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Political Justifications – Freedom Philosophy




A frightening observation can be made of the discussions, justifications, or rationalizations for political positions; the politics come first and the justifications come thereafter. Many come to their beliefs first and then find ways to justify them.

This is done in politics and religion routinely.

A common justification given for Donald Trump being unfit to be president was that he was a TV show star, with no political experience. However, after the rise of the #MeToo movement, Oprah Winfrey gave a passionate speech on politics and many of the same colleagues, celebrities, and political commentators I heard dismiss Trump for a reason that would equally disqualify Oprah, were enthusiastic about her running for president.

The very same commentators were dismayed that Trump might not accept the results of the election in 2016, citing concerns of fraud, but were themselves unwilling to accept the results of the election and demanded a probe into election fraud.

Deficits bothered Justin Trudeau until he had the potential for presenting a budget. Deficits infuriate Conservatives until the deficits are their own, at which point there is something to be said for Keynesian economics after all.

The phenomenon isn’t exclusive to politics. There are legions of books, seminars, and websites dedicated to giving Christians justifications for their faith or providing the correct answer for some objection.

The obverse is that atheists have their own apologetics resources dedicated to assisting their own to win debates. One wonders why having the best justification is important when their original justification ought to be considered sufficient on its own merits; if it’s unsound then perhaps the entire philosophy ought to be reconsidered.

Religion, like politics, carries with it the practice of the belief coming first, and the justification thereafter.

Why wouldn’t someone articulate clearly their rationale for discarding Trump? Why bother with the empty nonsense that he’s inexperienced politically when this same person is eager for Oprah’s presidency? It’s a bizarre phenomenon of articulating a justification they likely don’t believe.

The emptiness of it all is problematic. It indicates most of our politically-held views are non-rational. It strongly indicates that our political views come from somewhere other than thinking things through.

I’m not sure a stronger case for libertarianism can be made than to see that democratically-elected governments arise through irrationality. There is a need to limit thoughtlessness governing our lives.

C.S. Lewis agreed with Aristotle, when Aristotle wrote that some men are only fit to be slaves, but Lewis was quick to add that he opposed slavery because no man is fit to be a master.

The evidence that suggests most people have spurious political justification is anecdotal here, but nevertheless striking.

For most people, their political beliefs are programmed into them. These organic programming forces lend themselves to extremism.

It’s better for a political leader to have their supporters enraged at an opponent and so the programming pushes voter to their emotions.

Being ruled by the emotions of a mob is a dangerous thing and we must do everything within our power to limit that influence over our lives.

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Brandon Kirby

Brandon Kirby is a philosopher, financial adviser, a founder of a local investment club, and he hosts regular symposiums in philosophy. He is also a member of Canada’s Libertarian Party.




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