After lengthy consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the average human being displays the level of cognition that one would expect from a brick. Of course there are some stand-outs: men like Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant, Nietzsche, and Einstein commonly display the kind of intelligence that one might expect from a simple prey animal like a rabbit, or a sheep. And before you, dear reader, think that I might seek to raise myself above the fold, let me tell you that I am most certainly a brick; likely one of the lowest material, perhaps simple mud and straw, certainly without the stabilizing influence of mortar, and of the crudest make. I point this out simply to say that we are, as a whole, a thoroughly unintelligent species, enamored of our own thoughts. I say this because we, as a race, seem incapable of even a squirrel’s ability to sensibly avoid the lights of an oncoming car, and we certainly can’t even begin to approach a feline’s ability to avoid eating its own feces. We generally make the same mistakes repeatedly, and it takes a truly incredible person to actually learn from their past decisions. The general response to the recent election did nothing to alter my opinion of mankind.
I was continually discouraged as I watched my facebook newsfeed last night and saw my republican friends decrying the end of the union. I remember the election four years ago, when Obama first won, and my republican friends decried the end of the union then as well. I remember the election eight years ago when Bush was reelected to a second term, and my democratic friends decrying the end of the union. I remember the election twelve years ago, when Bush first won office, and my democratic friends doing the same (of course, at the time I was a died in the wool republican who was convinced that no Christian could ever vote for a democrat, so I didn’t have a lot of democratic friends). I remember the election sixteen years ago when Clinton was reelected, and at the time I was one of the republicans decrying the end of the union. The same thing happened twenty years ago when Clinton was first elected, and (though I was young) I seem to remember several democrats who were absolutely confident that America would fall apart the first Bush beat Dukakis for the presidency. I have news for you… we’re still here.
Now don’t get me wrong, the union will end, its inevitable, so both republicans and democrats will get their wish eventually. America will fall apart, and they can blame the other side for causing the collapse instead of actually doing something to help repair it. I’m going to guess that we’ve got twenty years, but to be honest, that number is fairly arbitrary (I made it up last night), and anyway, I’m not exactly one to talk… the guy I voted for wasn’t even on the ballot, so he had zero chance of winning. However, I can sleep well knowing that I voted for someone that I actually wanted in the White House.
This isn’t some inspiring “Let’s go change the world” post, or a “Hey, we need to do something” post. I have to admit that when it comes to the world of politics, I am determinedly fatalistic. I think I’ve seen maybe three good politicians out of the bunch, and even those are questionable. Still, it would be nice if there was a little less melodrama in the wake of every election. It kind of distracts us from the real stuff of life.