster of epic proportions for the GOP. Or it could have been a brilliant strategic move, elevating an unlikable Massachusetts liberal to the top of her party. McConnell himself is probably ambivalent.
I do suspect, however, that if Harry Reid had cut off Ted Cruz’s microphone in 2013, the Nevada Democrat would have been hailed as a hero and genius. Even so: The shoe-on-the-other-foot argument may not count for much anymore. Nothing may count for much anymore. If the last year and a half has taught us anything, it is that what we think is supposed to happen does not. Brexit was not supposed to happen. Trump was not supposed to happen. The Patriots’ comeback was not supposed to happen.
Yet here we are. And no one seems to be drawing lessons from any of this. I open Twitter and see the very people who were convinced Trump wouldn’t win the Republican nomination, who were convinced he’d lose the general election, immediately embrace the most negative interpretation of anything Trump says or does, of any event that might impact him in the slightest. They may well be right. But they just as easily may be wrong, as they have been, consistently, for some time. A modicum of humility and skepticism would go a long way. I understand that these qualities are not especially useful in a city of careerists and poseurs and pseuds. But why not give them a whirl nonetheless.
One thing we know for certain, this IS NOT the age of humility!
'via Blog this'