November 26, 2016

The Importance of Little Truths

The mainstream media's pious eulogy for Fidel and Trump's counterpunch statement (in which he called a spade a space) reminds me how deeply satisfying the truth can be even when coming from such a flawed instrument.

Hearing the truth in many instances is a sort of a luxury item inasmuch as not seeming
necessary. Part of the art of diplomacy is allowing people to have their small fictions for peace-of-mind purposes. But currently the rage is authenticity uber alles, even when coming from a phony like Trump. Because, he's so phony he comes out the other side, like how if you're so rightwing you almost left-wing. (See here)
The thirst from plain-spoken Middle Americans to hear Islamic terrorism named *Islamic* terrorism struck me as somewhat self-indulgent. Yes terrorism is primarily Islamic, but there's no reason to rub their noses in it especially seeing how it seems to serve no strategic interest.

Similarly with Castro, I'm not sure how much difference it really makes to opine other than for the cathartic effect for those "on your side" (in my case, with people who have read history and aren't Communists, reasonably minimal standards).

But I think with Trump I misunderestimated how important it is for many people to hear their view expressed; my father-in-law is a case-in-point. He was a very early Trump supporter based largely on Trump's political incorrectness. Like what baseball guru Bill James said.

There is admittedly a tonic in hearing the sacred cows of the Left gored. My tendency can be too Spock-like; people are animated by emotion and are not robots and Lord knows I'm certainly animated by emotion enough, in particular after reading how Shelby Steele ascribed white guilt as the reason we voted for Obama. I became infinitely annoyed that Obama was thrust on me because ancestors of some Americans in a hundred and fifty years ago held slaves. Steele's views look significantly less true now, given how it seems we just have a fetish for outsiders, with Obama looking like the ultimate outsider until we doubled-down on the Trumpster.

If there's a hierarchy of truths to defend, then the time spent debating those lower on the list (like Islamic terrorism or Fidel Castro's saintliness) seem distractions -- except when they aren't, that is when people are so fed up they vote in a "trump l'oeil".

I recall it was the great Tom of Disputations who said that if something is very important to someone else, even if you think it shouldn't be that important to them, it should therefore be taken seriously because they are human and highly prized children of God.

And even for the secular types, in a democracy, how can you ignore what is important to the mass of men?

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