Logic may be defined as a system of thinking that produces reasonable decisions and judgments about problems and issues large and small. In every age and culture it has been valued as the indispensable guide in human affairs. Logic is characterized by unbiased examination of facts, consideration of various points of view and their implications, and the avoidance of errors in reasoning. The habit of thinking logically is associated with intelligence and wisdom.
Alas, more and more people, even those in high places seem either to be unfamiliar with logic or averse to employing it. Their words and actions reveal bias, narrowness of mind, and fallacious thinking than sometimes declines into absurdity. Here are some examples:
1) “Protests” occurred throughout 2020 in many American cities, notably Minneapolis, New York City, Rochester NY, Portland, Chicago, Kenosha, and Philadelphia, in many cases characterized by rioting, looting, the destruction of private and public property, arson, and even death. At the same time, the political leaders of many of those cities rejected the logical response of hiring more police and increasing their funding and instead chose defunding police departments and in some cases abolishing them altogether.
2) When President Trump (PT) offered troops to quell the riots, these same political leaders refused his help, and then later compounded their illogical thinking by blaming him for doing nothing in their time of need! Months later, when the February 6 breach of the Capitol occurred, with far less violence and damage done than had been done in any of the cities named above, political leaders put up razor wire, brought in the National Guard, and kept them there for well over a month (and counting)! As if this were not illogical enough, the rioting is still occurring in some cities without any governmental response,while mainstream media reporters have stood in front of buildings wrapped in flames and called the protests “generally peaceful.”
3) When Covid19 arrived, PT quickly closed travel to and from its clear source, China, and was called racist and a fear-monger for doing so. He also was quick to send help to cities in need, notably a 1000-bed hospital ship to NYC, which the governor never used. PT was later accused of not helping!
4) Governor Cuomo’s failure to use the hospital ship was not his only or most serious insult to logic. His order to send Covid19 patients to (or back to) nursing homes was much worse because it resulted in an estimated 15,000 deaths. (A number of other governors reportedly acted similarly.)
5) Many states closed restaurants and churches because of the danger of proximity and punished people for not wearing masks in public, even while a number of political leaders violated the very rules they imposed on others. Then they offered the same privilege to protestors/rioters, allowing them to gather in large numbers without masks and do mayhem without consequence.
6) When PT gathered drug manufacturers and urged them to produce one or more anti-Covid vaccines at “Warp Speed,” political opponents ridiculed him for attempting what they said was an unrealizable goal. Then when he accomplished that goal, most of them pretended it didn’t happen. Their leader, President Biden (PB), was even more irrational (and dishonest)—he took credit for PT’s achievement!
7) Soon after entering office, President Biden (PB) issued an order stating that “Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and . . . children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.” He then went on to allow biological MALES to play on women’s teams and use female restrooms and locker rooms, apparently without recognizing that his order denied an entire gender “respect and dignity” and thus was self-contradictory.
8) PB issued an order revoking President Trump’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline which brought oil from Canada to the U.S. , created thousands of jobs, and made the country energy independent. At a time when the nation was still reeling from the economic effects of Covid19, logic demanded that the Keystone achievement be continued. Yet PB cast aside logic and, as a result, directly cost 11,000 Americans workers their jobs and indirectly cost thousands more theirs. Nor was that his only offense against logic: he claimed that he was acting out of concern to preserve the climate, when in fact it did the opposite by forcing the oil transportation to trucks and trains and increasing air pollution.
9) PB defied logic by irrationally revoking a Trump administration order that had created an industry-led apprenticeship program designed to play a significant role in increasing the job skills of American youth, particularly those from low-come neighborhoods for whom college is difficult or impossible to finance.
10) In separate orders, PB irrationally undid most of PT’s actions on immigration by (a) halting the expansion of immigration enforcement within the United States; b) terminating the construction of the border wall and terminating the national emergency declaration used to fund it; c) providing protection to asylum seekers and ensuring them legal access to the United States; d) cancelling Trump administration immigration policies and guidelines to make the border more open to illegals; e) initiating a review of policies “that have effectively closed the U.S. border to asylum seekers”; f) rescinding PT’s limitations on refugee admissions; and g) revoking PT’s proclamation that limited legal immigration during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The combined immigration actions by PB noted above produced a number of harmful and potential catastrophic effects that a modicum of logical thinking could have prevented. Those actions significantly increased illegal immigration to the level of crisis while making it increasingly difficult for border authorities to do their jobs. They also made it necessary either to house thousands of new migrants or disperse them around the country. The administration did both. Accordingly, at the same time they were keeping schools, restaurants, and places of worship largely closed and requiring Americans to get vaccinated, wear masks, and practice social distancing, they were mocking logic and endangering everyone’s health and safety by sending innumerable busloads of possibly Covid-infected migrants to cities and towns across the country. As if that affront to logic were not enough, in defiance of all evidence they BLAMED TRUMP for the situation they created by cancelling his policies.
As egregious as political leader’s abuses of logic are, there are others throughout contemporary culture that are at least as bad, and in some ways worse. The eliminating, marginalizing, or propagandizing, of history in college curriculums prevents students from the accurate understanding of the past necessary for dealing with the problems of the present and future. Cancel Culture irrationally violates the right to free speech that is central to the U.S Constitution and puts the practice of logical thought itself in jeopardy. The inclusion of Critical Race Theory in schools not only fails to overcome racism and racial division, it absurdly fuels those evils by brainwashing even grade school students to believe that half of them possess a privilege that denies the others their rights.
I could end by saying that all this is mind-boggling, but that would be too great an understatement. Abandoning the indispensible guide in human affairs, the habit most closely associated with intelligence and wisdom, is not just mind-boggling—it is ultimately mind-destroying.
Copyright © 2021 by Vincent Ryan Ruggiero. All rights reserved