Tuesday, January 12, 2016

High-order obtuseness.

I've written about focusing on what isn't said or done to find out the real story on just about anything.

Ok. Just @#$%& shoot me.
Just leaving something out on purpose in a deceptive way, i.e., in order to perpetrate a half truth or conceal the whole truth, is obtuse, which is a polite way of phrasing it. Dishonest is another way. What people do when they will not let go of an issue when what is being left out is abundantly clear is an especially high order of obtuseness.

This is a phenomenon that is everywhere in W. Europe and the Anglosphere and it is inadequately addressed in the blogosphere. I will return later with a more expanded treatment of the phenomenon.

For today it's enough to single out the "issue" of "comprehensive immigration reform" so beloved of the Treason Class and their enablers, the cuckservatives. It's brought out very well indeed by Mr. Voegeli in the excerpt below – and it's clearly an example of high-order obstuseness:

More than any other issue, immigration propels the Trump insurrection. The animus plays out on two levels. As a matter of policy, there is no obvious, compelling reason why controlling the border and resolving the legal status of people already here in violation of our laws must be addressed in a package deal. Why can’t the government prove that it has the commitment and capacity to enforce immigration laws first? Once a functioning immigration system was in place, we could then consider the status of people here illegally without fear that any “path to citizenship” would encourage new waves of illegal immigration.

As a matter of politics, Trump voters are angry that no matter how often or how emphatically the package-deal approach to immigration is rejected, it never seems to be defeated. What part of “No” do the politicians, journalists, and activists who set the national agenda not understand?

The Reason I’m Anti-Anti-Trump. By William Voegeli, Claremont Review of Books, 12/28/15.

H/t: comment by tbraton on "Republican Terror and Anger." By Paul Gottfried, The Unz Review, 12/29/15.

2 comments:

  1. I think this i the point, actually:

    "As a matter of politics, Trump voters are angry that no matter how often or how emphatically the package-deal approach to immigration is rejected, it never seems to be defeated. What part of “No” do the politicians, journalists, and activists who set the national agenda not understand? "

    The politicians, journalists, and activists understand. They just don't agree, and they will NEVER stop telling us that we're wrong, unfair, biased, racist, stupid or (horrors) RIGHT-WING for believing as we do.

    What they can never do is state factually what good immigration and legalization does for the majority of Americans.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Point taken. So we have four alternatives:

    1. Honesty. Pols know in their hearts that they are correct and sincerely believe that alternative views are wrong. The possibility of error on their part is so slight that any contrary analysis is just wrong. Heartfelt beliefs of opponents based on other facts and analysis, correct or not, are of no moment.

    2. Dishonesty/high-order obtuseness. Pols know in their hearts that they are wrong but gain political advantage by acting as though they are correct. Alternative views, known or unknown, even if well-founded or possibly well-founded, are to be ignored for political advantage.

    3. High-order obtuseness. Pols are unsure whether their views are correct but maintain them for political advantage even in the face of compelling alternative evidence. The evidence is so compelling, in fact, that it is difficult to credit an honest doubt on the part of the politician.

    4. Obtuseness/negligence/apathy. Pols are unsure whether their views are correct but maintain them for political advantage without consideration of possible alternative views.

    "They just don't agree" could cover only 1, 3, and 4, I think. 3 and 4 would make for a weak defense of the politician's position. 2 involves agreement but a dishonest turning away from the truth.

    1 is improbable, in my view, though you properly raise it as a possibility.

    Our current situation is covered by 2 and 3 for all practical purposes. I'll stick with the concept of obtuseness because it focuses less on dishonesty. It's in play but I'd rather err on the side of understatement in arguing the validity of any particular issue. Let the reader draw his own conclusions. I'm not sure I'm entirely committed to this high road but perhaps I can start out on the side of the angels.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are moderated. I am entirely arbitrary about what I allow to appear here. Toss me a bomb and I might just toss it back with interest. You have been warned.