Everything President Trump does, has done or ever will do is defined by the progressive left as an “attack on democracy”. That phrase has been as overused almost as much as is the word “racism”.
Both that phrase and that word have been rendered meaningless because when such a thing can mean literally anything, then it is meaningless. To have meaning, a thing must surrender to specific boundaries, a specific set of discrete descriptions, in order to have any relevance, usefulness and utility in everyday life.
One cannot just simply awake one fine morning and decide to call a tree a car and expect to be taken seriously – or even to communicate with others.
The aspect of contemporary progressives that frustrates me the most is their penchant for rationalizing. Rationalization is a funny word because it has meanings that are diametrically opposed.
In sociology, rationalization is the replacement of traditions, values, and emotions as motivators for behavior in society with concepts based on rationality and reason.
In economics, business and even the military, rationalization is the process of allocating resources in a logical fashion in order to maximize efficiency or outcomes.
But in in psychology, rationalization is an attempt to logically justify immoral, deviant, or generally unacceptable behavior. In Freud’s classic psychoanalytic theory, rationalization is a defense mechanism, an unconscious attempt to avoid addressing the underlying reasons for a behavior. It is an attempt to make the intolerable consciously tolerable – and often an attempt to make the intolerable seem admirable and superior.
When critically examining contemporary progressivism, one can discard the first two and focus on the third – and that is not an opinion, that focus is demanded by their own words and deeds.
- Progressives live by reverse logic. Rather than operating on a logical basis that says “because these things are correct, therefore I am correct”, they opt for the approach of “because I am correct; therefore, things with which I agree must also be correct.”
2. Progressives will never find, nor can they see or accept, any evidence that contradicts their positions, because they simply reject any evidence that does not fit their standards, the problem being their standards are determined solely by what fits their narrative. The corollary to the premise above would be “because I am correct and things with which I agree must be correct; therefore, all other things must be incorrect.
You have likely heard and intuitively know the meaning of the term “sour grapes” – but like me, never thought about from whence it originated. I did a little research and found that the phrase “sour grapes” derives from one of the fables attributed to Aesop called “The Fox and the Grapes” that goes like this:
“One hot summer’s day a fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. ‘Just the thing to quench my thirst,’ quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the branch. Turning round with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in their air, saying: ‘I am sure they are sour.'<
Let’s break that story into a syllogism based on the fox’s thought process:
I am an agile and nimble fox,
I can’t reach the grapes on the branch,
Therefore, the grapes must be sour.
The fox used rationalization as a defense mechanism to explain that his failure had nothing whatsoever to do with him. He is essentially using rationalization to deny reality.
That is not only rationalization, it is cognitive dissonance. The fox knows he wants the grapes but in contradiction to everything he observes that tells him the grapes are ripe and tasty, he convinces himself that he doesn’t want them, not because he knows the grapes are sour but because he just can’t reach them. That is also something called a non sequitur, because whether he can reach them or not has nothing to do with the condition of the grapes.
I was thinking about this when I read a post at Powerline that links to one of the most amazing examples of rationalization by supposedly intelligent people I have seen in the past few days (that’s not saying much because it happens by the minute now). I won’t link to the Washington Post editorial (because I think the Washington Post is garbage) but here is the link to Powerline.
This editorial was written by 25 former DC Bar presidents (as Paul Mirengoff of Powerline notes, the DC Bar is equivalent to the Soviet Central Committee) and it is a perfect slice of progressive lawyering that contains this paragraph:
“Since the election, instead of telling their client to stop, some lawyers — too many — have leveled attacks on the integrity of the electoral process, basing their assertions on unfounded allegations of “voter fraud” or “ballot tampering.” Lawyers for President Trump have filed at least three dozen lawsuits in various states, charging grave abuses of the electoral process. Their goal has been to scuttle the process for counting and certifying the vote, thereby expunging millions of votes. If any legitimate evidence to support the challenges existed, we would defend the lawyers in raising the pertinent legal issues. But in the absence of any meaningful evidence, we must condemn the abuse of the judicial system to subvert the democratic process.”
I spend a lot of time dealing with lawyers and their deceptive tactics, so I have a Masters degree in decoding lawyer bullshit. Lawyers don’t get paid to lie – that is unethical and illegal – they are just very selective of the facts they accept.
The statement that the President’s “assertions” are based on “unfounded allegations of “voter fraud” or “ballot tampering” is patently false. The President’s team has presented factual evidence backed up by affidavits that each of those things occurred. They also make a demonstrably false statement that “If any legitimate evidence to support the challenges existed, we would defend the lawyers in raising the pertinent legal issues” – because as we know, legitimate evidence exists and has been presented in direct testimony, security videos and via statistical anomalies that have not (and likely cannot) be explained.
So we know these former “bar presidents” (which, by the way, is itself the invocation of a logical fallacy known as an “appeal to authority”) are liars – but the real tipoff is in these seven words:
“…in the absence of any meaningful evidence…”
When a lawyer uses a non-specific, subjective word like “meaningful”, he is doing so with a purpose. Without telling you why they are not meaningful, he is telling you that the facts you have presented do not agree with his narrative and so they don’t “mean” anything to him. It doesn’t mean they aren’t factual, true or that they don’t destroy his argument, just that he is going to refuse to accept them because they likely are damaging to his case. It’s a lot like how the Democrats still claim that the Obama administration was “scandal free” because the New York Times and the Washington Post refused to use the word “scandal” as they covered for Obama.
This is a perfect example of the “I’m right, so nothing with which I disagree can be correct” with the added element of “I’m a former president of the DC bar, so I am smart, important, powerful and therefore always right and I demand that you believe me”.
It is all male bovine fecal matter. That’s all the progressive left has these days.