By JR on Friday, March 25, 2016
Philosophers on U.S. Presidential Politics
Below is a blurb from a publisher of philosophy books. Philosophers are overwhelmingly Leftist. What it reports is an amusing example of how Leftists live in a little self-created bubble that has no connection with reality. According to the authors, conservatives "place high regard upon insatiable appetites for luxury, excess, spectacle, and power". Whaat! No conservative would recognize that description of himself. It's just a fantasy dreamt up to justifty Leftism. Leftists can't handle reality so construct straw men to burn. They are damaged people.
But they get some things right. I and many other conservatives would agree that Trump "strongly appeals to disaffected, middle-of-the-road Americans who have become divided from traditional conservative politics due to the unpopularity of such ideals".
And there is some truth in their statement that Trump "has demonstrated that in order to get the support of voters who identify with the Republican Party, would-be candidates must vilify ideas and instead communicate solely in one-liners". The spineless nature of the GOP establishment has indeed brought us to that.
But it is very one-eyed in completely ignoring what Trump actually says. Their closed minds probably make it impossible for them even to hear what he says. Trump opposes illegal immigration when everybody else seems to have given up on that. Americans don't want their country messed up by throngs of troublesome immigrants and Trump alone speaks for such concerned Americans
Routledge authors, Robert Talisse, Scott Aikin, and Jason Brennan provide a philosophical insight on the state of the Republican Party, and the establishment of the Trump brand.
With the U.S. presidential race imminent, Routledge authors have been weighing in on the state of U.S. politics over on the Daily Nous, as possibly the most principled, and possibly the least principled politicians in the U.S. are currently going head to head for the American presidency.
Robert Talisse (author of Engaging Political Philosophy, and co-author of Why We Argue and Why We Should) and Scott Aikin (co-author of Why We Argue and Why We Should), have weighed in on the debate with an exploration of the trouble with political conservatism in America today, and how such concerns have presented a challenge to the Republican Party.
According to Talisse and Aikin, the central ideas of political conservatism are becoming increasingly unpopular, as they place high regard upon insatiable appetites for luxury, excess, spectacle, and power, all of which are social forces that dissolve tradition and foster divisions. Such unpopularity has therefore led the Republican Party to build a political coalition among people who ultimately have little in common, which requires a strategy by which divisions are overshadowed by some unifying purpose.
Comparatively, Jason Brennan (author of Why Not Capitalism? and co-author of Markets without Limits) adds that democracy works because it doesn’t work. Brennan qualifies this by explaining that Trump has become a populist candidate in the presidential race as he has played to misinformation, anger, and prejudice, as the mean, median, and modal amounts of basic political knowledge among voters is generally quite low. Therefore, Trump is doing well because democracy is working, because there has been a break down in various checks parties place on voter ignorance.
Moreover, he is rising as the likely Republican nominee despite widespread opposition, because he strongly appeals to disaffected, middle-of-the-road Americans who have become divided from traditional conservative politics due to the unpopularity of such ideals, of which Talisse and Aikin speak of.
In this way, Trump has consequently become the manufactured unifying purpose that is needed to overshadow the divisions that have arisen. He has demonstrated that in order to get the support of voters who identify with the Republican Party, would-be candidates must vilify ideas and instead communicate solely in one-liners - all this in the service of selling what is promoted as a brand. As, Talisse and Aikin remark that conservatism was supposed to be the idea that values were more than brands, but branding is now all the Republican Party has at its core as a political faction.
For more information, visit Daily Nous for the full debate.