We’ve heard it many times. You oppose the policy of excessive social welfare programs or even BLM, so then you must be a racist. Never mind the over bloated bureaucracy and government spending such programs engender. Never mind the Marxist agenda of BLM. You support legal immigration in contrast to illegal immigration, so you must be xenophobic and anti Hispanic. Never mind the burdens of cost and invasion forever changing our country and concomitant threatening diseases and terrorists entering. You oppose gay marriage, so you must be homophobic. Never mind the contribution to breaking down Judeo-Christian values. You prefer government spending for defense over welfare, so you are against social justice. Never mind Iranian threats of nuclear weaponry. Now the accusation is, you criticize the global warming agenda, so you must not be aware of existential reality. Never mind our economic catastrophes of more government control and spending. Accusations, accusations, accusations. It’s always accusations; J’accuse. Convoluted for sure, but where might these examples of illogic originate?
Not far. Gracie Allen, radio and TV comic/actress complained her husband George Burns, would quarrel over silly things like her wrecking cars and losing diamond rings – the audacity. Her neighbor tried to convince her of the benefits of vegetarianism by asking Gracie if she ever saw a sick elephant. She replied, “Why no, but never mind me, my doctor’s office really isn’t large enough for an elephant to enter.”
Poor Lou Costello was accused by partner Bud Abbott of hurting the salaries of union labor since he did not put mustard on his hot dogs. How is that? Because as Bud retorted, “all the major mustard companies have unionized workers.” Comedian Henny Youngman was perplexed as to how his wife could have possibly crashed the family car into their home and end up in the living room. “Easy,” she said. “I made a left turn at the kitchen.”
On a more relevant level, I once applied for a position as an ‘English as a Second Language [ESL] Instructor’ after relocating to my former residence in St. Paul, MN. Mind you, I had previous experience of 15 years teaching students from all over the world and supervising ESL programs in Miami – students from Mexico, China, Pakistan, Vietnam, Russia, Brazil. You name it, whatever language, all in the same classes. And I was an expert at it, incredible results. No, the Minnesota interviewer told me. You have to be fluent in Spanish to teach English to our new arrivals from Mexico. I knew right then and there we moved to the wrong city. Liberal Minnesota.
No sooner than I was confronted with such convoluted thinking, was an effort by the local feminist crowd pushing for a new government grant program to teach women how to fish. They maintained that since fathers only taught their sons how to fish, daughters/women needed the government to teach them how to fish, both in summer and winter. More taxes, more government programs needed for such a crisis. The then Governor, Jesse Ventura, was not immune to such a mentality coiled into the liberal, in his case libertarian culture. Sadly, four high school teenagers had the unfortunate experience of crashing into Lake Minnetonka on snow jet skis before the lake had sufficiently froze to support the weight. All four drowned. When asked for his response concerning this community tragedy, atheist Governor Ventura replied,” This is but God’s way of weeding out stupid people.” Yes, he said that. Once I asked an old Minnesota friend who she voted for, Obama or McCain. “Why Obama of course; he was sadly fatherless and he wants to help the poor, so he must be a good person.” Naivete is part of it.
Some Minnesota friends visited me in Miami once and were appalled at the homeless population they saw living under an I-95 overpass. They went to buy them a take-out Chinese dinner being the goodhearted compassionate liberals as they saw themselves. We’re such nice people. When they arrived to offer the food, my friends were immediately accosted, assaulted and robbed of all their money. The Chinese food was devoured in no time.
Holy Scripture includes such admonitions on naivete as “The naive inherit foolishness, But the sensible are crowned with knowledge.”(Prov 14:18) and “How long will you gullible people love being so gullible?” (Prov 1:22). Regarding logical thinking, Holy Scripture assures us as in Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Or, as in Isaiah 43:26 “Put me in remembrance. Let us plead together. Set forth your case, that you may be justified.” And so, we continue to appeal to others a more sensible way to look at the issue. We are called to do so. It is not a waste of time for those who may disagree but at least have some sense left in them. Sometimes I wish I had taken a college course in logical thinking, perhaps from the highly regarded Vincent Ruggiero, a fellow and regular contributor to this magazine. His books are clearly the premier academic guides to discussion making, distinguishing reality, critical and creative thinking, the essence of logic. You might want to seek out one of his books.