Let’s Make America Think Again
There’s a little picture meme floating around social media these days, especially since last Tuesday when Indiana voters effectively made Donald Trump the GOP presidential candidate. Although it doesn’t mention him, it’s clearly a set of questions meant to challenge the Trump slogan about making America great again.
It’s nothing more than a rapid-fire attack litany, the kind that usually issues from the mouth of someone who would never support a GOP candidate anyway. It holds the potential to provoke a reasoned, intelligent discussion of what exactly is good about America, but generally that’s not what people who post and repost these kinds of pictures are interested in. Or perhaps even capable of. Here it is:
Do you feel wise after reading through that? Or do you feel attacked?
Don’t feel either. Be smart. Ask the rapid-fire wise-guy two questions:
- Do you have any principles by which you evaluate political agendas?
- What are they?
Chances are, this will stop a verbal brawl before it gets started because people who derive emotional satisfaction by issuing smart-sounding, rapid-fire attacks are rarely able to articulate their own first principles. They will not want to answer these questions.
Chances are, the next six months of general election campaigning are going to be very, very ugly. Be above it. If there’s ever going to be a respectable, intelligent dialogue about American political movements from here on out, it’s going to have to start at first principles.
So think about what yours are. Where do they start? Do they start with some objective standard of right and wrong? Or do you go by your feelings?
For a good start at actually responding to the rapid-fire questions in the picture, I would highly recommend Dinesh D’Souza’s America: Imagine the World Without Her. It’s very good, and it will set these kind of silly questions in a broader context. And if there’s anything shallow thinkers need, it’s context.
Conservative thought can trace its political positions to principles grounded in objective reality. Political progressives? Not so much.
But they should be pressed to try.
Call it my “Make America Think Again” campaign.
“Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.” ~ Proverbs 26:5