“Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
[Commencement Address at Yale University, June 11 1962]”
― John F. Kennedy
In our day, what are the common prefabricated sets of interpretations? I can name a few:
If government doesn’t do it, it won’t get done. Which is related to:
If you’re against government providing (X), you’re against people having (X).
More democracy is better. This couldn’t be more false. More personal liberty is better. Democratically elected majorities can be just as tyrannical, even more so, than individual tyrants; because voting dilutes responsibility. If a democratically elected Congress decides to allow or disregard the killing of innocents abroad, are the representatives or their electors held as responsible as would be a dictator?
The Right-Left Political Paradigm. This idea limits us to the idea that there are only 2 directions. How convenient for a 2 party oligopoly! I think that most Americans know the right-left paradigm to be facile, but are not provided the tools to unfold it. Thankfully, the World’s Smallest Political Quiz exists, to help us out in less than 10 minutes. Give it a try!
I’m sure there are more prefabricated sets of interpretations! Feel free to add yours.