Reason is a slave to the passions


If you are the kind of American who wants, as Pat Buchanan recently wrote, ‘an ever-more splendid diversity of colors, creeds, ethnicities, ideologies, beliefs and lifestyles’ for America, then by voting for Obama and Hillary Clinton you are doing the logical thing. And you’ll probably hate Donald Trump.

Conversely, for Americans who think their country is being taken away from them by a coalition of resentful leftists, SJWs, La Raza admirers and race hustlers then they will most likely vote for Trump and dislike Obama and Clinton, as well as most of academia, the media and Hollywood. For these people even if Trump somehow ends up destroying the historic American nation it will be through stupidity or ineptitude, not through design.

It seems to me that Trump voters don’t need to do much soul-searching because the things they want are the same as most people in most times and places have always wanted: not to be replaced. However, I think liberals should ask themselves why it is they want more immigration; why they are happy for the demographic balance of America to shift away from whites and towards Hispanics and Muslims; why the alleged benefits of diversity outweigh the decline in social capital that social scientists have noticed in mixed neighbourhoods; why people who prefer to live among their own kind should be forced to live with people different from them; why they think immigrant labour, either legal or illegal, doesn’t depress the wages of American workers, or if they agree that it does, why this doesn’t bother them.

The bottom line is that Hillary’s supporters and Trump’s supporters have two very different temperaments and no end of dialogue or discussion will reconcile them. It’s a bit like arguing over which is best, curry or Spaghetti Bolognese. There is no ‘fact of the matter’, only a preference for one kind of food, one kind of life over another. On the one side are those who prefer demographic stability and to live in a super-majority of whites. These people want a small government that protects the country’s borders and deports anyone who is there illegally. They don’t want lavish social programs that benefit certain groups more than others and often seem to reward fecklessness.

On the other side are those who want to live in a multicultural, multi-ethnic welfare state that welcomes everyone, especially the poor. They want a government that protects its citizens, especially the poor and ‘vulnerable’, from the hardships thrown up by life in a capitalist world.

I suppose there may be a few odd people who really don’t care if they live under Obama or Trump, or how many immigrants they are surrounded by. However, such people are rare and most people do indeed have a strong preference either way. Beneath the rational arguments for the pros and cons of each viewpoint probably lie different innate temperaments over which there is no point in arguing. As David Hume said, ‘Reason is a slave to the passions.’

This entry was posted in General.

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