Make America Great Again – Why the Past is Always Better

Donald Trump was recently elected President of the United States of America on the slogan “Make America Great Again.” Few¬†thought he would win for most of his 18-month campaign. Then he won. Donald Trump – the huckster Donald Trump, who doesn’t read a book and doesn’t appear to know anything at all about, well, anything except his own branding, is now President of the United States of America.

Trump won for many reasons, but one compelling reason was the use of the word ‘again’ in his primary slogan. We human beings long for the past. When someone promises the past to us we believe him, no matter how incompetent he appears. Why?

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The Appeal Alternate Facts

The world is a weird place in 2017. Suddenly the term “Alternate facts” is being thrown out by the administration of The Most Powerful Country in the World (TM) and we are confronted with a regime in the US that seems to believe they can make up the truth.

But this shouldn’t be that shocking to us. The powers that be have manipulated “the facts” since there were people in power. It’s just that the Trump administration is more open about it than most governments of liberal democratic countries.

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Why We Think Protesters Are Always Violent

Whenever the television news media shows violence stemming from a protest on TV, the tacit assumption is always that the protesters started the violence: they chose to protest, they must have chosen to be violent. When the protesters come prepared for tear gas and the like, it is all the easier for the television media to look down on the protesters as instigators.

We the viewers come to these images of violent protests with the same assumptions: the protesters started it because, had they not protested, there would be no violence. Both media and audience believe that any violence by the police is justified as retaliatory. But why?

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Why We Hate Immigrants

The last two years have witnessed a migration crisis in Europe the likes of which hasn’t been seen in 70 years. Though there have been plenty of migrations of people throughout the world over these decades, we in The West have been blissfully unaware because these migrations usually didn’t affect us (and there wasn’t 24 news coverage). But with Europe seemingly overwhelmed with immigrants, and with Americans and Canadians 1 fearing they’re next, it’s worth wondering what we’re so afraid of.

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  1. If you believe for a second that Canada is a completely immigration-positive country because we accepted a bunch of Syrian refugees, check out the comments on this YouTube channel.
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Common Sense

“Common Sense isn’t common.”

We’ve all heard this refrain. I hear it at my work every time someone does something we collectively deem idiotic. I’ve heard this said about people doing inane, silly things and heard this said about people who’ve died. Hell, I’ve said it. When someone does something stupid that we swear we’d never do, we think it even if we don’t say it.

It implies a strong judgment: I’d never do that, I know better, I understand the rules of our society because I belong. But is that really true?

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Rape

Men don’t want to admit that men regularly rape women. To the men who have never raped a woman (as well as to those men who tell themselves that time they had sex with a barely coherent drunk girl wasn’t rape), rape is not a normal thing; it’s abhorrent behaviour that only really fucked up men do. So when accusations of rape outnumber a man’s perception of the number of victims there should be he has to do something to explain that higher number. So he decides the women must be making it up. And, really, don’t all women exaggerate everything?

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Swearing

Why is swearing bad? Why is the act of speaking using “swear” or “curse” words somehow distinct from the act of speaking with other words? Why is it that some words are worse than others?

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Gun Control in the United States of Ameica

To an outsider, it often appears as though there is no middle ground in the gun control debate in the United States: the left want weapons restricted or outright banned and the right wants even fewer restrictions than currently exist. The ferocity of the debate is both completely understandable and enormously perplexing. On one hand gun ownership is enshrined as a civil liberty. On the other, by global standards the United States is very developed economically and has rule of law, which makes fervent gun ownership advocacy seem extreme at worst and unnecessary at best.

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Ideology

Political ideologies are systems of thought that we use to orient ourselves politically in “mass society.” They aren’t very old, actually, as they date from the 1600s at the earliest. Ideologies perform the vital function of allowing many different people in a democracy to agree on a few key concepts, allowing them to vote in elections and support particular politicians and parties. There are, broadly speaking, three ideologies:

  • liberalism – the first ideology, which emerged in the UK in the 17th and 18th centuries
  • conservatism – the most amorphous ideology which emerged as a counter to liberalism but is best defined contextually in relation to the other two ideologies
  • socialism – originally a hybrid of liberal and conservative views.

Though we live in a world where these three ideologies have mutated greatly and would be, in some cases, unrecognizable to their earliest supporters, we still all adhere to these traditions today (again, broadly speaking). And that’s a problem.

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