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The 2020 Celebrity Election Will Be Far Crazier than 2016

2018 January 8
by Ian Welsh
Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah is apparently considering running in 2020. As Matt Stoller notes, she isn’t a joke: Unlike Trump, she is extraordinarily competent, widely loved and owed favors by at least a plurality of important famous people in the US, including many of the best selling authors.

People have not come to terms with all the consequences of Trump’s election. Every truly popular celebrity in the US has to be looking at Trump’s victory and thinking “I’m smarter, more handsome, and more loved than he was; I can win.”

Bernie Sanders? Kamala Harris? (Insert politician here)?

None of them have more star power and fundraising ability than someone like Oprah. (And remember Oprah does run a company and does it competently.) And many of these people are good on TV. Like, well, really, really insanely good. You expect them to lose a TV debate against some politician?

Then we add in the billionaires, like Facebook CEO Zuckerberg. What other billionaire is now thinking, “Screw buying politicians, they can’t be trusted. I’ll just run myself?” Zuckerberg, of course, is not charismatic, but that much money buys a lot and Facebook itself is insanely influential and even if he “removes himself,” well, I bet Facebook’s algos will somehow work in his favor.

2020 isn’t going to be a normal election. It is going to be far crazier than 2020.

And heck, if I had a vote, I’d vote for Oprah (or Clooney) before most Democratic politicians, especially if they say “universal healthcare, fuck the bankers, and no wars” like they mean it.

I suspect many Americans would too.

Remember, Trump won, in the end, because enough people were sick of regular politicians to take a flyer on him. A celebrity with more charisma and brains is entirely viable and will be considered seriously.


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135 Responses leave one →
  1. Willy permalink
    January 11, 2018

    Hopeless morons will always be with us, telling us not to worry about the lying that is destroying us.

    Re-read what I wrote, fool.

    I was agreeing with your previous comment. I said that I care about the lying. I said that too many others do not, and this is a problem that needs to be solved. The reasons why many others think this way have already been explained by our blog owner.

  2. realitychecker permalink
    January 11, 2018

    Maybe you should learn to write with more clarity, instead of your usual apocryphal mutterings.

    You rarely state your meaning directly. The better to avoid rebuttal? Or simply evidence of brain damage?

    Who knows? Who cares, at this point?

    You have gleefully defined yourself, on many occasions, as having a specific mission to stalk and harass me, flinging “feces” at every opportunity. YOUR OWN WORDS!!!!!

    Everyone here knows what you have been doing.

    Obnoxious and relentless dickness has consequences. Enjoy them. 🙂

  3. V. Arnold permalink
    January 11, 2018

    Wow, this thread has gone into the shredder; good luck with that.

  4. realitychecker permalink
    January 11, 2018

    Always good to get critical input from the World Capital Of Sex Tourism.

  5. Willy permalink
    January 11, 2018

    The closest we have to an accessible, credible source for realitychecking, are the fact checking websites. Yet I highly doubt that the Fox News Network is in any danger of being replaced by a Politifact Network. People want their tribal dogma. Simply barking at them to quit accepting lies doesn’t work.

  6. realitychecker permalink
    January 11, 2018

    Willy, I’m going to be serious with you for just one moment, OK?

    It is not about which ‘side’ lies more.

    It goes much deeper than that.

    Consider the role of ‘”puffing” in the contract area, a very basic (I would say probably the most basic) level of our society. We have decided, as a matter of basic policy, that it is OK to lie to close a deal.

    From there, we have created no bulwark to prevent the spreading of lies and dishonesty through all other areas of our lives.

    The corrosive effects of this are deadly to any rational society As we now witness daily.

    I am arguing that until we assert a societal repugnance for all lying to get an advantage, and I think that severe punishment can be the only effective deterrent, we have no chance for establishing the kind of society that we all seem to agree would be better for all the decent people.

    I would hope we could at least agree on this basic point. Your relentless past efforts at mockery have seemed designed to obscure that basic point.

  7. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    January 11, 2018

    Even “fact checking” requires a basic level of honesty, which just doesn’t exist in mass media. Honesty is hard, and they’re not even trying to be honest. As James Taranto says, fact checking is opinion journalism masquerading as objectivity. Just take a look at some of these clownish low-effort “fact checks”. This is also why I just laugh at the media shibboleth that Trump lies a lot — what they really mean is that he says stuff that deviates from Uniparty dogma.

  8. Willy permalink
    January 11, 2018

    Ok, seriously then:

    Jimmy Kimmel just ‘celebrated’ our elected president’s 2000th lie. Should Trump be punished for setting such a bad example for the citizens, and even the world, or should Kimmel?

  9. Willy permalink
    January 11, 2018

    I said this to metamars when he was arguing against AGW. If we cannot trust the scientists, then who can we trust? I understand the concept of batting averages. Shouldn’t most everybody? Just as no pro player can make it to base every time, no pro specialist is going to be right all the time. But when there is no institution that is trusted to be right most of the time, and nobody trusts any ‘impartial’ institution to accurately compare other institutions batting averages based on past results, then I’d think the lying culture will continue.

    Is there another answer?

  10. realitychecker permalink
    January 11, 2018

    Willy, I am always adamant about the rules applying equally to everybody.

    You don’t seem to have any understanding of where I am coming from, I am much more aligned with the left than with the right, but I can’t ignore the fact that my side has steadily become more like what we always decried in the other side.

    Anyone who only wants to punish the liars on the OTHER SIDE is part of the problem, IMO, but that is exactly what we keep seeing, over and over.

    If I had the power, I would definitely be an equal opportunity punisher.

    But we will never get better if we keep insisting that only the other side needs a reality check.

    But I would note that Blizzards comment above captures the present reality.

  11. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    January 11, 2018

    You can scroll through instances where Politfact claims to have caught Trump out in a lie. If you read the reasoning behind the ratings, it’s mostly a bunch of Talmudic parsing of language which is more dishonest that what they’re claiming to debunk.

    Here’s one rated “false, wrong on both counts”:

    “We essentially repealed Obamacare because we got rid of the individual mandate … and that was a primary source of funding of Obamacare.”

    Does this look “false” to you? Time will tell on the first part — but I remember clearly that the Dems were saying the individual mandate was essential to the law. If it wasn’t, then why would they include such a toxic measure? Pure malice?

    For the second part, Politfact looks at the total amount in fines collected, which, they observe, is a small percentage of the total government cost of Obamacare. In other words, they completely ignore the vastly larger amount of money flowing to insurers from people who were forced by the mandate to buy their product. Again: Talmudic sophistry.

    For fact checking to be a viable enterprise, its practitioners would need to be scrupulously honest. They are the exact opposite — in fact, they seem to be qualitatively less honest than the average politician.

  12. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    January 11, 2018

    This is also why I just laugh at the media shibboleth that Trump lies a lot — what they really mean is that he says stuff that deviates from Uniparty dogma.

    No TROLL, what it means is THEY LIE TOO so therefore THEY HAVE NO LEG TO STAND ON. He who casts the first stone and all that biblical jazz. It doesn’t mean that Trump doesn’t lie, it means they are not the ones who get to point it out even thought they do anyway because they have no shame.

    You’re a Left/Right Political Duopoly Moron. Perhaps a Purposeful Stooge & Provocateur. Why are you even here? Oh, that’s right, to push The Party Line. Of course.

    One of the reasons I read Ian is because he has intelligently transcended The Party Line and I think that’s why you are strategically here trolling away — because you want to bring everyone back to it, whether it be Left or Right, and undo Ian’s intent.

    It’s a dangerous thing indeed if enough people become enlightened and realize neither party in The Political Duopoly represents their interests, but instead the interests of The Rich, and therefore their vote, currently at least, is worthless or in fact worth Less Than Zero because it serves to legitimate an otherwise illegitimate farce.

  13. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    January 11, 2018

    Okay, have it your way. Trump doesn’t lie. I’m game.

    Lock Him Up!!

    The Incredibly Aware & Stable Genius

  14. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    January 11, 2018

    But I would note that Blizzards comment above captures the present reality.

    Of course you do. I predicted you would before you did. Trolls agree with fellow Trolls. Hence you agree with BoC. Surprise Surprise!!

    The TROLL’S comment is truth mixed with lies. The implication is that Trump is not a liar because the liars have said so and since liars lie, them calling Trump a liar is a lie. Great illogic. I’m not buying it. I prefer logic instead.

    Both sides are the same side and they ALL lie. Therefore, Trump is a liar and so too are RC and BoC and by their own admission, they should be dealt with harshly.

  15. realitychecker permalink
    January 11, 2018

    @ TSMB

    Well, then, I guess by your logic we must conclude that you are also a liar.

    And here I thought you were just mentally ill lol.

    Maybe you are both?

  16. wendy davis permalink
    January 11, 2018

    ‘Reflections in a Golden Globe’, William Kaufman, counterpunch

    “Swathing themselves in obscenely expensive designer black is a close to an insurrectionary gesture as the rich, beautiful, and erratically talented entertainment elites will ever allow themselves—other than chanting “I’m with her” while stumping for the corrupt war criminal of their choice who at least has the good taste to seem merely callously robotic rather than overtly boorish.”

    “I harbor enough guilt just from being Jewish; I don’t need three hours of hectoring from Oprah and Babs—the royalty of neoliberal aristocracy—and the rest of the black-clad, bejeweled, private-jet “activists.” When the fatuous billionaire Oprah—who leapfrogged to world renown and obscene riches by sadistically parading the desperation and emotional dysfunctions of the underclass on her TV show—was heralded with a reverence normally reserved for saints and deities, and then had the chutzpah to equate herself with Rosa Parks, I finally felt the gag reflex kicking in. The amount these people spend annually on cosmetic surgery alone could finance a debt-free college education for the entire high school population of Los Angeles.”

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/10/reflections-in-a-golden-globe/

    but hey, if O runs, she and two other uber-wealthy stars could run as a coalition presidency. say…stephen colbert and samantha bee?

  17. Hugh permalink
    January 11, 2018

    What’s the point of fact checking a malevolent senile old fool like Trump? Even if he happens to say something factually correct, he will likely contradict it in minutes to hours. The fact we should be concentrating on is that our ship of state is being presided over by a malevolent senile old fool.

  18. Willy permalink
    January 11, 2018

    Willy, I am always adamant about the rules applying equally to everybody….

    Agree. But BOO says that fact checking sites are inadequate, they even “seem to be qualitatively less honest than the average politician”. So my point stands.

    If we have no trusted sources of objectivity, our culture will suffer as a result. It will be that much harder to contain lies. I remain open to any answers to this problem.

  19. realitychecker permalink
    January 11, 2018

    BOO is correct that even the fact-checking sites seem to favor one side or another.

    The day Reagan revoked the Fairness Doctrine, we were doomed to wind up where we are.

    I don’t know any way to fix it now except to make liars feel bad consequences for their lies.

    Bad consequences are the ultimate motivator for better behavior.

    It’s clear to me that we cannot have a decent society if we cannot ever trust one another.

    Good faith is the key ingredient for everything good. IMO.

    But we can’t even seem to achieve that here, how much harder out in the real world?

  20. January 11, 2018

    Trump: “We essentially repealed Obamacare because we got rid of the individual mandate … and that was a primary source of funding of Obamacare.”

    BlizzardofOz: “Does this look false’ to you?

    Obamacare is alive and well. About 9 million people have already signed up and it is expected that about 12 million people will ultimately enroll in the program. Some states, who manage their own Obamacare programs, have later enrollment deadlines than the Federal government under Trump. Total enrollment in Obamacare for 2018 is expected to be similar to total enrollment in Obamacare for 2017. So yes, it does seem pretty ridiculous to claim that Obamacare has been ‘repealed’ under these circumstances.

  21. realitychecker permalink
    January 12, 2018

    @ ultra

    You might have a bit more patience on this. How do you think Obamacare will look in a couple of years without the mandate?

  22. Willy permalink
    January 12, 2018

    But we can’t even seem to achieve that here, how much harder out in the real world?

    Punishment without clear explanation doesn’t work. It creates hostility. It’s hard to persuade hostile people.

    When I look at history, the better civilizations built institutions of integrity, which the citizens rely on to help maintain their civil society. Science, academia, moral religions, representative democratic government, law enforcement, health care, all the various checks and balances against destructive abuses of power.

    When these things crumble, people will grasp at anything to survive in a dog eat dog world, including lying.

    Who is destroying these institutions today?

  23. realitychecker permalink
    January 12, 2018

    If we need a revolution to change the system, let’s have one. But nobody wants to even discuss that in any serious way.

    But in the meantime, let’s remember that the people who are in line to be punished are ALREADY violent in the case of violent crimes. Punishment didn’t make THEM violent. They already had their violent nature when the committed the crimes they get punished for.

    We learn to change our behavior via BOTH positive and negative consequences. That’s just basic psychology.

    You can’t get good results with just one kind of consequences. Sorry.

  24. realitychecker permalink
    January 12, 2018

    Let me just add, we have laws to control the bad people. The good people will, in theory, never act in a way that requires punishment. Even without laws.

    But the bad people, lacking an internal ethical/moral structure that would reliably steer them toward good behavior, require unpleasant consequences to make them stop their anti-social behavior. They hardly ever wake up and say, “Gee, I’ll just be a good person from now on.”

    NO, they respond to fear of bad consequences. If not solely to bad consequences, then certainly mostly, and certainly most quickly, to bad consequences. Any psychologist, or even animal trainers, will tell you that some bad consequence is required and most effective to extinguish bad behavior.

    See if you can get your kid, or your dog, to touch a hot stove again after they have been badly burned by touching one. Get back to us with your results.

    But immediacy of the bad consequence is the most critical factor. Without that, results diminish.

    This is basic, yet the left exerts so much energy trying to deny it.

  25. MojaveWolf permalink
    January 12, 2018

    @RC – Thanks as always for the kind words. I see your point on “even someone like Trump if it means breaking the corporate choice stranglehold on the presidency”; and there are people I follow on Twitter who have similar takes (@jaredbeck, @eleebeck –both lawyers like yourself–Walter Bragman) and in part I agree, but not entirely. Or, actually, as far as I’ve said it so far, I do agree, but y’all seem to take it a bit further and actually view Trump as somewhat of a force for good or who is in the “ally” camp. (correct me if I’m wrong; if so, all this doesn’t apply to you)

    My issues w/this view are fourfold (this is not an attack; I’ve repeatedly defended this view from attackers because despite my issues, it usually makes more sense to me than the reasons people have for attacking the people who hold it, which usually amount to “omg you are responsible for Trump / Trump is bad / voting Hillary would have stopped Trump and you didn’t vote for Hillary / that makes you bad / please die”‘; obviously I think these people are wrongheaded, to put it kindly):

    1. Trump is not doing most of the good things his voters hoped for; and while he has avoided the worst neocon/neolib/Dick Cheny approved moves that I believe HRC or any of the establishment Republicans would have done (TPP/full out war in Syria or Ukraine or anywhere else), it’s not like he’s been anti-corporate, and he’s still been absolutely horrid across the board, much worse than most of the others would have been in most other ways, and combined w/his general tendency to act like, well, the person that he is, he has in many people’s minds actually strengthened the case for neocon/neolibs as opposed to taking a chance on an outsider (I’m not defending that view; I think it’s a stupid view, but there’s a LOT of people who have it, and Trump has done his share to contribute to this)

    2. Assuming y’all are more right and I’m more wrong and he *has* significantly weakened the stranglehold of the corporate powerbrokers on things, I don’t think that is or was ever his purpose, so to that extent he’s an accidental help, and a very odious accidental help at that; giving him credit for this is sort of like giving serial killer #2 credit for breaking in your house and, thinking he’d found the homeowner, attacking serial killer #1 before serial killer 1 could shoot you in the head. I mean, yeah, yay, one bad guy down; that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear or that serial killer 2 is on your side or that it would be a good idea to befriend him.

    Well, I should have said twofold. Either I forgot something while typing the first two points, or my next two are just particular parts of those highlighted. But going ahead because they are worth highlighting:

    3. He really is THAT personally awful. When talking to Trump supporters back during the 2016 primary season, one of the things I kept saying (to no avail, alas) “if you got stuck in an elevator with him for an hour, don’t you think it would be nearly impossible not to beat the hell out of him before the doors opened?” This is not just the “have a beer with them” in reverse; the guy is a spoiled monster that learned as a child he could walk all over whoever he wanted and do whatever he wanted to with no consequences, and unlike some other spoiled children, many of whom are very nice people despite this, he is the kind of scumbucket who uses this privilege to treat other people like garbage. I’ve known people like that; they are not who you want to be making decisions (a Trump/Cersei Lannister compare & contrast might be useful here; tho HRC by comparison would be Tywin; this really was the “no good option” election)

    4. While it’s nice he’s staying out of open warfare w/Russia or anyone else thus far, and nice that he hasn’t signed any version of the TPP thus far and might never do either of these things, which does put him way ahead of the alternatives, his policies really are THAT bad when it comes to lots of other things. Yes, the R establishment approach to climate change was to pretend the hosue wasn’t burning down and ignore it; the Dems approach to climate change was to acknowledge it was burning down and that people and animals were trapped inside, and to throw a dixie cup of water on it and ask for applause and money in return for doing effectively the same thing as the Republicans. Trump’s approach has been to look around for gasoline cans to throw on the burning house. At least it has the virtue of getting dems to oppose him, but other than that . . . and his approach to wildlife and the non-human part of the world in general seems to be “let’s kill as much as possible because my enemies won’t like it”. That also seems to be his approach to poor humans (granted the democrat approach of “mock poor whites for being poor and treat poor non-whites as pawns in our PR game” is not much better) and his approach to, well, everything. Not of the good.

  26. different clue permalink
    January 12, 2018

    About liar checking . . . and truer checking . . .

    How do we know what we know?
    How do we know we know what we know we know?
    How do we know that we know we know . . . what we know that we know we know?

    At the innermost level of the deepest ultimate . . . I am not sure.

    At the superficial level of the proximate operating truth, if I have spent years learning about something, and see what I think I have learned reflected in desired results and outcomes in the meatspace analog real world I live in, and if I want to see whether I can provisionally trust a source to give me actual factual information about something I DON’T know; I study them over time to see what they say about something I DO know about. If they get it right consistently over time about something(s) I DO know about, then I am prepared to give them the working benefit of the doubt when they talk with equal authoritude about something I know nothing about but which THEY say they DO know about.

    About fact-checking, one call tell a Big Lie with just the right arrangement of just the right cherry-picked facts. The cherry-picked facts in question can all be actually factual and oh-so-literally correct; but can be used to convey an exactly false meaning in the strategic absence of certain carefully undisclosed context-providing big-picture-completion other facts.

  27. MojaveWolf permalink
    January 12, 2018

    Briefly back to the Oprah basis of this post–since a LOT of people apparently ARE taking the Oprah candidacy seriously, I just want to say one more time: Booker, Biden, Harris, Gillibrand, Winfrey. If you didn’t want Hillary, there is no reason to want any of these. Yes, any of them could suddenly change. It’s possible. But until then, why in heck are any of the people who didn’t want Booker/Biden/Gillibrand/Harris/HRC wanting Oprah?????? Just say no!

  28. MojaveWolf permalink
    January 12, 2018

    In a world and thread of acrimony, there are a lot of comments saying stuff I like, including from people who don’t like each other. All this is worth repeating:

    @Hugh– This was a GREAT post: our politics should be more about A) having a clear vision for what kind of a country we want and B) an equally clear program about how to get us there. If you know where you are going and how you intend to get there, personalities become unimportant. You don’t need a “name” at the top of the ticket. In fact, you don’t need one anywhere along the line. The only questions a candidate needs to answer affirmatively are: are you with the program and are you willing to leave your blood on the floor for it?

    Oprah (Biden, etc) is just another distraction, another indication of the bankruptcy of our political system. She takes away from that nuts and bolts conversation we should be having about how and for whom our society should function.

    Tom W Harris permalink
    January 10, 2018

    Quite true. And the Oprah buzz is a very strong sign that the Democrats will not do anything for everyday people. They’d rather die with neo-liberalism than live with a New Deal II.

    realitychecker
    January 10, 2018

    It is just as important to get rid of/punish our liars on the left as it is to get rid of the liars on the right. . .

    There can be no rational governance of a country where everybody is always ‘sure’ that the other side is lying.
    &
    I am arguing that until we assert a societal repugnance for all lying to get an advantage . .. we have no chance for establishing the kind of society that we all seem to agree would be better for all the decent people.
    &

    Blizz: Even “fact checking” requires a basic level of honesty, which just doesn’t exist in mass media. (this may be the only time we ever agree on anything, but there ya go.)

    & there were others but these will do for now.

  29. MojaveWolf permalink
    January 12, 2018

    @Willy (in your response to me):

    We’re basically on the same page here.

    As to reaching the Trump voters, at least the persuadable ones (and you can try even w/the hardcore Hannity fans; I have; you probably won’t get anywhere but they tend to be more polite and reasonable than the hardcore MSNBC fans when you disagree with them so actual conversation is possible), just talk to them like you would talk to anyone here. Discuss actual issues, not slogans, and don’t insult them. I’m not saying you do, but just as litmus test, don’t talk to them (or at them) the way you see most of the MSM discussing Tanya Harding (who also is getting a raw deal imo, and certainly was before the Kerrigan incident); that sort of sums up the whole problem of “why Dem elites have trouble connecting w/working class people who aren’t already on their side” in a nutshell; most working class voters of all ethnicities prefer at least the broad strokes of stated Dem policy to the GOP, and Bernie’s to the Dems. Assume they are not stupid and go from there.

  30. realitychecker permalink
    January 12, 2018

    @ MW

    You deserve all the kind words you get, Wolf. We’ve been around each other for a bunch of years, and your voice has ALWAYS been a thoughtful, good-hearted one worthy of respect and appreciation. I hope you are doing OK dealing with the recent change in your life. ((MW))

    BUT, you ARE wrong about my feelings for Trump. All your other observations are on point, IMO.

    I don’t expect a magic unicorn, never have, never will. We need big changes on MANY fronts, but Trump helps on only a few. Still, the other folks you mention offer nothing that I could support. And neither I, nor you, nor any that we were allied with at FDL, has managed to do anything to even start to break down the status quo.

    Trump proves an outsider can win, and deliberately makes the insanely pc crowd go crazy (a prerequisite for letting them hit bottom and re-think themselves lol). He is also right about recent immigration policy being nonsensical and even self-destructive. And the trade pacts being problematic. And the mainstream corporate media needing to be killed en masse (just kidding, a severe beating would be satisfactory lol.)

    These things open the door for massive changes in people’s belief systems, changes we desperately need to have happen. They are just a beginning though, a mere glimmer of hope for what might follow. Eventually, the People will have to shoulder the burdens to get the rest done.

    Sure, I hate what he has done for the rich and the corporations, but that was always his nature. And no different from what Obama did, or Hillary would have done, IMO. Let’s not forget that all the increased wealth in the last eight years was deliberately engineered to go to the top few percent, and Hillary promised more of the same.

    And sure, he’s a self-centered asshole. So is Hillary. So was Obama. So was W. So was Clinton. I wouldn’t let any of them into my home, nor would I want to be in theirs. So what? He’s doing some good in some areas I really care about. Nobody else is, or wants to. That’s the reality I’m being guided by right now.

    Mixed bag, admittedly, Still, who are we, as pathetically impotent as we have proven ourselves to be, to spurn the good parts?

    The best way to sum up my feelings toward Trump is that he is the enemy of my enemies, sometimes hurting them in ways I and you and nobody else on the left seems to be able to do at all.

    I’ll take what I can get, but I don’t expect miracles. We are in a war for the future of regular people world-wide, and that will be a long fight that we will lose if we don’t get our heads straight real soon. So, I will take what I can get. I’ll swallow some more of the inevitable bad in order to get some of the otherwise unattainable good.

    It’s a long-term process, still just beginning. And it’s also possible that we are already past the point of no return. No deus ex machina for us in any event, and if we can’t up our game, stop believing false things and achieve some consensus on what is true and right, no happy ending for us regular folks.

  31. realitychecker permalink
    January 12, 2018

    @ dc

    There are many ways to get closer to truth and further from falsity. People like me get a lot of training to do so, before we get to make decisions that affect our clients. Anybody can get such training, in school or even auto-didactically. It just takes reading and thinking, and being careful. And (relatively) unemotional. (As in, your search for truth might hurt the feelings of folks who benefit from avoiding the truth.)

    Don’t insist on absolute certainty, it’s never honestly attainable in a complex fact pattern, and most importantly, it’s not necessary to make good decisions about things. In most real life situations, good enough is good enough. For the rest, we have philosophy and meta-ethics to better guide us in the right general directions.

    This is what is most important, IMO. Reject falsity, and the people who promote it. Reject the cognitive dissonance that comes from living with obvious contradictions and hypocrisies. Respect basic logic. Be aware of the observable differences between what you wish, and what you see. These are learnable skills. It just takes time, effort, and dedication to acquire them. (Most never bother to try in any meaningful way.)

    Do that well, and you are closer to what is true. That’s the best approach I have been able to come up with, after a lifetime of dedication to the process, and reading a lot of other smart people’s thoughts.

    We used to call it “reality checking,” and we didn’t make fun of people who used the term, or feel threatened by them lol. 🙂

  32. different clue permalink
    January 12, 2018

    @realitychecker,

    John L. King, historical economist/ economic historian and author of How To Profit From The Next Great Depression said . . . ” Him that is not surprised when the future comes, lives very close to the truth.”

    So there is another check-method. People who are “ready and prepared” for something when all around them are surprised, must have been living close enough to the truth to know in advance what to be ready for.

  33. realitychecker permalink
    January 12, 2018

    @ dc

    Maybe so, but how does that help you or me? Or him?

    I’ve been right about almost everything that was coming in America for the last few decades, few remember lol. I’ve made some truly amazing calls on the stock market, but my next trade could still be a loser.

    I focus on doing my own competent process, I don’t ever just accept the authority of others who may have been right in the past, because they could be making a big mistake now.

    If they share their reasoning, and I like it, then I mkikght adopt it as my own. Naked conclusions mean zilch to me.

    All the ‘great minds’ in history have been wrong about a lot of things. Question authority.

    I am baffled at how readily folks on the Internet and elsewhere will defer to any imagined authority.

  34. realitychecker permalink
    January 12, 2018

    Edit: might adopt

  35. realitychecker permalink
    January 12, 2018

    @ dc

    I might add, I don’t even accept myself as an ‘authority’: I constantly check and re-check my process and conclusions, periodically, and also when any new fact becomes available. It’s a constant, dynamic process. Just like living.

    When I find myself in error, as sometimes happens, I don’t hang on blindly and stubbornly, but rather quickly change my view as appropriate in light of the discovery. I’d much rather be accurate in the present than insist I was always accurate in the past. I really don’t understand all the people who seem unable/unwilling to do the same. I really don’t. But I constantly encounter them.

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