One thing I’m really getting sick of since the election is how everybody involved; senators, Congresspersons, news outlets, the president and ALL of his spokespeople are constantly, about everything, saying ”can you imagine if so-and-so did x-y-z?”
THIS IS INFURIATING AND NEEDS TO JUST STOP!!
So what if I can imagine how happy people’s reactions would be if Hillary had spoken out against ISIL instead of Trump (of course I believe she would do it in an entirely different manner but that’s precisely the point), or the outrage that would ensue if Trump was the person who put 7 countries on a terror watch list instead of Obama. I can also imagine a narwhal and a unicorn performing a couples figure skating program, and while it’s fun to think about, that doesn’t mean it makes me right or wrong on a point.
The fact of the matter is anybody can imagine anything at any time, that’s the beauty of imagination, but here’s the thing: Things we imagine have no consequences, and choosing to pose everything in a rhetorical context and begging the question is detracting from actual issues. I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat, man or woman, gay or straight, etc NOBODY is actually making any difference or changing any minds by basing their entire argument on nothing but a logical fallacy. This is precisely why no minds are being changed, and if it seems like we’re on a hamster wheel making no progress while we all argue IT’S BECAUSE WE ARE! We are all making the same flawed arguments over and over and over again because we’re just working ourselves, and those around us up with a bunch of what ifs. While we sit around getting all riled up over these “imagine ifs” real points are being missed.
If you want to get somebody’s support make a case that’s worth making in your favor, not against a hypothetical reaction from supporters of some made up adversary!
Our politicians, American politicians are pandering to us from both sides of the aisle and it has become so commonplace that it has infiltrated everything else. By allowing ourselves to continue that dialogue, whether it be with political opponents, with our television sets or computers, or simply in our own minds we are doing nothing but allowing the men and women that will shape our lives and our futures the ability to give us exactly zero answers. This is something that has crept into our lives quietly over a long period of time and as such it is unlikely to stop any time soon. No problem can ever be corrected without first acknowledging it’s existence; that makes it up to us, the American people, Republican and Democrat alike, to stop allowing our lawmakers to do nothing but appeal to our emotions. It’s been said before but it bears repeating THE TIME FOR CRITICAL THINKING IS NOW!
Here are some things to consider while you’re being asked to ”imagine” something by your representatives whether you agree with them or not. Remember either way you lean politically these people are relying on your congruity to get elected.
Does your senator want to pass legislation?
Ask them why you should want to back their decision, not why you shouldn’t want to back their opponent’s.
Don’t ask why you personally will benefit from it but how society as a whole stands to benefit from it. Remember that whole “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” thing? Same premise.
Don’t ask who is to blame for it, the problem is there regardless of why or how it got there, ask instead how it is going to be fixed.
Is the person proposing the solution the person who caused the problem? Not only does that not matter it is admirable because they are admitting their mistakes and trying to fix it; that’s a good thing and as I remember one of those “American values” people keep talking about.
Our nation and the rest of the world are changing and we really need to be paying attention. None of us should be accepting that the people in power currently, or aspiring to in the future, have our best interests at heart, regardless of whether we agree or disagree on how to achieve what will make things better.
Personally I’m done imagining. It’s time to focus.
Remember critical thinking is a skill as such it can be learned, taught, and practiced, but none of us will ever perfect it.
Originally published at medium.com