Upon being offered the role of "political contributor" for this blog, I was ecstatic. HERE was a chance to showcase my bulletproof political opinions, to spill my thoughts to an avidly willing audience who were otherwise unwilling to give a shit about my opinions! In showcasing said opinions and spilling said thoughts, I've come dangerously close to becoming a political PUNDIT. And I absolutely hate it.
( What do I mean by pundit?"" Pundits are a broad class of people focused on a narrow goal: political commentary & gossip. A "pundit" can mean a New York Times columnist, any media commentator (especially television), and otherwise anyone with a political opinion whose voice is heard. Paul Krugman, George Will, Thomas Friedman, and even Glen Beck are all examples of a pundit).
Why does my making political commentary bother me? The same reason it bothers me when other people do it: arrogance. Everybody (including myself) is biased in countless ways. The ease with which a human brain can be fooled into accepting ridiculous beliefs (and even believing false memories) has been widely documented. That's why I say that most political "pundits" - professional or otherwise - are full of shit.
Go to www.realclearpolitics.com , where you'll find a diverse collection of articles written by accomplished pundits. You may notice how sure these professional pundits are of their opinions. These columnists treat their individual outlook on the world as universal common sense; they push rigid narratives of how the world's going to turn out without consideration of other possibilities. You may also notice how two pundits can both be highly intelligent & passionate, yet still disagree completely.
Hence the arrogance of the pundit class. In light of all the informed opinions out there about political issues, any one person who thinks they have a handle on an issue above others is fantastically arrogant.
There is a philosophy which tries to eliminate emotional bias from human inquiry and that's science. Modern scientific experiments are designed to eliminate human bias so that we can understand the world as is truly is, not how we feel it is. An objective scientist must begin with the idea that no matter how sure we are that we know something, there still exists the possibility of being incorrect. For example, suppose someone sees a very real-looking hot pink teddy bear dancing in mid-air. If everyone else around them sees nothing, then no matter how real the dancing teddy bear looks to one person, then odds are it's you who's hallucinating, not everybody else.
Politicians choose to play the childish game of Blame. Political journalists choose to inject baseless biased opinions into democratic discourse. Most everybody else tunes into the political soap operas that the former two write, and nothing real gets said...
I may not always be right, but at least I admit it.
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