I’m for Ilhan Omar. She’s got guts. And, to put it more elegantly, she has the right to call herself a Kantian. She’s earned that right.
Tell me more, you say. Immanuel Kant, German Philosopher ( 1724-1804 ) defined an “enlightened person” as someone who has the “courage to use their own understanding without the guidance of another.” In other words, someone who refuses to be silenced and suffocated by the Conventional Wisdom.
Am I a student of Kant, you ask. A little…very little.
I did spend a little time on Kant in college. I was mostly absent or hung over at the time. (You know the Irish.) Plus, a few years ago I was in Paris and I met a young man of the Jewish persuasion who was studying Philosophy at the Sorbonne. ( You know the Jews.) I asked him if he had read Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. He reached into his backpack, pulled out a book with that title, and said…”you mean this.”
Got my attention. Did a little more reading. Got to keep up.
My student friend was studying a philosopher named Gilles Deleuze who drew heavily on Kant. A little checking around and I found that Henry Kissinger’s Senior Honors Thesis at Harvard entitled, The Meaning of History, drew heavily on the Philosophy of Kant. Kissinger’s thesis was 386 pages long and caused Harvard to adopt what became known as the “Kissinger Rule” which sets a limit of 100 pages on current Senior theses. Henry and I don’t spend a lot of time chatting each other up, but my guess is he wouldn’t be the least bit threatened or offended by Ilhan Omar.
Kant was a quintessential realist. In his view, the future of mankind is in the hands of individuals willing to think independently and take responsibility for themselves and those dependent upon them regardless of the disapproval, and possible danger, from those who hold power and manufacture the conventional wisdom. By the way, the conventional wisdom is manufactured…you’re either involved in that process or you’re a victim of it. If you don’t know anything else, know that.
Not wanting to get ahead of my self, but our friend Ilhan intuitively saw what was happening and decided to take a shot at the Conventional Wisdom Manufacture Game…why not, looks like fun. If she got a word or two upside down, relax, it wasn’t that long ago that she was sleeping on the ground in a refugee camp in Kenya.
So, what did Rep. Omar do to bring upon herself the charge of a “trafficker in anti-semitic tropes.”
Before going there let me focus on the word “trope.” It sounds ugly but nobody knows exactly what the word means. The word is rarely used except when connected to anti-semitism. I’ve looked at a few definitions and I can tell you that it doesn’t mean a lie or an untruth. What it has come to mean, by usage, is something that is often said about Jews that Jews don’t like. So, you can infer that if somebody is charged with dealing in anti-semitic tropes, the offended party is UNWILLING to call them a liar…most probably because the “trope” in question carries an element of truth like “Jews value education and are active participants in the political process and heavily involved in financing political campaigns.” All of that is true…HOWEVER…the mere mentioning of “financing” would get scrutiny. It would raise the Jews and Money “theme” that is offensive to some but factually accurate in the quote above. Phew! It’s like walking through a minefield just talking about this shit which tells us a little bit about the motive of the folks coming after our friend Ilhan Omar. They want to intimidate, embarrass, and push her outside the circle of acceptable opinion so others will learn to be cautious and ineffective. Moral of the story…don’t be a dope and fall for the trope trick.
What Ilhan said was that Jewish contributions to political campaigns are central to their political power; that some Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the US; that Americans are “hypnotized” on the matter of Israel.
Our friend’s word usage and tone was flippant and inflammatory. Conceded. She used particular words like “hypnotized” that opened her up to ridicule. Conceded. But, and this is the point, nobody was willing to call her a liar. No wonder, she didn’t lie.
She spoke in the free wheeling tone that Jews are accustomed to using when speaking about those with whom they have “issues.” When our Jewish brothers and sisters go off on some person or country, their attitude is…”you can’t hurt us, we’re untouchable.” More about that some other time.
NANCY PELOSI is absolutely correct to take Impeachment off the table. With Trump’s job approval numbers hovering near 40% it would be idiotic to bring Impeachment in the House with a guaranteed failure to Remove in the Senate. When Trump’s numbers drop to 30% then it’s possible. Impeachment and Removal are not legal matters. They are political matters. That’s what the Framers of the Constitution intended. Listen to Nancy. She knows stuff.
STEVE KORNACKI of MSNBC is the best TV personality without a show of his own to host. He loves the news and politics. He’s enthusiastic and doesn’t get in the way of the story. He lets the story and his guests speak for themselves. He’s much better than at least half of the present MSNBC hosts.
BOB COSTA of MSNBC is the best news correspondent (guest role, not anchor) on TV, period. He is knowledgeable and connected on all matters Trump plus House and Senate leadership. He speaks clearly and to the point. He gets out of the way of the story. He is not a cheap shot artist.
TUCKER CARLSON of FOX is a tough and effective advocate for the FOX point of view. I don’t like Carlson or the FOX point of view but Carlson is good at what he does. The only time I recall being on the same side as Carlson was during the Kavanaugh Hearings when I got disgusted with Democratic tactics. I watched Carlson every night for about ten nights. He was effective.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.