Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is Rational Reason Enough?

Isn’t sanity just a one trick pony? I mean that’s all you get is one trick: rational thinking. But when you’re good and crazy, the sky’s the limit!
-From The Tick animated show
I know that reason is on the side of conservatives and libertarians. This is because our ideals are often backed up by historically verifiable facts and not just idealistic conjecture and emotional appeals. Ever since left-wing ideology was defined by the French, it has always appealed to emotion, although initially it had more reason to it than it does now.
But I am wondering if reason is the best weapon conservatives have to use against our foes. When it comes to using reason, our microwave popcorn culture probably yawns and changes the channel.
Perhaps reason has become our handicap these days. After all, a large portion of the population voting for a black man because he is black and he promises “Hope” and “Change”. So I guess it is not about the rational appeal that motivates the average American voter.
The same can be said for the other side as well. The vast majority of those who voted for John McCain did so because of abortion. Probably the only conservative thing about McCain was his pro-life stance and despite his very liberal stances on so many other issues, I suspect that the majority of people voted for him because of this single issue. Given that we had a pro-life President for about eight years and he did next to nothing to outlaw abortion, this does not seem to be a rational reason in my mind. Since John McCain made no promises when it came to abortion as well, this further dilutes the rationality behind that reason.
So what can we make of all this? Well, for one thing that Ayn Rand was wrong and that people are not rational beings unless they choose to be, which is a rarity. When it comes to voting, people will always choose the guy who appeals to their deepest desires and never pick the person who uses rational arguments for their stances. Nothing the Democrats do comes close to any sense of sanity or rational thought, unless you realize they are looking to maintain their own jobs and expand their own power. And while the Republican party is a little better in this regard, it still makes emotional appeals, usually on the basis of morality and generally tolerates government growth, albeit at a smaller pace (death by a thousand cuts versus death by a headshot is always a great choice for a country).
So I wonder if reason is enough to combat our foes or should we resort to emotional appeals and arguments that are merely backed by rational arguments. I think that in the current state of American politics, this would be a good route to go since the vast majority of voters, both Republican and Democrat, are irrational idiots.