Nov 11, 2017

On Remaining a Logical Thinker

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I was going through my comments today when I stumbled on one of those "one year ago" trips down memory lane when we were just trying to wrap our mind around an election that made absolutely no sense to any of us and the prospect of what that election would mean in the future.

See, the thing is I am so emotionally attached to my ideas and dreams that I cannot be very logical.

I am old enough that I remember the day John F. Kennedy was elected. I was in my college dorm room and I thought at the time that  "now we can live in a country that respects intellect and it's value to our world". I didn't count on an assassination and then later the tearing down of the "Kennedy" myth. I was attached to that dream. (I was in the classroom when Kennedy was assassinated.)

Over the years I have been through the ups and downs of politics. I was running a summer sunday school program on June 8, 1968 when Ten Kennedy was assassinate. During the Vietnam War I did not read the newspaper. The insanity of the whole thing was too much for me as a young wife and mother. That was not what I had dreamt of when I graduated college and became a teacher of little children.

Like so many people of my generation I truly dreamt of equality among all of us. I for one celebrated the Equal Right Amendment. When President Barack Obama was elected, I felt so hopeful that people would see the opportunity to lift up the minorities in our country. I didn't count on a leftover recession from G.W. Bush and a group of people that were so hung up in bigotry and hatred for the President that they forgot about the rest of the American people for 8 years.

Now...now we are in the midst of a 4 year term with a president that simply undoes all the good that Obama has done because he is obsessed with the idea that he is called to do that. We will see the repercussions of all that. Oregon's homeless population has doubled in the past year in many parts of the state. Our beautiful Portland is being called a tent city.

Last night we had dinner with friends and one of the people at the table began extolling the progress Trump has made in his visit to the Far East. I was absolutely silent. Trying to remain logical at that moment was not even possible. I can only hope that she is right but.....! (CNN)

Are you still a logical thinker? Do you sift out and let go of ideas that are just dreams and nothing more? Let me know.

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20 comments:

  1. I am sad and sometimes distressed by the direction our country is going, but there seems to be no winner when I think like that. I can't do anything to change it, and last Tuesday's wins by so many energized women who marched last January (I was one of them) makes me hopeful that the future belongs to the young, who will leave behind much of the past. Let's look at the positive and hopeful signs all around us. Just my two cents. :-)

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    1. Thank you DJan...your words are a comfort. Your two cents are worth a million that take us down.

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  2. I feel what you are saying and I'm still hopeful Trump will resign or be forced to based on his actions. It is very hard to endure his temperament and ongoing Twitter crap. Kennedy was a huge influence on me and my lifelong values of equal rights for all. In college I protested the VietNam war and celebrated when we finally withdrew. It is so hard to believe and understand the division in this country and the hate. I feel like we've gone back 50 years.

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    1. Only 50 years? We will see. Thank you for your input. It means a lot to me.

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  3. Increasingly, as I complete my first decade of retirement from a more humane economy than we have now, I'm reminded of reading I did in the early 1960s. Cicero would be typical:" We are obliged to respect, defend and maintain the common bonds of union...among all members of the human race." A dream, yes, but also prerequisite to logical thought, a world in which reason and compassion can obtain.

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    1. It seems that in citing Cicero we are reminded that we are not so very different from those wise ancient philosophers. Thank you George.

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  4. Critical thinking skills seem to be in short supply lately. I would have tried to remain silent like you did at dinner with your friends but, I'm afraid, my esteem for that friend would have taken a hit.

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    1. Well in my mind I know that my friend is sorely misguided and not getting information from an unbiased source. But it is hard to remain silent. I am good and it really doesn't matter in the scheme of things. We remain solid friends even though we both know that we are very different in our beliefs.

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  5. I am in a knitting group of mainly lovely ladies, but I am severely in the minority on this issue. Fortunately we do not ever talk politics, but nevertheless, my opinion of some of these pals have as Janice said, taken a hit in recent months. I tell myself that we accomplish things by conversations rather than confrontation, but let me tell ya, it's hard sometimes, lol.

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    1. Are we really in the minority? I wonder more and more. It is getting harder and harder for someone like me. Sigh!

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  6. Critical thinking for me is realizing the way our political system was geniously designed it is impossible for us to go too far one way or the other. If you study history you will realize one party is never in power for more than 8 years. For the last 8 years we swung very far to the left and for the next 8 we will swing far to the right. The power in the house rarely remains the same as the power in the white house. It all balances out beautifully.
    As far as homelessness in your state, I would look to your local legislators, homes end homelessness and homes are cheaper than running shelters. I've written a book on the topic which includes some interesting Kennedy stories.

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    1. I will check those out Doreen.

      I wonder if Oregon hasn't made it's own bed. If you feed them they will come. However, someone must be humane so there you have it. We had a justice in our supreme court of Oregon rule that the sidewalks are owned publicly there for you cannot rule people "vagrant" because they don't move or have a home. That ruling changed the whole outcome of making people "move on". Homelessness is a huge problem in Oregon.

      I asked a beggar in a grocery parking lot once why he didn't got to welfare and get some help. His answer was that they kept telling him what he could and could not do and he didn't like that! So there you have it.

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  7. Hi Barbara,
    I found the comments here interesting to read.
    In response to Christina, Why would Trump resign?? I agree with the commenter who said Trump is obsessed with undoing Obama's legacy because he has the power to do it. Then, he goes and plays golf.
    IF democrats with the midterms elections and there is a majority of Democrats in the house, they could move toward impeachment. Trump IS a clear and present danger to Americans and has broken his oath to protect Americans. Republicans don't care and Mueller is taking so long I'm concerned he has nothing to prosecute Trump for. )=
    Janice

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    1. It is such a big worry for us all. Hopefully we will survive.

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  8. You have to have charges to make a person leave office. No charges, no leaving. Trump will not resign. It is what it is. Those who hate him (I don't waste energy on something I cannot change), can say all they want, but he will still be there. Like a disliked young child, I think it is better to just surround him with people who ARE doing the right thing. Vote and then get stuff done. He was a democrat long before he ran on the republican ticket, you know he wants the respect of his old friends..... Simple as that- IMHO.
    BTW- It is Bobby who was assassinated. Horrible day. He was the only Kennedy who attempted to get things done.

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    1. JFK was President when he was assassinated in 1962, Robert was assassinated in 1968. You are so right. The people that are around Trump need to be held accountable for what he does. He is very like a naughty child that need strong control. It is not becoming in a man his age!

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  9. Well, I don't think logic has much to do with it ... a lot of politics is emotional.

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    1. You are so right Tom...it never has and it never will. The more I read and learn about our founding fathers, the more I realize that it has always been this way. We will get through it...we always have.

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  10. Hi Barbara. Yes...it has been a politically challenging year. But I read so many articles now that prove that we seldom change our minds (or the minds of others) by arguing and/or even presenting the facts. So like Tom Sightings says, logic doesn't even enter the equation in many cases. I find it difficult to be around anyone who believes that DT is "adequate" and would find it extremely uncomfortable sitting at a table with someone who thought he wasn't the hazard and disaster to our country and the world that he is. There is a quote that comes to mind that goes something like, "Conversation is useless without mutually agreed definitions." Our political climate for the time being seems to support that very well. I AM an optimist though and keep reminding myself that all the terrible things he is initiating at home and around the world is bringing so many dark and hidden issues to the surface and hopefully healing them. Also, it is waking women and others who have sat on the sidelines far too long. I hope and pray in the long run our future will be better because of what comes next. ~Kathy

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    1. We always hope and pray. My friends are very like family...I did choose them but I cannot dismiss them. I love them too much. And, in this country, we all have a right to our opinions! Yes it is hard but I am very good at changing the subject without anyone even realizing what has happened. :)

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